Hans Gassmann

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26 Feb 1902
Beirut, Lebanon


20 Oct 1967
Altbach am Neckar, Baden-Wurttemberg




Mercedes (1954)

Innovative Mercedes road and race car engineer, whose work on their engines helped make them so successful. Gassmann was involved in the famed Mercedes W 196R, Mercedes-Benz SLR Coupe and the SLR 722 edition. Gassmann's greatest legacy to motor sport was his idea and development of desmodromic valve timing. Gassmann designed two cams per valve for engines. One opened the valve as normal, while the second closed it again via a rocker arm. This was used in the 196R and the Mercedes 300 SLR car. Gassmann, whose full name was Johannes Gottlieb Gassmann, was born in Beirut as his father was a hotelier in both Lebanon and Palestine. Hans moved back to Germany in the 1910's to study in Leipzig before becoming an engineer. He died of stomach cancer in 1967.

Biography last updated 31 Jan 2019