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Introduction

 

One of the toughest competitors Quincy Welding faced over the years was the Konig engines from Germany. The complex fight for dominance between Quincy Welding and Konig went on for many years and forced both our father, O. F. Christner, and Dieter Konig to reach new innovative heights in engine designing in the process. This competition over the years yielded many faster engines for the racers.


Konig Factory in Germany

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The history of the Konig engines is very similar in many ways to Quincy Welding. The Konig family (Rudolph Konig) started manufacturing outboard engines in 1928 in a small factory in Germany, Konig Motorenbau. By 1935, the Konig "J" engine set 2 World straightaway records that remained unbroken for 18 years.


Inside the Konig factory in Germany

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Thanks to Pete Nydahl for the factory pictures. The interior of the Konig factory is similar in many ways to Quincy Welding. Both were family owned and run businesses. Family members participated in the daily operations and racing. Rudy's son, Deiter, was a racer as well as motor designer and his daughter, Margaret, also worked at the factory, doing pattern work and building many of the later sand castings they used.


1928 Konig Motorenbau Ad

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1929 Ad

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1931 Konig motor

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Konig built, at that time, special outboard engines for canoes and collapsible boats that were mounted on the side of the boat.


1932 - Konig race boat

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1933 Konig motor

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1935 Konig motor

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1935 Konig Heckmotor

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This was Konig's first "rear engine" motor to go on the back of a boat.


1935 Konig Ad for a J motor

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1935 Konig Advertisement

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1947 - Konig Letter to APBA

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1947 - Konig Letter to APBA (2)

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Racing - Early 1950's

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Early 1950's A Konig

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1955 Article - Dieter Konig

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1950's Konig B engine

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In 1956 Dieter Konig first brought some Konig engines to the United States to race. Dieter Konig was, at that time, 25 years old. His first race appearance in the US was at the World Championships at Minden, LA. He won his class in the C division and placed second in A but was disqualified because he had failed to get a US stamp on his motor. At that time Konig held the world record in C Class at 73 mph, set in Berlin, Germany, in March of 1955. Konig motors also held all of the 1955 European championships and had set 2 world speed records.


1950's Brochure

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1950's Konig Ad

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Dieter Konig in 1956

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Dieter Konig races in US in 56

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Dieter Konig came to the US to compete in 1956. At a race event in Wichita Falls, Texas, on May 13th of 1956, Dieter Konig won in C Hydroplane and took 2nd in B Hydroplane. At that same event, David Christner, racing for Quincy Welding, took a 2nd in A Hydroplane and 1st in A Runabout. Konig's 2nd race in the US was at the Air For Regatta at Lake Corinne near Orlando, FL. Dieter was interviewed by a reporter from the Orlando Evening Star at this event. Dieter told the reporter that he liked the US style of racing very much and was highly surprised at the large entry lists and perfect starts made in the races here. Dieter Konig was brought to the Orlando races by Scott Smith of Dallas, GA. Scott Smith had signed on as the overseas dealer and distributor of Konig motors in the US.


1956 World Championships

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The Division I World Championships, held October 13th-15th at Minden, Louisiana, found 350 entries from all over the US and Dieter Konig from Germany. Dieter Konig would take 2nd place in A Hydroplane with David Christner, racing for Quincy Welding, taking 3rd place in the class in the Division I Championships. At the Division III World Championships held in Johnson, Tennessee, David Christner won the World Championship in A Runabout and took 2nd in B Hydroplane & 3rd in B Runabout. Dieter Konig was awarded the Sportsmanship Trophy for Division III. In 1956, Dieter Konig of Germany brought his race engines to the US to compete against the Quincy Welding Mercs. The tempermental but fast A Konig engines were equipped in 1957 with megaphone exhaust systems (used on racing motorcycles in Europe) and quickly became a serious threat to the Quincy engines. O. F. Christner fought back by designing his own open megaphone exhaust system for the 2, 4 and 6 cylinder Mercs, which came out in 1958.


