Prof. Dr.-Ing. h. c. Fritz Nallinger
06.08.1898 – 04.06.1984
Born in Esslingen as fourth child of DMG Board of Management member Friedrich Nallinger, Fritz Nallinger studied mechanical engineering at Karlsruhe Technical University after serving in the First World War. He began his professional career in the design office of Benz & Cie. In addition to his regular duties Nallinger accompanied the factory drivers to racing events and took part in reliability tests himself with remarkable success.
After the merger of Benz and Daimler in 1926, Fritz Nallinger was one of the first design engineers to transfer to Untertürkheim, where he took over the Testing department. When Ferdinand Porsche left his position in 1928 because of differences with the Board of Management, Hans Nibel took over the post of chief design engineer. As right hand of Nibel, from then on Nallinger had the opportunity to exert a stronger influence with ideas of his own on future vehicle and engine concepts, in particular development work and testing. First tests with a full swing-axle suspension began, which first saw use in 1931 in the “small Mercedes” 170. At the same time, an increasing amount of time was devoted to the cultivation of the economical high-speed diesel engine, realised in 1936 in the 260 D model.
Fritz Nallinger becomes Technical Director
In May 1935 as Technical Director Fritz Nallinger took over the general management of heavy-duty engine construction including the design and testing department for aircraft, marine, railcar and military engines. In April 1940 he was appointed deputy member of the Board of Management, in 1941 full member. From 1945 to early 1948 his mandate was suspended because of a special assignment from the French government. In May 1948 he resumed his work as member of the Board of Management and Technical Director of Daimler-Benz AG, now assuming overall responsibility for the design, testing and development of all vehicle lines of the company. The following years of his term of office saw, along with further technical milestones, a considerable number of new passenger car models that fundamentally influenced international motor manufacture.
Fritz Nallinger and the motor sports
In the 1950s Daimler-Benz returned to Grand Prix sport. Under the direction of Fritz Nallinger, his closest technical assistants, Hans Scherenberg and Rudolf Uhlenhaut, developed a new racing car which as W 196 would be one of the most successful of the post-war period. Fritz Nallinger retired at the end of 1965. By then, not only did he have 300 patents to his name, he also had developed and presented highly regarded concepts for solutions to the existing problems of road construction in Germany.