Ernst Jakob Henne
Ernst Jakob Henne was a distinguished German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

 racer and racecar driver.

Henne was born in the village of Weiler, near Wangen im Allgäu
Wangen im Allgäu
Wangen im Allgäu is a historic city in southeast Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It lies north-east of Lake Constance in the Westallgäu. It is the second-largest city in the Ravensburg district and is a nexus for the surrounding communities...

. His father was a saddlemaker. In 1919 Henne was apprenticed to a become a motor vehicle mechanic. He started racing in 1923 in Mühldorf
Mühldorf am Inn is a town in Bavaria, Germany, and the capital of the district Mühldorf on the river Inn. It is located at , and had a population of about 17,808 in 2005.-History:...

, and in 1925 he competed in the Monza Grand Prix, his first major international event. He placed sixth in the 350cc class.

Henne soon became one of the most successful German motorcycle racers. He was the 1926 German champion in the 500cc class, 1927 German champion in the 750cc class and the 1928 winner of the Targa Florio
Targa Florio
The Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race held in the mountains of Sicily near Palermo. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973...

 in Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...


Between 1928 to 1937, he achieved a total of 76 land speed world records, the last on November 28, 1937 with the 279.5 km/h (173.7 mph) on a fully faired 500cc supercharged BMW
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

. This record stood for 14 years.

Henne was one of the most successful sportsmen in the 1930s in the company of such German greats as Max Schmeling
Max Schmeling
Maximillian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schmeling was a German boxer who was heavyweight champion of the world between 1930 and 1932. His two fights with Joe Louis in the late 1930s transcended boxing, and became worldwide social events because of their national associations...

, Gottfried von Cramm
Gottfried von Cramm
Gottfried Alexander Maximilian Walter Kurt Freiherr von Cramm was a German amateur tennis champion and twice French Open champion.-Birth:...

, Rudolf Harbig
Rudolf Harbig
Rudolf Harbig was a German middle distance runner best known for the 800 metres world record that he set in Milan in 1939.-Life:...

, Rudolf Caracciola
Rudolf Caracciola
Otto Wilhelm Rudolf Caracciola , more commonly Rudolf Caracciola , was a racing driver from Remagen, Germany. He won the European Drivers' Championship, the pre-1950 equivalent of the modern Formula One World Championship, an unsurpassed three times...

, Manfred von Brauchitsch
Manfred von Brauchitsch
Manfred Georg Rudolf von Brauchitsch was a German auto racing driver who drove for Mercedes-Benz in the famous "Silver Arrows" of Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s....

 and Bernd Rosemeyer
Bernd Rosemeyer
Bernd Rosemeyer was a German racing driver.- Career :...


After the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, he developed a contract workshop with Mercedes-Benz. In 1991 he founded the Ernst-Jakob-Henne Foundation to help innocent victims of misfortune. From 1996 until the end of his life, he lived in retirement with his wife on the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...


Henne died at his home in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is the second most populous island of the Canary Islands, with a population of 838,397 which constitutes approximately 40% of the population of the archipelago...

in 2005 at the age of 101.

External links

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