911 Porsche World



Born on 7th January 1933, Eberhard Mahle was European Hill Climb Champion in 1966 and the first driver to take an internatio­nal title in a 911. He’d previously achieved success with other brands, notably the 1957 German GT Championsh­ip with an Alfa Romeo and the 1959 German Hill Climb Championsh­ip in a Volvo. He was a works driver for Abarth, Borgward and for Porsche’s Stuttgart rivals, Mercedes-benz.

When Mahle wanted to try out a 911, Porsche racing manager, Fritz Huschke von Hanstein, was sceptical. He only had rally cars available and told the eager racing driver he could never win in a 911 while Ferrari and Ford were competing with more than 300bhp. Undeterred, Mahle bought a used 1965 911 with power boosted to near 165bhp. True enough, Ferrari and Ford dominated at his first event with the Porsche, but he exceeded expectatio­n by finishing third thanks to the 911’s ability to take corners quickly.

In 1966, Mahle proved himself to be the best. The Swabian driver won all the other races in the GT class, with the exception of the finale on the Gaisberg, where he collided with a guardrail. No drama — he had an unassailab­le lead in the European championsh­ip before the accident. Our thoughts are with his wife, Karin, his family and the clubs in which he was active into his old age.

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