1899 – 1972
Who was Fritz Fiedler?
Fritz Fiedler, a qualified engineer, joined the BMW firm in 1932 as chief designer at the age of 32 after working for Horch, designed 8-cylinder and 12-cylinder cars. Working with Fiedler was Rudolf Schleicher, who had joined Horch in 1927 after being at BMW on their motorcycle design team. Fritz persuaded Schleicher to return to BMW and these two were responsible for the new series of six-cylinder cars that were to set the car division of BMW on the road to success. The first car that Fiedler was fully responsible for was the BMW 326 saloon that was shown at the International Automobile Ausstellung in Berlin in 1936.
While Schleicher was at Munich on motorcycle development and the competition side of BMW motor car activity, Fiedler was at Eisenach in overall command of the car side of BMW, specialising in chassis, suspension and aerodynamic design and development. His last automotive design from Eisenach was the 3.5-litre 6 cylinder BMW 335 saloon, a fine 90 mph car for the German autobahns. During the war he was occupied with military vehicle design and development and finished up at Munich, so that after the war he was in the American zone. During the war he was a Director of BMW, but left the board on 1945 and in 1947 joined AFN Ltd at the persuasion of H.J. Aldington. Although he was lent to Bristol as a consultant on their Type 400 project, he did most of his work in England at Isleworth, where he was always known as Dr Fiedler, although he did not have that title in Germany. He was very popular with the workforce at AFN, most people describing him as a kindly and charming man, and everyone admired his engineering qualities. He took charge of the development of the post-war Frazer Nash, dealing with chassis, suspension, body design and construction and development of the FNS Bristol engine. On the Isleworth dynamometer he got over 100 bhp from the Bristol engine before the Bristol men did.
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