Jan 01 2015

Search: Information and Photos of Franz Heim. Submitted by Kurt Heim (January 9, 2015)

Kurt Heim is looking for your help in finding photos and information on his great-grandfather Franz Heim, who drove the #8 Benz in the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

Kurt Heim:

Hi Howard, Happy New Year! I have been researching my great-grandfather's part in turn of the century motor racing and I found images of him on your website.

His name was Franz Heim and he started as an apprentice at Benz in 1896 and in later years went on to race for Benz and was also the mechanician (co-pilot) for Hemery and Hanriot.

I am writing to see if you or your website viewers have are any other pictures of that particular race. I have have been documenting all the races he participated in. Any info you may have would be most welcome.

This is an image of my great-grandfather from one of the Uphill Races in Europe in a Benz 200HP (Blitzen Benz). You can see his face quite well. The mustache seems to be a defining characteristic of his appearance.

The interesting thing about Franz Heim is that after WWI  he returned to Germany and started his own Motor Company under the name "Heim" Very little information is available on the Heim Automobile. Here is a link where he raced in the 1922 Monza Grand Prix .

Have you encountered him anywhere else? I am very interested to learn more about his Motor Company out of Mannheim.

From Howard Kroplick (Update: January 11, 2015):

Kurt, this is a photo of the Benz team for the 1911 American Grand Prize held in Savannah. Victor Hemery was behind the steering wheel, Eddie Hearne was sitting on the rear wheel and Erwin Bergdoll was standing in front.

I believe that your great-grandfather Franz Heim was standing on the right. Driver Rene Hanriot may be sitting in the middle.


Aug 14 2016 Paul 1:06 PM

Franz Heim in the Heimwagen, prior to the 1921 AVUS Rennen:

Jun 30 2019 Dietrich Conrad 4:17 AM

Hello Kurt,
I am writing an article about your grandfather and the 100th anniversary of his company in 2020.
I found a lot of informations, that I can send to you.
I attached 2 of the most spectacular photos-
a HEIM, that raced 1922 at Monza (with the driver Reinhold Stahl)
and 1911 Nikolaus race, that your grandfather won. Zar Nikolaus II himself gives the price to the BENZ team and I think it´s your grandfather, that takes the price.
Please contact me, if you have further questions or informations
kind regards

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Dec 27 2019 Dietrich Conrad 6:49 AM


I received much better pictures now and they are probably released the first time.
The first one is very good portrait of Franz Heim.
The other shows a Vanderbilt Prince Henry Benz.
One correction to my last comment about the Zar picture: Franz Heim is standing on the right.

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