Racing Drivers

Ewald Kluge

November 29, 2012

Ewald KlugeEwald Kluge was born on January 19, 1909 in Lausa in the German state of Saxony. He was already achieving racing success when he joined the DKW as a race mechanic and reserve driver in 1934.

At the International Six-Day Trials in 1935, he teamed up with Arthur Geiß and Walfried Winkler to win the top team prize – the Silver Vase – for Germany for the first time. In 1936, Kluge entered the DKW works team and proceeded to take the title of German Champion in the 250 cc class on four consecutive occasions between then and 1939. He took the European Championship in 1938 and 1939 and was crowned Champion of Champions after accruing more points than any other racer.

1938 in particular was his year: at the world’s toughest motorcycle race, the Tourist Trophy in England, he battled to his greatest ever victory on the DKW ULD 250. Not only did this make him the first ever German to win the race, which had been taking place for 30 years, he did so by a seemingly impossible margin of eleven minutes. In the same year, Auto Union entered Kluge in four races in Australia, all of which he won. At the Großglockner Race in 1938 he recorded the fastest time of all entrants. During 1938, Kluge started 14 races, winning 12 of them. And in the previous year, the one-of-a-kind motorcycle racer had ridden a DKW bike to six world records for Auto Union.

During World War II, Kluge was a Sergeant in Leipzig at the school for army motorisation in Wünsdorf. In 1943, he was released from service at the request of Auto Union, for whom he went to work in their testing department. In 1950, following the war and imprisonment by the Russians, Kluge went to Ingolstadt, the new home of Auto Union and the DKW racing stable. In the following year, he scored further victories for DKW. Then, in the 1953 Eifel Race, he had a serious crash and was forced to retire from active racing. Ewald Kluge died on August 19, 1964 in Ingolstadt.