100 Year Gottlieb Tuzar,

100 year Gottlieb Tuzar

local hero in Bergrennen

At the moment I saw at www.meinemarke.at, the overview of Austrian personalized stamps, a stamp on the occasion of the 100th day of birth of Gottlieb Tuzar, I decided to try to get one. Fortunately an email address was mentioned on the site.
From my contacts with the family I soon discovered that there is a long story behind the issue of this stamp. Reason to make them is the celebration of het 100th day of birth, by a meeting with relatives and friends. The subject of this issue, Gottlieb Tuzar, unfortunately passed away a few years before.
Gottlieb Tuzar was born in Dietersdorf, a small village just below Hollabrun, north of Vienna. There he visited primary school and followed an education as metal-worker. He became a locksmith and was engaged by the metal company Hampel. Gottlieb bought an AJS 350cc sports bike from his savings and started to try his luck in the motorcycle races in his province of birth, Lower-Austria.

Gottlieb Tuzar before his home in Dietersdorf
Gottlieb Tuzar before his home in Dietersdorf

Of necessity Gottlieb Tuzar was detached by his employer to the archiepiscopal minor seminary in Hollabrun. There he became the in-home technician, and his biggest merit was the introduction of new techniques. First he got those from the headquarters of the Russian army of occupation, that had been established there. Later from fairs in the capital Vienna.

Gottlieb Tuzar on his motorcycle
Gottlieb Tuzar on his motorcycle

Gottlieb Tuzar's passion for sports, games and music is an inspiration not only for his students, but also for his 4 own children. After his retirement he found a new hobby in making films. Often combined with his love for music. After a fall around the beginning of the new century his mobility became less. On the blessed age of 95 he finally passed away in 2003.

Gottlieb Tuzar with a few trophys from his racing period
Gottlieb Tuzar a few of the trophys from his racing period that have not been taken by Russian soldiers

Motorcycle races already exist from the early beginning. In the early days this were mainly long distance races to prove the reliability of motorcycles, but soon the emphasis became on races to determine who is the fastest. For those enthusiasts that don't have a lot of money to spend it was favourable that there were races in the near surroundings. Races on tracks in the mountains with a lot of difference in altitude. The races ('Rennen' in German) became famous under the name 'Bergrennen' (mountain races).

Stamp of the Knittelfeld Bergrennen

There were closed circuits, with several drivers riding at the same time, overtaking each other and finally won by the one who crosses the finish line first.

Stamp of the Eifel-Rennen on the Nürburgring

Apart from that there were 'circuits' existing from a closed part of a, preferably winding, public road. Because the finish was on a higher point than the start they were called 'hillclimb' or 'speed- hillclimb' in English-speaking countries. In Europe often with road motorcycles on 'bituminous roads'. In other parts of the world often with motocross bikes on natural mountain slopes.

Back to the mountain races in which Gottlieb Tuzar participated. Dangerous corners were marked, there were marshals along the track who followed the course of the race and communication went over a field telephone, installed in the days before the races.
The 'Thernerbergrennen' had been organized in 1936 in Hollabrun, and also Gottlieb Tuzar started on his 1923/1924 350cc AJS.

Program booklet 5th Thernerberg Rennen 1936

The drivers came to the start one by one, and their motorcycles were put in front of a wedge to prevent riding backwards. After the starting shot the drivers tried to reach the finish as fast as possible. After the finish line there often was a run-out place where the riders gathered. After the last driver had finished, all drivers together rode back to the start to prepare for the second run.

The circuit of the Thernerberg Rennen

From the attached tables it appears that starting number 41, Gottlieb Tuzar, finished 2nd in this race on his, immediately 13 years old, AJS.

Participant list 5th Thernerberg Rennen 1936

Result list 5th Thernerberg Rennen

Another mountain race is the 'Schlossparkrennen' in the park of Schönborn castle, near Hollabrun. The race had been organized by the Austrian Touring Club Hollabrun. Although it was a closed circuit, it was not possible to let several drivers ride at the same time, due to the lay-out of the track. Thus the driver who rounded the track in the shortest time was the winner. From the drivers quarter the driver rode to the start (1). After the starting shot he drove the track through the points 2, 3, 4 and 5, back to 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, a second round through 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 and then via 2 to the finish. After finishing, the driver left the track through 3, 4 and 'Ausfahrt', and the next driver came to the start.

Circuit of the Schlossparkrennen at Schönborn

The races had been organized from 1929 until 1931. From the starting list it appears that Gottlieb Tuzar has participated the race with starting number 9 on September 9th 1930. After the race had been cancelled in 1933, it has never been held again.

A mountain race that is well-known to us motorcycle philatelists, is the 1st Wiener Hohenstrassenrennen. Of this race, held on October 18th 1936, a postal item has been issued. As there are no lists of participants or results, it is not known whether Gottlieb has participated this race. The track had been made on the Hohenstrasse, a winding road slightly to the north of Vienna.

Poster 1st Wiener Hohenstrassen-Rennen 1936

Stamp 1st Wiener Hohenstrassen-Rennen

Back to the party of the Tuzar family. Part of the meeting was a tour along the house in Dietersdorf and a few race tracks in the surroundings of Hollabrun. Son Rudi has organized an extra surprise. The Ehringer family brought along an AJS 350, built in 1922-1924. A machine nearly identical to the one on which Gottlieb Tuzar rode his races in his younger years.

AJS 350 year of construction 1922-1924

AJS 350 1928 on stamp Maaslandpost
AJS 350 1928 op postzegel Maaslandpost

Peter Ehringen had one week time to prepare the beautiful bike. After unloading the motorcycle and admiring it from all sides, Peter put the blue license plate on his authentic motorcycle outfit, and after pushing a few meters the engine started. To stop not earlier than after completing the 40 km long tour. The rest of the family followed Peter on their own motorcycles.

Peter Ehringen on the AJS racer
Peter Ehringen on the AJS racer

The Tuzar family follows on their own motorcycles
TheTuzar family follows on their own motorcycles

As said, the tour passed along several famous tracks. An extra stop was made in the corner that is depicted on the personalised stamp. Relatives showed the original picture and a picture of the track. The tour went on to Schloss Schönborn. Here also a short stop to view the location and make some pictures.

The Tuzar family in the "stamp corner"
The Tuzar family in the "stamp corner"

After the tour all guests gathered for a Grill in the Garden of the archiepiscopal minor seminary. Soon the talking was mainly about motorcycling, in German nicely called ‘Geschicklichkeitsfahren und Benzingespräche’. A few films and slides were also shown. After this very nice meeting on the occasion of the 100th day of birth of Gottlieb Tuzar all participants got a document with personalized stamp, as remembrance of this special day.

Sheet stamps on the occasion of the 100th birthday Gottlieb Tuzar

The Tuzar family

Special thanks to the Tuzar family, who supplied information and images which enabled me to put the story behind the stamp on paper.

Nico Helling

(Personalised stamps from Austria can be ordered in a minimum number of 100 stamps, 5 sheets of 20 stamps each. The sheets are supplied with a band of the Austrian state printing-works.)


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