b Düsseldorf (Germany), July 4, 1926 – d Munich (West-Germany), March 1, 1987
Something of a German counterpart to Carel de Beaufort, Wolfgang Seidel was a privateer who also went about doing things his own way.
In the early fifties, Seidel was among the local German racers that entered their home GP in their homegrown F2 cars. It would then take another five years for Seidel to return to the Grand Prix scene, twice racing a Centro Sud Maserati 250F and doing his home GP in a Walker Cooper T43 in 1958. He subsequently acquired a Cooper T45 to race it in F2, and returned to Grand Prix racing when he was invited to fill up the field for the 1960 Italian GP that was boycotted by the British teams. Now racing under the Scuderia Colonia banner, the Westphalia driver entered his new Lotus 18 in four 1961 GPs.
A year later an opportunity arose when Slotemaker’s Porsche deal for the 1962 Dutch GP fell through. Taking over the Maarsbergen entry Seidel loaned an Emeryson from its Belgian owner and raced it to a lonely and unclassified 14th place, a whopping 28 laps behind winner Graham Hill. Seidel went on to acquire a Lotus-BRM 24, to race it in minor events under the Autosport Team Wolfgang Seidel moniker.
Meanwhile, Seidel used Carel’s original 718-201 in a handful of minor F1 events during 1962: the Brussels GP, the Lombank Trophy at Snetterton, Goodwood’s Lavant Cup and Goodwood Trophy, and the Aintree 200.
After his racing career Seidel became a Düsseldorf garage owner. He sold his business in the mid-eighties but wasn’t to enjoy the fruits of his retirement for very long, as he died of a heart attack in 1987.