Wankel, Felix

BORN 13 Aug 1902, Lahr, Baden-Württemberg - DIED 9 Oct 1988, Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg
GRAVE LOCATION Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg: Bergfriedhof, Rohrbacher Strasse (Abteilung V neu)

Inventor of the Wankel motor. Felix Wankel worked for the Carl Winter Verlag in Heidelberg until he was fired because of a the difficult economic situation. By that time he was already interested in combustion engines. He had joined the nazi party in 1921 and in 1928 he met Adolf Hitler. In 1932 he left the NSDAP because of problems with gauleiter Robert Wagner. In 1933 he was arrested but after six months he was released with the help of Wilhelm Keppler. In 1936 he married Emma Kirn.

During the war he worked for Daimler and BMW and after the war he was imprisoned by the French for a while. By 1951 he was working on a new engine and in 1957 he was able to show a prototype of his engine with a rotating rotor and housing. In 1964 it was first used for consumer vehicles. His Wankel GmbH sold licenses to Daimler-Benz, General Motors and Toyota. Towards the end of his life he sold the Felix Wankel Institute to Daimler-Benz for 100 million German marks.

Because of poor eyesight he never had a driving license himself. After his death in 1988 he was buried at the Bergfriedhof in Heidelberg.


The grave of Felix Wankel at the Bergfriedhof, Heidelberg.
Picture by Androom (21 Aug 2010)


Wikipedia (DE)

Wappers, Gustave

Published: 05 Jun 2011
Last update: 03 Mar 2022