Hotshot in his self-built Racing Machine
In the 1950s the name Otto Mathé was well-known in Austria in the car racing industry. His do-it-yourself construction with components of VW and a strong drive of 130 hp of a Porsche engine led to the result that he was becoming the horror on all race tracks – also for significantly better financed factory teams.
In 1952 he moved his own developed and constructed monoposto race car to the start. A very low centre of gravity, a short wheelbase and the arrangement of the motor right before the rear axle were achieving an excellent weight distribution. So that Mathé was realizing the first mid-engined sports car. The car was skillfully covered by an aluminum skin; only the Solex-40-PBIC-carburetor was showing the powerful aggregate of Porsche and offered the possibility to replace the spark plugs without removing the aluminum body.
The combination of a 100 hp Boxer engine and a very low total weight of only 400 kilograms enabled a maximum speed of 210 km/h. The exceptional race car was within a short period in all the racing industry and although the press had titled the car as “the most curious car of the year”, so the monoposto was lovingly called in the scene as “Fetzenflugzeug” and Otto Mathé enjoyed the reputation as a “Teufelskerl”.
Until 1959 the man from Innsbruck was driving his own race car and also during his last race – a race on the frozen lake Zeller See – on 15th of February he was driving to a clear victory against the favorites of Porsche von Hahnstein and von Frankenberg.
Today the car is on exhibition at the Automuseum PROTOTYP in Hamburg, Germany.
More Information: AutoCult.de