Ur-Ur-Ur-Quattro – 1963 DKW Munga

While legend has it that Audi popularized all-wheel drive with the Quattro, it would not have been the case were it not for the 1970s Volkswagen Iltis – a military vehicle that utilized a normal Audi 100’s underpinnings to create an all-wheel drive vehicle with lockable differentials which easily outpaced Audi’s normal production line cars in inclement conditions. It was this story which sprung the idea for the Quattro to be created, but the Iltis itself had inspiration drawn heavily from another car – the DKW Munga. As Auto Union struggled to re-establish itself post-War under first the leadership of Mercedes-Benz and later Volkswagen, the company’s diminutive DKW brand led the way with economical, smart designs. One of those designs was the paradoxically-named 3=6 model, which had a .9 liter 2-stroke inline-3. Produced in Düsseldorf, DKW helped to keep the Auto Union’s name alive in the early 1950s. Part of that rebuilding included new Auto Union facilities in Ingolstadt, and one of the first production vehicles to make it out of there was the Manga. German for Mehrzweck UNiversal Geländewagen mit Allradantrie (basically, go anywhere all-wheel drive vehicle), the Manga utilized F91 (3=6) underpinnings mated with new all-wheel drive capability. Up front, the four rings of the Auto Union reappeared proudly on the roughly 47,000 models produced between 1956 and 1968 – a full decade prior to Iltis production:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1963 DKW Munga on eBay

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1977 Wartburg 353

Proletariat of the world, unite in celebration! It’s not often that we get to see a car produced in the German Demoractic Republic – better known to you and me as East Germany. When we do see one, it’s often the much loved for being horrible Trabant that steals the limelight. So you know you’ve got something special when the car in question is referred to as “the other car made in the GDR”. It was a stunner, too – with such innovation as windows, wheels and even seats. The seats even had a class system – no socialist bench seating here! By separating the driver into their own separate seat, this progressive automobile showed that it was a world beater. Who said the Communists couldn’t think outside of the box? Speaking of boxes, did I mention that sleek exterior? It was a face only a Yugo’s mother could love, but compared to the Trabant – a car stuck believing 1955 was the future – the Wartburg 353 seemed to be emerging from the jet-age. Pioneering the concept that less moving parts was better, the Wartburg’s 2-stroke 3 cylinder engine was the prototype for the Tesla motor; it took Elon Musk 40 years of research to reduce the Wartburg’s 7 moving engine parts to only one! Rare to see..well, anywhere, check out this car that gave Captialist designers nightmares:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Wartburg 353 on eBay

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