The EAL/Walla Eigenbau
Front suspension was Fiat derived with a De Dion arrangement at the rear and a JAP engine. Some sources claim this car was built in 1947 by Austrian Speedway rider Josef Walla but this seems unlikely. It may, however have originated in Germany and was entered by Johannes Herda in the 1952 Avus and Norisring races, then sold to Ludwig Fischer who failed to finish at Hockenheim on the 10th May 1953
Fischer still owned the car into 1954, but in late Summer it was sold to the Austrian Franz Koch. Unchanged, the car would be known thereafter as simply a JAP eigenbau. Koch’s debut was probably at the Baden Wien Trabrennplatz (trotting track) on 31st October 1954 - these dirt tracks being popular for car and bike racing in Austria through the early 1950s.
Results are fairly scarce, but it seems that whilst the car struggled on tarmac (particularly against the visiting Germans such as Kurt Ahrens and Adolf Lang, both with Cooper Mk VIII Nortons, it could still hold its own on the dirt.
Koch was still running the car in 1957, taking first in the Formula III class at the first International Gaisberg Hill Climb.
Josef "Pepi" Walla's was born in January 1907, he had been a successful speedway rider prior to the war and was therefore able to acquire a JAP engine. He later acquired one of the two Hell Spezial cars of fellow Austrian Franz Hell. Josef Walla died in April 1994.
Gaisberg, 1957. Franz Koch on the left. On the right is Josef Walla, competing with his newly acquired Hell Spezial – friendly interest, or is he looking at his first car?
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