Erich Bitter's father ran a bicycle shop with several branches. The son wanted to become a professional cyclist from an early age. After he had some successes as an amateur, he left school after high school and initially worked in his father's company. In 1954, at the German road championship in Dingolfing , he became the youngest German professional at the age of 21. For two years, from 1954 to 1956, Bitter started for the Bismarck cycling team , followed by two years for Torpedo . He mainly drove as a noble domestique for Hennes Junkermann and Klaus BugdahlHowever, there were no major successes of their own. In 1958 he ended his cycling career for health reasons.
From 1959 to 1968 Erich Bitter drove car races, mainly circuit and long-distance races such as the Targa Florio or races on the Nürburgring . At first he drove NSU Prinz , later also Saab , Volvo , Porsche , Ferrari , Mercedes , Opel and Abarth . In 1965 he was on his Abarth, behind Manfred Schiek and Gerhard Bodmer , third in the German circuit championship . During his races he suffered three serious accidents; after the third accident on the Nordschleifeof the Nürburgring at the 1000 km race in 1969 , he stopped racing, also because many of his colleagues had fatal accidents at the time. Bitter's Group 4 Abarth had strayed from the train shortly before the bridge in the Brünnchen section, hit the guardrail, was thrown several meters into a tree and caught fire. 
During his work as a racing car driver, Erich Bitter expanded numerous commercial activities. In 1960 he opened a car dealership for NSU and later also for Saab , Volvo and Abarth in his hometown . As the “Rallye Bitter” auto accessories dealer, he was the first to import fire-retardant racing overalls from Great Britain since 1964. Bitter later developed its own flame-tested substance, Nomex, together with DuPont . To introduce “Nomex”, he personally stood in a flame-tested overall in an oil pan from which the flames rose. He also imported automobiles from the small Italian manufacturer Costruzione Automobili Intermeccanica. From 1987 to 1997 he ran the "Bitter Automobile Company" in Santa Monica until his business friend Lee Miglin fell victim to the serial killer Andrew Phillip Cunanan , who also killed Gianni Versace .
His dissatisfaction with Intermeccanica products prompted Erich Bitter to design his own car. He founded Bitter GmbH & Co. KG (today: Bitter Automotive GmbH) and built several car models from 1971, most of them based on Opel. The cars have cult status to this day: The owners of Bitter automobiles meet annually for the “Bitter Meet”.
From 1986, Erich Bitter built various prototypes. From 1997 to 2005, Bitter worked with a team for research and development at Volkswagen . In 2010 he presented his "Bitter Insignia" based on an Opel Insignia . 
Erich Bitter was nominated in the category Person of the Year in the 2013 award for Das Goldene Klassik-Lenkrad by the magazine Autobild Klassik . 
Erich Bitter was married three times and is the father of three daughters. He is an avid runner and has completed 30 marathons. Further hobbies are dressage riding and painting.
Individual results in the sports car world championship
|1963||Erich Bitter||Fiat-Abarth 850||DAY||SEB||SEB||TAR||SPA||MAY||LIGHT||WITH||ROS||LEM||MON||WIS||TAV||FRE||CCE||RTT||OVI||LIGHT||MON||MON||TDF||BRI|
|1964||Erich Bitter|| Ferrari 250 GT |
|1965||Abarth||Fiat-Abarth 1000||DAY||SEB||HE WAS||MON||MON||RTT||TAR||SPA||LIGHT||MUG||ROS||LEM||KING||BOZ||FRE||CCE||OVI||LIGHT||BRI||BRI|
|1966||Abarth||Abarth 1300 OT||DAY||SEB||MON||TAR||SPA||LIGHT||LEM||MUG||CCE||HOK||SIM||LIGHT||ZEAL|
|1967||Abarth||Abarth 1300 OT||DAY||SEB||MON||SPA||TAR||LIGHT||LEM||HOK||MUG||BRH||CCE||ZEAL||OVI||LIGHT|
|1968||Caltex Racing||Porsche 906||DAY||SEB||BRH||MON||TAR||LIGHT||SPA||WHAT||ZEAL||LEM|
- Matthias Göbel, Lutz Keiss: Erich Bitter - racing, automobiles, life. A biography for the 80th birthday. ("... just write your name on it!") (= Series of publications of the Central Library of Sports Sciences of the German Sport University Cologne. Special volume 2). Sportverlag Strauss, Cologne 2013, ISBN 978-3-86884-161-9 .
- auto motor und sport , issue 13/1969, p. 86.
- "Opel Insignia by Bitter - When Erich strikes, it becomes individual" on carpassion.com
- "The Golden Classic Steering Wheel 2013" on autobild.de
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||German car designer, cyclist and automobile racing driver|
|DATE OF BIRTH||11. August 1933|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Schwelm|