Mister Rudge & Oldtimer 

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  * 1922 Helmut Krackowizer † 2001

Prof. Dr. Dkfm. Helmut Krackowizer

Motorcycle legend "Mister Rudge" died on 22th October 2001 in his 80th year of age.

  • Helmut Krackowizer, his first victory in 1947 of the race in Salzburg Liefering

    My father is gone from us the morning, 22-10-01, for ever. He died after he suffered from his 3rd heart attack on Monday 15th of October in his 80th age.

    This 3rd heart attack he had got following his favourite activity: on one of those beautiful days in Austrian’s autumn, he carried one of his favourite motorcycles home, a Rudge  250 cm³, preparing it for an exhibition at Vienna. My mother and my sister wanted him to stay at home that day, but – on one hand my father always had been stubborn and on the other hand you never could prevent him from doing any activity concerning motorcycles! He always had been “restless”, what means that he had to be always on his way…

    And he had suffered already a little bit not being as mobile as in former times! In front of his home we found on that Monday his “small motorcycle”, which he had used only for the daily trip into town, waiting for him.

  • Helmut Krackowizer on Norton in the year 1952

    His life had been shaped by motorcycles and automobiles. 1939, seventeen years old, he already rode a Norton “International” 500 the first time. During summer vacation he worked as mechanic and visited motorcycle competitions wherever he had had the possibility. Also during The Second World War he took all possibilities to ride a motorcycle. And he bought his first Rudge during a stay on the Isle of Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea. He had seen the end of that war as fighter controller of the air Signal Corps in a night interception troop - of course on a motorcycle - at Norway, but this is an other story…

  • In autumn 1946 he took part in his first race, which he finished on 3rd place: at Salzburg – Nonntal... in pouring rain! Many stories followed then during his period as racing motor-cyclist. But after he got married and their first child was born - my brother - my mother “had forced him out of business…”

    Well, from that time on he took part only at Rallies …and to the horror of my mother – always at full speed! By the way, he also had once the opportunity to take part in a long-distance race at Monza, Italy…with a VW…

  • Helmut Krackowizer as speaker at a race

    His profession started in 1952, after he had graduated at the university of economics at Vienna with “Doctor of The Economics”, at the factory Eternit at Vöcklabruck, in the town, where he had lived. 1955 he moved to Salzburg, where he started at Porsche Salzburg as PR- and advertising manager. Later on he changed to Mercedes Benz (1964) and British Leyland (1969). His last job until his retirement in 1987 had been with Chrysler Simca (renamed in Talbot and finally merged with Peugeot). In those times I had been my fathers secretary at the PR department and had been well trained by my father on the PR- sector: To be always top informed is to lead! To betray the informant – never!

    My brother and I followed him to many races where he had been the commentator: e.g. on the Gaisberg, Salzburg; near by Engelhartszell, River Danube or on the Mountain of Gmunden;


  • vintage motorcycles - Sunbeam

    In the Sixties my father had begun to draw motorcycles. It had been pencils drawings showing every detail of a motorcycle. Even during the last months of his life he had drawn. Besides this hobby he wrote books about the history of races and motorcycles, he worked as journalist for magazines within German- and English speaking areas.

    He had been an expert for nearly every type of motorcycle, knowing every history of them, curriculum vitae of most of the racers of former times. He had counted as a friend e.g. Sammy Miller, John Surtees, Walter Zeller, Luigi Taveri, Hans Haldemann, Schorsch Meier and many other of the motor race scenery.

    One of his dreams came true in realizing the marvellous  “Oldtimer Grand Prix” on the Salzburg Ring: Stars like Niki Lauda, Juan Manuel Fangio or above mentioned racers came to speed up! Mercedes Benz brought their legendary “Silberpfeile” (“Silver Arrows”) to Salzburg!

    Until short time ago he had had as registration number on his car “S-Rudge 1” – of course he had been member of the Rudge Club in England! He had loved to be in England as there he had had many friends, many motorcycles, many memories….

    A famous Austrian Motor Magazine had dedicated him 1997 a story of his life. This story ends with that picture on the Sunbeam above and a sentence of Gaston Bachelard (1884 – 1962, French academic)

    “A man is the creation of his passions and not of his needs!”

    Well, this had been our father and will remain in our memory!
    Peter Krackowizer

pictures

  • über die
            ersten drei Großglockner-Trophies

    Grossglockner Trophy

  • image

    Prof. Max Reisch


Peter Krackowizer, 5202 Neumarkt am Wallersee, Austria - edited in September 2017