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Walter Gotschke was born on the 14th of October 1912 as the sixth of seven children to a father who was a master blacksmith in Bennisch, then a part of Austrian Silesia. From an early age he drew obsessively, first the animals and farm implements that were all around him. At the age of eleven Gotschke saw his first car parked in the village where he lived but to the young boy it may as well have come from outer space. Since nobody in town owned a car he had draw from memory the few cars that happened to pass through town.

Gotschke studied architecture in Brno, Czechoslovakia, and while attending classes he attended the nearby Ecce Homo Hillclimb, producing sketches for the local paper. In 1930 he submitted a poster design in a local competition based upon creating publicity for the upcoming Masaryk Grand Prix. Gotschke's design featured a bright red Maserati. It was judged the winner of the competition and the resultant poster proved so widely popular that he won newspaper commissions to provide action sketches on race day.

Gotschke went to work for Mercedes-Benz in 1938, producing posters and illustrations depicting the works team's various victories. During the war he served as a war correspondent/artist and several German magazines used his work to depict scenes of motorized warfare. After the war he was for a short time a American POW before becoming one of the millions of displaced persons subsisting as a refuge in the Austrian Tyrol. He spent time working on a farm where he sketched the animals in pastoral scenes, later selling some of the work to Innsbruck newspaper publishers, who offered him a job as illustrator. In 1949 he returned to Stuttgart and Mercedes, but this time working as a freelance artist. He continued to focus on motor racing and his illustrations appeared in such prestigious magazines as Automobile Quarterly, Road & Track, Sports Illustrated and Auto, Motor und Sport. Unfortunately his eyesight began to fail and the last years of his life were spent in blindness and on the 28th of August 2000 he died.

For More See The Art of Walter Gotschke