A travelling salesman for a candy company during World War II, Peter Hirt was in hospital with pneumonia when he started his own trading company in 1943. Racing was only ever a hobby but he started five Grands Prix during the 1950s.
He competed with a Fiat in 1948 and won the following year’s Swiss Hillclimb Championship. Hirt and compatriot Paul Glauser acquired a Veritas Meteor for 1950 and entered it under the Ecurie Suisse banner. He raced in that year’s Prix de Berne and non-championship German GP but retired from both.
World Championship appearances
His poor luck (or poor car preparation) continued in 1951 and the Veritas retired from his world championship debut in the Swiss GP on the opening lap. Hirt joined Rudi Fischer’s Ecurie Espadon in 1952 and drove a Ferrari 212 in three GPs with seventh in his home race being his best result. The 1953 Swiss GP was his final such start but Hirt’s Ferrari 500 engine failed and he soon retired from racing.
Peter Hirt GmbH continues in family hands today as an engineering company based in Nänikon.