The Porsche organisation are mourning the death of one of its most famous son's of the 1950's and '60's Paul Ernst Strähle.

Strähle, who passed away last Wednesday aged 83, was the son of Swabian aviation pioneer Paul Strähle and after the Second World War he completed a mechanical and commercial apprenticeship in his parents' car and motorcycle business. He then built his family company into a successful Volkswagen and Porsche dealership.

Motorsport was always a big part of Strähle's life and he devoted himself to motorsport with great passion. He first achieved notable success in the famous 'Mille Miglia', winning in class with his VW Beetle that was dubbed 'Dapferle' and was fitted with a Porsche engine.

After this victory Strähle became one of the most successful sports car drivers in Europe in his Porsche 356 from the second half of the 1950's onwards.

His long list of victories include countless class wins in major events such as the 'Mille Miglia' in Italy, the 1000KM race on the renowned and original Nurburgring and the 'Traga Florio' in Sicily. As well as these class victories he also had various success in rally winning the Tour of Belgium (1957), the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally (1959), the Tour of Corsica (1960) and he also became a two-time winner of the Adria Rally (1953,1956).

Paul also achieved notable success in his native Germany becoming the German Motor Racing Champion in 1955 and the German Rally Champion in 1958, as well as becoming European Rally Vice Champion in 1956. Strähle ended his illustrious career in 1963 to concentrate on his flourishing car dealership, however in 1966 he created the racing team 'Strähle Autosport', and again in conjunction with Porsche won various series over a period of almost three decades.

Strähle passion never died in and 1977 he dedicated himself to classic car events with is famous personal registration 'WN-V2'. Paul had a close relationship with Porsche until the day he died and he was a regular guest at Porsche Museme in Stuttgart.

Wolfgang Dürheimer, Executive Vice President for Research and Development at Porsche, paid tribute to the deceased racing driver, “Paul Ernst Strähle was one of the most important and most versatile motorsport pioneers in post-war Germany.”

“Through his success in numerous international races, he became a leading ambassador for German autosport. Porsche has lost a long-standing friend and companion who actively supported the company and particularly our motor sports department from its beginnings up to the present day.”