J. Hückel ´s Söhne Neutitschein, 1901
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Afred Neubauer the first Mercedes Race Team Manager (he invented the position and also worked with Ferdinand Porsche) was from Neutitschein / Novy Jicin and a big (large collection) hat fan (friends with Fritz Hückel). His trademark was throwing his hat (probably a Hückel) in front of the winning Mercedes (see more details below).
Afred Neubauer (above in hat and his connection with Hückel below)
"The second factor that affected the young Alfred was also related to his fathers work. Karl did some work for a very wealthy Neutitschein family by the name of Hückel. At the end of the 19th century the Neutitscheiner Hückel hat factory was the biggest in Europe and was known worldwide. The company had a fleet of vehicles and the Hückel family garage had two steam cars and a prestigious Benz.
When Alfred accompanied his father to perform some carpentry work at the Hückel family home he met Fritz Hückel (22-6-1885/12-1-1973). Fritz was 6 years older than Alfred but they would became close, and life-long, friends. Once introduced to the chauffeurs the young Neubauer was soon learning more of the mysteries of early automobiles, it is said Alfred had an innate mechanical ability.
Later in life Fritz Hückel became a racing driver and passionate supporter of the sport. Alfred Neubauer was a great lover of Hückel head wear but also acquired a habit of celebrating victories by throwing his hat under the wheels of his winning machine. Luckily this friendship with Fritz Hückel meant the race director never had to worry about a supply of hats!
It might have been fate that the car that rolled through Neutitschein in 1898 was a Benz, life already marking out the path the young Alfred was intended to take. But Neubauer did everything he could to further the cause. He was totally engrossed in all things cars, nothing else interested him, including schooling! He enthusiastically collected everything he could find about cars. When he was a ten year old Alfred Neubauer bombarded the few European car factories with requests for catalogues, brochures and information. Alfred Neubauer had already decided that cars would be his life, it is said that his father and other local carpenters built Alfred, and the local children, small wooden cars which they raced against each other. The seeds of the Neubauer/Mercedes-Benz legend were already sown."
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