1957 Division I World Championships

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At the 1957 Division I Pro World Outboard Championships at Mt. Carmel on the Wabash River, an estimated 25,000 spectators lined the banks to watch the racing. David would battle with Dieter Konig in A Hydro with David winning the 1st heat. Overall, Vern McQueen of Springfield, IL, took 1st, David Christner 2nd and Dieter Konig 3rd. They also competed together in B Hydro with Dieter taking the 1st heat and David taking 2nd in 2 heats. Overall, Dieter Konig was 1st, David 2nd and 3rd went to Bill Tenney.


Dieter & Eleanora Konig

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Rare 1957 Konig B Stock Gasoline Race Engine

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Rare 1957 Konig B stock gas engine (2)

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Rare 1957 Konig B stock gas engine (3)

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Rare 1957 Konig B stock gas engine (4)

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Rare 1957 Konig B stock gas engine - original gas tank

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1957 Division IV World Championships

 

At the 1957 Dividion IV World Championships on October 5th - 7th at Sunset Lake in Corpus Christi, Texas, Dieter Konig, driving for Konig of Germany, and David Christner, driving for Quincy Welding, had the opportunity to compete together in several classes. David Christner took 4th in A Hydro, 4th in A Runabout and 3rd in B Runabout. Dieter Konig in the time trials set a new B Hydroplane record at 65.814 mph, beating an old record held by Jim Griffin of Quincy, Illinois, set in 1955 at 65.217 mph. As of October of 1957, David Christner was the national points leader in Division IV. Special Note: Dieter Konig was joined at the World Championships by his new bride for a Corpus Christi honeymoon, according to the October issue of the (NOA) Rooster Tail. In October of 1957, at Ft. Loudoun Lake in Knoxville, TN Dieter Konig set a new high speed record in Class A Hydro for Division I, at 60.606 mph, upping an old record held by Deanie Montgomery of Corsicans, Texas.


1959 Letter

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1961 Sportsmanship Award

 

This story is taken from the November 1961 Rooster Tail: "We feel that it is most appropriate to single out the specific reason why officials decided to give Dieter Konig, Berlin, Germany the sportsmanship award at the World championships. In most instances when a driver visits the officials stand, he is in disagreement with a decision of the officials and seldom is there to gather information. Those who attended the World Championships remember the unfortunate happening of Dieter Konig thinking the class B Hydroplane event was scheduled on the mile and 2/3 course. Dieter not getting a very good start had worked himself up to third position coming into the second turn, but instead of making the turn on the one-mile course, he continued on the straight-a-way on the mile and 2/3 run. As Dieter came by the officials stand, he cut his engine, came upon the officials stand to referee Fred Petter and in his unbroken English said, 'Are they wrong, or am I wrong?' Petter replied, 'Dieter, you are wrong.' whereby the German, speaking perfectly good English, merely said as he shrugged his shoulder, 'Okay.' Petter, along with other officials, were greatly impressed with this marvelous display of sportsmanship. The result was that Konig for the second time since the Jud Davis Sportsmanship Award has been in existence, carried the award back to Berlin, Germany."


Dieter Konig from 1962 Race Program

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In 1962 at the North-South races, Jerry Waldman, running Quincy Welding race engines, took home the big trophy for most points. Jerry won D Hydro, F Hydro and the new X Hydro. Jim Schoch, of the Quincy Welding race team, took home a 1st in B Hydro that day. Freddie Goehl, also of the Quincy team, took home 1st in F Runabout. Jerry Simison, running Quincy engines, took home 1st place in A Runabout and B Runabout. Jim Schoch took 2nd and Freddie Goehl 3rd in A Runabout for a full Quincy Welding engine sweep in A Runabout. Also in 1962, at the Pro Championships at Midland, Michigan, the Quincy Welding race team took home 1st in A Hydro and O. F. Christner took a 2nd in A Runabout (yes, he did some racing back in the early 60's). The Quincy Welding team took the national titles in D Runabout and D Hydro for 1962, having won at Bradenton, FL.


