Our History of Hot Rodding


American HOT RODS and COLD German BEER

ROOTS OF THE WENGLER FAMILY - Bamberg Germany - Not long after Carl Benz patents the world's first automobile (Jan 29, 1886) two brothers, working in a small garage next to the family-owned Bamberger Hofbräu Brewery, develop their own alcohol-burning internal combustion engine. They use it to power a car of their own before the year 1900. They win their first street-race with another vehicle before 1901. The Wengler brothers like going fast.

By 1908 the Wengler family garage is in full operation; not long afterward the photo at the top of this page was made. That's Ernst Wengler wearing the hat, standing next to one of his cars, and William Wengler, with his daughter Margaret, in the doorway .

Today, more than 90 years later, the Wengler grandchildren are still building and racing cars.

This is a 1996 photo of Wolf Wengler at his mountaintop New Mexico Garage. .

This is Karl Wengler, at home in New Mexico's Española Valley in 1998..



WENGLER FAMILY HISTORY - By 1942, the Wengler family had immigrated to the USA and set up shop in rural New York State. At age 82, while driving his dual quad 421 Catalina, William and his 29 year old wife, Loraine, both die in a crash on a snow-covered mountain road. A year later, at age 93, Ernst, still a heavy beer drinker, succombs to liver failure.

Ernst's son, Karl, moves to New Mexico and sets up shop in a kerosene-heated garage. Like his father before him, he experiments with alcohol fuel and automotive technology. He, too, likes to drink beer. He develops an alcohol-injected twin-buick supercharged racer, unlike anything ever built before. But a freak explosion levels the house and nearly kills Karl. While he is recovering his prototype disappears. An incredibly similar motor later appears in a California dragster and is used to set several national records. Karl cannot prove it was based on his design and he begins to drink heavily.

Have a look at Wolf's MoPar The Dark Side of the Wengler Family

Skip it, get to the BIG BLOCK CHEVY stuff Pontiac Tempest Project

E-mail to: Wolf Wengler

© 2005 Wolf Wengler, a.k.a. The Wheelman