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Josef ganz

The meaning of «josef ganz»

Dipl.-Ing. Josef Ganz (1 July 1898 – 26 July 1967) was a German car designer born in Budapest, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Hungary).

Josef Ganz was born on 1 July 1898 into a Jewish family living in Budapest, then the second-largest city within Austria-Hungary. His mother was Maria Török (1872–1926) from Hungary. His father was Hugo Markus Ganz (1862–1922) from Mainz in Germany who worked as a political and literary writer and journalist for the Frankfurter Zeitung. At an early age, Josef Ganz was fascinated by technology. After moving from Budapest to Vienna, the family moved to Frankfurt am Main in Germany in 1916 and took on German nationality. In July 1916, Ganz voluntarily enlisted in the German army and fought in the German navy during the First World War. After the war, in 1918, Josef Ganz resumed his mechanical engineering studies at the Technische Hochschule Wien. After three semesters, he switched to the Technische Universität Darmstadt.[1][2] He completed his studies in 1927.[1] During this period, he became inspired with the idea of building a small car for the price of a motorcycle.

In 1923, as a young mechanical engineering student, Ganz made his first auto sketches for a car for the masses. This was a small lightweight car along the lines of the Rumpler Tropfenwagen with a mid-mounted engine, independent wheel suspension, swing-axles and an aerodynamic body. Lacking the money to build a prototype, he began publishing articles on progressive car design in various magazines and, shortly after his graduation in 1927, he was assigned as the new editor-in-chief of Klein-Motor-Sport. Josef Ganz used this magazine as a platform to criticize heavy, unsafe and old-fashioned cars and promote innovative design and his concept of a car for Germany's general population. The magazine gained in reputation and influence and, in January 1929, was renamed Motor-Kritik. Contributors to the magazine included Béla Barényi, a young engineering student who designed cars with similar design.

Post-war Volkswagen director Heinrich Nordhoff later said "Josef Ganz in Motor-Kritik attacked the old and well-established auto companies with biting irony and with the ardent conviction of a missionary."[3] Companies in turn fought against Motor-Kritik with lawsuits, slander campaigns and an advertising boycott. Publicity for the magazine and Josef Ganz increased.

In 1929, Josef Ganz started contacting German motorcycle manufacturers Zündapp, Ardie and DKW for collaboration to build a prototype, small people's car. This resulted in a first prototype, the Ardie-Ganz, built at Ardie in 1930 and a second one completed at Adler in May 1931, which was nicknamed the Maikäfer (‘May-Beetle’, common European cockchafer Melolontha melolontha). News about the prototypes spread through the industry. At Adler, Josef Ganz was assigned as a consultant engineer at Daimler-Benz and BMW where he was involved in the development of the first models with independent wheel suspension: the Mercedes-Benz 170 and BMW AM1 (Automobilkonstruktion München 1).

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