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:
For some time, the fate of Audi seemed sealed. Post World War II, Auto Union GmbH’s production was focused on the DKW automobiles that fit into the European economic situation much better than the pre-War luxury cars from Horch and Audi. But the market was changing, and Auto Union launched the very pretty 1000SP Coupe and Convertible. But, there was no denying that the 1000SP looked like a 1950s car in a 1960s world. Audi’s production would really have to wait until the launch of the C1 chassis in 1968; prior to that, some re-badged DKW models wore the Audi name but sold only in small numbers. The C1 would prove to be a pretty popular model, though, and the new 100 model would be available as both a sedan and as a 2-door “Coupe S” model. The lines of that model, as with the 1000SP, mimicked more expensive and famous cars such as the Fiat Dino and Aston Martin DBS. It was a pretty large departure from the mini-Thunderbird look of the 1000SP and much more modern. But, it appears that there may have been a missing link developed in the mid-1960s:
The world of Auto Union is full of paradox. That the company even came into existence is itself somewhat of a fluke, but a harsh economic situation in Germany in the 1930s led four mostly failing companies to band together in the hope that united, they might survive. Out of that union was born the image of the four rings that today are worn proudly by the last remnant, and the least successful, of the original four – Audi. If that isn’t strange, the history of how we got to that point certainly is. Only one of the companies was truly successful when they banded together, and they produced primarily motorcycles, not cars. Yet only one year after being founded, the fledgling company put its technical prowess up against the might of the most storied car company in the world – indeed, the inventors of the automobile – Daimler-Benz. And by “its” technical prowess, I mean the technical prowess of one Ferdinand Porsche, himself an outcast of sorts from several car companies. His design was both unorthodox and unusual, with a single-cam supercharged 16 cylinder engine mounted in the middle of the car. Mind you, this was a full 25 years before Cooper would make the “revolutionary” change that would be the accepted practice of all modern Formula One cars. With entirely new suspension designs and strange handling behaviors – never mind enough torque to jump start an industrial production line and tires that would consequently disintegrate immediately or fuel that was really just a high explosive in liquid form – the Auto Union Grand Prix cars shared nothing in common with the road-going models marketed by the company, who at the start of the 1930s didn’t even produce what could loosely be identified as a sports car.
Yet, it worked.…
Entering the world of historic racing in general is not something that can be terribly easily achieved, but when you start talking about historic Porsches the dollar signs start increasing rapidly. To race a historic 956 or 962, for example, one reputable Porsche shop quoted me on the order of $5,000 – $6,000 an hour once you factor in crew, tires, brakes, race fuel and rebuilds. That, of course, doesn’t include the purchase price of the car which can easily exceed a million dollars – even for a non-winning chassis. Okay, so not everyone races Group C cars, but even 911s, 912s and 914-6s can be expensive to run competitively – and are increasingly expensive to purchase. One way to step a bit outside of the normal Porsche mold, then, is to look for the many privateer special race cars that were built in the 1960s, such as this DKW/Porsche hybrid “TM Special”:
Here’s another roundup of some of the cooler accessories I found on EBay this week. The Nardi steering wheel is an absolute classic design and would really dress up a classic Volkswagen. I think the Mercedes-Benz reserve gas tank is too cool, even though it’s technically not a tuner accessory. It makes me want to buy the entire car just so I can slot it in! That DKW racing manifold certainly has a small number of applications, but it’s sure neat to see something for the old classics. Grabbing an original radio might not seem fun, but I love how the Blaupunkt-made Gamma units look for the Audis and you could return your car towards stock. Much as the Metric Mechanics team offers great motors for BMW, Techtonics Tuning offers this well-built 2.1 8V motor pumping out an impressive 150 horsepower with plenty of torque and instant response. Zender accessories are always popular, especially when they’re original items. And one of my favorite wheels has always been the MOMO Monte Carlo – what a stellar looking steering wheel! What’s your favorite?
