Born in 1917, Prince Paul Alfons Von Metternich-Winneburg was a German-Austrian aristocrat. He attended boarding school in Switzerland before pursuing a career as a racing driver.
An avid sportsman, he drove Porsches and Mercedes in the Mille Miglia, competed in the Pan-American road race in Mexico in 1952 and won his category at the 1962 Monte Carlo Rally. He entered several other endurance races such as Le Mans 24-Hours with a Pegaso in 1956, the Reims 12-Hours and the Tour de France Automobile more than once.
In 1960 he was elected President of the Automobilclub Von Deutschland and would play a pivotal role in the development of the organisation. In the same year he became a member of the FIA committee. He was elected President of the FIA in 1975 having already been President of the International Sporting Commission (CSI) for five years.
Motor sport then accounted for the lion’s share of the Federation’s activities and in Prince Metternich they had an experienced competitor and a confident chairman who spoke five languages and had connections in the highest places. With his sporting and business background and the traditional values of one of Europe’s most respected families, he was the ideal person to lead the FIA into the modern world.
Following his retirement in 1985, Prince von Metternich enjoyed a quiet retirement with his wife at Johannisberg castle in Germany. He died in 1992, aged 75.