Dieter Konig from a 1962 Race Program

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Although Quincy Mercs were still doing well in the early 1960's, Dieter Konig would soon raise the bar in racing technology. To combat Quincy Welding's Quincy-Mercs, Konig radically changed his motors from the cross flow or deflector piston design to the flat topped "loop charged" design being used by other European competitors at that time. Quincy Welding's deflector piston Mercs could no longer keep up with the redesigned Konigs without literally melting the dome off of the deflector piston itself due to the intense heat from the Quincy Welding modifications. Christner's technological advancements had finally surpassed the structural durability of the deflector piston itself. O. F. Christner went back to the drawing board and created what became known as the Quincy Looper racing engine. Chris designed a loop scavenged block that would allow the use of a flat top piston design for better heat dissipation. The inlet ports "looped" the intake charge away from the exhaust ports. These Loopers had exhaust stacks out both sides of the engine. The first production Quincy Loopers from Christner's patented design were produced in the fall of 1963.


European Entries for 1962 World Championship Races

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1967 Konig owned by Mark Suter

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Rare 1967 Konig 4 Cylinder B Engine - VB6737

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This is an extremely rare 350cc Konig outboard engine built specially for racing in Berlin, Germany. It is a 4 cylinder class B model with the serial number of VB6737 (67 is the year manufactured, 37 is the series number). It was designed to run on methanol and castor oil fuel, this engine has a high compression ratio and all of its components are built for racing. It has a nice gear case which has a 1:1 gear ratio. It also has an extremely rare and unique drive housing that was used on very few Pro engines. This may have been the first 4 cylinder B Konig to arrive in the United States from Germany. It was bought by Floyd Hopkins (of Hopkins propeller fame) who tested it on arrival and reported it to be 5 MPH faster than the 2 cylinder Konigs. This engine cost O. F. Christner many sleepless nights due to it's superiority in performance over the 2 cylinder Konig it replaced. Quincy Welding, at that time, was racing the 2 cylinder Quincy Loopers that were fast approaching their maximum development potential.


Rare 1967 Konig 4 Cylinder B Engine - VB6737 (2)

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1967 Konig Motor

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1968 - Konig's new factory building

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1968 - Konig's new factory building (2)

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1968 Konig Ad

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A rare C 'Zak' Konig

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Konig 350cc Motor owned by Roy Conklin

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1970 Article - Hydroplane Quarterly

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1970 Article - Hydroplane Quarterly (2)

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Konig Ad - spring of 1971

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1972 Konig VC500 - raced by Jim McKean

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Lakeland 1974 - Konig 'Square Block' engine

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Dieter Konig & Paul Christner

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This photo of Dieter Konig and Paul Christner was taken at the 1976 World Championships at Firebird Lake, AZ. Paul said he and Dieter had quite an interesting conversation, with Dieter asking Paul as many questions about Quincy engines as Paul asked Dieter about Konig engines.


1976 World Championships

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1976 World Championships at Firebird Lake, Arizona.


1977 Photo by Wayne Baldwin

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Konig 50th Anniversary Celebration - 1977

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Photo by Wayne Baldwin.


Konig 50th Anniversary Celebration - 1977

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Photo by Wayne Baldwin.


1977 Brochure - 50th Anniversary

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Special thanks to Wayne Baldwin for the brochure pictures.


1977 Brochure

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Konigs 250 & 350 at FL races

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Konig 250

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Konig 500 cc Engine

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1983 - Dieter consulting with Pugh Race Team

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Konig Tie Tacks and Labels

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End of an Era

 

Dieter Konig's life came to an early and tragic end in 1991 when he was involved in a fatal accident. His immense skills in creating fast race engines will be missed by racers around the world.


Dieter Konig Memorial

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KONIG FACTORY - PHOTO ALBUM

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Wayne Baldwin, a boat racer from Texas, visited the Konig factory in Germany in 1975 and took all of the photos found here in this Konig Photo Album. Our thanks to Wayne for this rare look inside the manufacturing site of the Konig race engines.

Click Here for the Konig Factory Photo Album

KONIG RACE BIKES - PHOTO ALBUM

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Special thanks to Bas Vollink of the Netherlands for sending us the link to his photo album containing numerous pictures of racing motorcycles powered by Konig motors.

Click Here to see more photos of Konig Race Bikes