Most German car enthusiasts are no longer familiar with the name “DKW”. It’s a shame considering the long history of DKW, whose name originates from the German words for “steam powered vehicle” – just to give you a sense of the time period they started out. DKW reached its zenith in the 1930s, a time when Germany was experiencing massive growth in its economy and Hitler wanted to turn the Fatherland into a nation of drivers. Ironically, despite his notable efforts supporting Grand Prix racers and the development of the Beetle, pre-War automobile ownership in Germany was amongst the lowest in all of Europe. They were, rather, a nation of riders – motorcycles, to be precise, buying more of the two-wheeled transport than anyone else in Europe. It was what gave companies like BMW a start, for example, but the most successful of all of the pre-War motorcycle companies was DKW. Upon joining the Auto Union in 1932, they began experimenting more with small cars. But the aftermath of World War II meant that the area that DKW, Audi and Horch – 3/4 of the Auto Union company – were stuck in Soviet controlled areas, most of the factories being disassembled and sent back further behind the Iron Curtain as war reparations.
The result was that in the late 1940s and early 1950s, new efforts to resurrect these names was attempted. It’s not very surprising that the attempts were made; after all, imagine if Chevrolet went out of business due to a War; you can bet once things were cleaned up, someone would try to make a Corvette. And sure enough, based upon some pre-War designs the F89 was born. As with most post-War cars in Germany, it was small, affordable and versatile. DKW utilized the platform to create what was, in essence, the first modern minivan.…
There exists a drought today in the compact pickup scene in the US. The recent death of the Ford Ranger has left people looking mainly to the Japanese and Chevrolet, with the aging Colorado soon to be replaced by an all-new model next year. Sadly, Volkswagen has refused to bring its Amorak stateside, much to the chagrin of their loyal following. If we go back a few decades, there was a dearth of small pickups on the landscape, particularly in post WWII Germany. A lot of small automotive companies cropped up there, soon to be taken over or weeded out by natural selection as the years progressed.
Based in Bremen, Germany, Goliath was part of the Borgward group and started making three-wheeled trucks with their first passenger car appearing in the early 1930s. When Borgward went out of business in the early 1960s, Goliath disappeared as well. While this particular pickup isn’t what you would consider concours quality, when was the last time you saw one of these? And discounting the Goliath Hansa 1100, when was the last time you saw a car from this marque on these shores?
Model: Express 1100 Pickup
Engine: 1.1 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 10,096 mi?
Price: $10,999 Buy It Now
This is a ’59 Goliath Express 1100 pick-up. Please check out Hooniverse for many more zoom view photos of the truck and info. There is also so video posted on youtube.com of the truck being driven and it idling in my driveway with a walk-around of the exterior/interior.
It is 1 of 2 running/driving trucks in North America (4 total I am told). It belonged to a former Mercedes-Benz executive who had it brought over from Germany to where he lived in Michigan.
My knowledge of Audis has a pretty large gap between Auto Union racers and the late 70s, so I claim no expertise on this find, but I know it’s cool. Who knew cars could have Four Rings AND finned fenders!? The Auto Union 1000 was made from 1957 to 1963 with 1,000cc two-stroke engines. The 1000Sp was the 2+2 variation with sporting pretensions, made as a coupe until 1962 when a convertible was made available too. This is a pretty cool car as it was the last generation of Audi/Auto Union cars before VW took ownership.
Some background from the seller:
A rare find indeed! This 1960 Auto Union 1000Sp was found in the hills of California. The body panels are straight and 95% of the car is present. There are two separate 3 cylinder, two stroke motors that go with the car, along with all of the parts for under the hood. There is a third aluminum head and a “one-off” custom intake that I was told was to use three Suzuki motorcycle carbs on it. The frame and suspension of the car appear solid and straight. The rear seat area of the floor has rust through as does the entire trunk pan area. Serious attention will be needed in these areas. There is one dent at the seam of the front fender and drivers door, easily repairable. The car currently has the trans-axle in it, however the motor and accessory parts are out of the car and boxed up. The interior parts and pieces are present but also will require much attention. The gauge cluster is present and in good condition. Speedometer is in MPH.
This is a full restoration car, but a good solid start to a rare German automobile.