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Legendary German BMW tuner dies

2011-03-23 08:02

TRACK AND TUNING STAR: With 103 race victories from 700 starts, Richard Hamann was a star driver. It was as an aftermarket tuning specialist that his reputation amongst petrolheads grew even greater though.

Renowned German tuner and racing driver Richard Hamann has died aged 53.

Hamann established his reputation as a racing driver, competing successfully in Group C, the highly competitive German Touring Car championship (DTM) and Formula 3.

By the time he shelved his helmet and hung up his racing gloves in 1986 he had started 700 races and made it up on to the podium after 300 of them  – a statistic illustrating his talent.

Using his racing experience, Hamann turned to fabrication and tuning, turning out quality BMW parts for road and racing customers at his workshop in Laupheim – a facility that grew to an impressive 3000 square metres and dispatched parts and cars to distributors in most major global markets.

His first aftermarket product was a turbocharged version of the seminal E30 M3 that was capable of 256kW; this his original M3 conversion set a benchmark upon which he built his world-famous tuning company.


For the quarter-century he was at the helm of Hamann motorsport it became known as the definitive BMW aftermarket tuning shop.

Although BMW products were always prioritised, Hamann later expanded his offerings to include all manner of premium performance brands; Porsche and (peculiarly) all manner of fast British metal such as Aston Martin, Range Rover, Rolls-Royce and Bentley. One of the last products Hamann saw his company bring to market before his death was the Hawk, a stylised version of Mercedes' SLS AMG.

Hamann components and craftsmanship have always been certified with strict German technical authority standards and will continue to do so as the company’s management strives to keep its founder’s legacy alive.

Richard Hamann died a month shy of his 54th birthday from complications arising from lung cancer. BMW acolytes, and petrolheads in general, will surely doff their branded peaked caps in respect to a man who built many a product adorning in poster form the walls of teenage car fans the world over.

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