These pages generally cover the world of German cars and motorcycles from the postwar period through to the 1970s with occasional forays into the 1980s. However, it is rare to reach into the late 1940s, as not much was happening other than recovery from the war. Alex von Falkenhausen had a prominent role before the war as a BMW engineer, but also for tuning and racing BMW 328s. This includes success at the Mille Miglia in 1940. following armistice, Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau (AFM) immediately returned to racing with a prewar BMW 328 in 1946. He then opened a garage in Munich, and continued tuning 328s while developing his own chassis. In 1947, that chassis was first powered by a 328 engine with a 326 rear axle in an offset single seater \”Intertype\” configuration. The revised chassis was a spaceframe design, which was innovative at the time, and predates the better known Mercedes spaceframe.
Later modifications included a switch to a De Dion rear axle with two pinions for gearing flexibility. Von Falkenhausen also utilized dual circuit hydraulic brakes. The first official outing for the AFM marque was at Hockenheim where von Falkenhausen himself drove the car to a second place finish. It was later campaigned in Formula 2 with none other than Hans Stuck at the wheel.. AFM experimented with a number of engines from Bristol, Kuchen (of Zundapp motorcycle fame), and Fiat creating entries in 1.1 liter, 1.5 liter, and 2 liter events. There was also a supercharged 750cc version. Despite some very good performances in shorter races and heats, further wins eluded the car as engine failures caused retirements in many competitions. Most were attributed to low quality materials in postwar crankshaft bearings at BMW and elsewhere. Regardless, various efforts by von Falkenhausen, Stuck, and others continued into 1953 as the cars became less competitive and then there was the demise of Formula 2 in 1954 which effectively ended AFM.
As an important aside, AFM developed 2 prototype sports coupes in 1951 which were reportedly commissioned by the Brazilian government. That project was cancelled and left AFM in financial difficulty.