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SLIDER: 1949 AFM Formula 2 car

AFM stood for Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau in Munich. Von Falkenhausen was from a famous Bavarian military family; he was drawn to automobile engineering and in the 1930s played an important role in the development of the BMW 328 with engineers Alfred Boning, Fritz Fiedler and Ernst Loof.

In the chaos following World War II von Falkenhausen decided to take the matter of building racing cars into his own hands. In a small private workshop he developed a pre-war BMW 328 sports car into sports and single-seater machines for the recovering German racing scene. He used the famous M328 6-cylinder engine as the basis, and 1.5-litre (stroke reduced to 75mm) and 2-litre (96mm stroke) versions were available, racing mostly in German national sports car racing. (He also used a FIAT 1100cc unit.) The single-seater version appeared in 1949, and Hans Stuck drove it to 7th place in that year’s Monaco Grand Prix. In 1950 Stuck continued with AFM and won a heat of the Autodromo GP at Monza, beating the Ferraris of both Ascari and Fangio. A year later it appeared with a V8 2-litre, 4-ohc engine of Küchen design; it was ‘fast but not reliable’. Also in 1951, Stuck won the F2 class of the Grenzlandring race at an average of 128.2mph. Lack of finance prevented further development and von Falkenhausen moved back to the BMW factory as an engineer; the AFM was no more.

Von Falkenhausen continued to work with BMW and became technical director of the company’s sporting programs. He designed the successful engines which helped BMW to dominate touring car racing in the 1960s and 1970s and recruited many of the engineers who produced the famous BMW turbo engines in the 1980s. He retired in 1976, handing over the technical directorship of BMW Motorsport to Paul Rosche, and died at the age of 92 in his hometown of Munich.

And yes, that is Lodge corner at Oulton Park.

Photo and research by Peter McFadyen. See his website: http://petermcfadyen.co.uk


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