1966 NSU Wankel Spider

Here is an example of the first vehicle in the world powered by the engine Mazda would later popularize, the Rotary Wankel engine. The name Wankel derives from its inventor, Felix Wankel, who was a German engineer. He created the first prototype of his revolutionary engine design in February 1957, and was first presented in running form in a converted NSU Prinz in 1960. The Spider would debut in 1964 and only 2,375 examples were built between 1964 and 1967. The original engine had around 50 horsepower, but it was a very free revving engine and made for a lively package in such a small car with light weight. NSU Motorenwerke AG was purchased by Volkswagen in 1969. They merged the company with Auto Union which later became Audi.

The seller includes a very comprehensive description. Here is an excerpt:

Excellent Condition!! This car has ALWAYS been stored indoors in a heated space and covered with double quilted car covers. The underside is very, very clean. The photos show a very small area of paint peeling above the rear left bumper and below the license plate. These are hardly noticeable. In the driver’s front under tray there is a hardly noticeable repair at the end of the spoiler.

Values can be tough to pin down on such a rare vehicle, but $19,000 seems reasonable for such a revolutionary and historically significant vehicle. Rest assured, you most likely will be the only one at your local car show with one of these. This example does have a few modifications, but these changes can be forgiven due to the scarcity of parts and efforts to make the vehicle more reliable than when it was first produced. This fantastic vehicle has been featured by Jay Leno in a short video on his website, Jay Leno’s Garage:

-Paul

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One Comment

  1. I have a 1967 NSU Wankel Spider convertible with the hard top and the motor (unfortunately not in the car or assembled). The interior is mint, and body is solid with the exception of the underside of the drivers side fender. It has 36,000 miles on the od. I’ll be posting it on ebay this weekend if anyone is interested in a resto project. E-mail me for details.

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