BuchTipp – Max Hoffman: Million Dollar Middleman

Illustration Gudy Steinmill-Hommel

This fascinating story charts the career of Max Hoffman, the US car dealer who represented Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Fiat, Lancia, BMW, and many other European car brands during the decades following WWII. He pushed for distinguished now-classics like the Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, Porsche Speedster, BMW 507, and Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider.

Hoffman built a reputation as an effective middleman, but as the car companies he represented became more successful under his watch, the less they needed their go-between. When it was inevitably time to say goodbye to Maxie, he showed his teeth with everything from lawsuits against his suppliers, to threatening executives with a mob hit.

However, Hoffman also had a very good reason to be defensive. He understood the American market, and he pushed manufacturers specifically for cars that would strike a chord and make everybody involved richer. Sometimes the hero, sometimes the villain, but more often than not, Max Hoffman was the unseen puppet master behind some of today’s best classics. This Book is published by Veloce Publishing Ltd – can also ordered by Amazon.

Max Hoffman was a successful automotive entrepreneur and influential figure in the American automotive industry. He was born on November 12, 1904, in Vienna, Austria, and later emigrated to the United States in 1927.

In the early 1940s, Hoffman opened a car dealership in New York City and quickly gained a reputation for importing high-end European sports cars into the United States. He established relationships with many of Europe’s leading automakers, including Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Fiat, Lancia, and BMW.

Hoffman is credited with introducing several iconic European cars to the American market, including the Mercedes-Benz 300SL „Gullwing“ and the Porsche 356 Speedster. He recognized the potential of these cars in the American market and convinced European automakers to build cars specifically for American buyers.

In addition to importing cars, Hoffman also played a role in the development of new models. He persuaded Porsche to create the 356 Speedster, a stripped-down version of the 356 designed for American buyers who wanted a sportier and more affordable car.

Hoffman’s influence on the American automotive industry extended beyond his role as an importer and dealer. He was also instrumental in promoting the idea of the „dealer showroom“ as a place where customers could see and test-drive cars in a comfortable environment. He also helped to establish the National Automobile Dealers Association and was a key figure in promoting the use of credit to finance car purchases.

Hoffman remained active in the automotive industry until his death on March 8, 1981. He is remembered as a visionary entrepreneur who helped to shape the American automotive landscape by introducing European sports cars to a new generation of American buyers.

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