German Tuner Richard Hamann Dies at Age 53

Famed BMW tuner Richard Hamann died last week as a result of lung cancer, company officials stated. He was just 53 years old.

Hamann established his company in 1986 after 20 years of racing in various motorsport, which included Gruppe C, DTM, and Formula 3. During his track tenure, he racked up over 700 race starts and 300 podium finishes. He also won the Special Touring Car Trophy three times in a BMW M1 racecar.

He used his on-track expertise to develop high-quality BMW parts at his workshop in Laupheim, Germany. The first car he sold under the new Hamann Motorsport banner was a turbocharged E30-series BMW M3 that made 348 horsepower and ran to 62 mph from a stop in 5.1 seconds. From that lightweight platform he earned industry respect and attention.

In the 1990s Hamann broadened his product portfolio to include Ferrari, in particular the venerable twin-turbocharged F40. This model would set the stage for the vast lineup of current tuned Maranello machines.

In 2002, Hamann included Aston Martin, Mini, Porsche, Range Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Maserati to the catalog. A few years later, he established a short-lived company called Opera Design to handle all Mercedes-Benz modifications.

Everyone at the brand’s 10,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility will carry on their founder’s legacy with the worldwide distribution of TUV and ISO-approved components per Richard’s personal wishes.

Hamann’s death is the second tragic loss the tuning world has faced in the last year. In late 2010, Porsche modifier Uwe Gemballa was found dead in South Africa after a run-in with organized crime.

Source: Hamann Motorsport