One of One: 1964 Auto Union 1000S Coupe

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1964 Auto Union 1000S Coupe on Car and Classic


Year: 1964
Model: 1000S Coupe
Engine: 1.0 liter two-stroke inline-3
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: Not Listed
Price: Not Listed

This car was found in the late 1980s in a warehouse in the industrial area in Frankfurt. The warehouse was rented by nine DKW lovers and filled to the ceiling with DKW parts and cars. A few of the DKW-friends had given up their hobby, leaving the others with a rent they couldn’t pay any longer. They had to rent a smaller warehouse. From lack of space, some DKW’s and parts including this Coupe had to be sold. The previous owner, Mr. W., had begun the restoration but did not make much progress.

The Dutch DKW-fan Mr. V. bought the car, despite the advice of a friend. First, many parts had to be bought or made, in order to be able to build off the bare bodywork. Secondly, the model was completely unknown. Despite the doubt, the car was bought for DM 2,750,– and brought to the Netherlands. For this price the risk was minimal because the two Porsche 911 doors and the other components were in good condition. The loose parts would yield enough to cover the costs.

Arrived in the Netherlands the car was critically examined. The headlights came from a NSU and the grill was made of perforated sheet. The Coupe had a 2 stroke race engine. The bodywork showed that the car was intensely used and full of dents and scratches. Mr. V. failed to determine if this car has been a factory project or an “one-off”. Supposedly the car started live at a technical college in Frankfurt. One thing is certain, the base for the construction of the Coupe is a DKW 1000 S De Luxe (model 62) built in 1963. The car must be known by a number of people who worked on it.

To reduce the body in its original state was not easy. On the pictures you couldn’t see much more than a bare body shell, where the flowing Coupe line was barely recognizable. Mr. V. used the nose and the bumper of a Audi 60, which fitted properly. For the rear lights round Hella lamps were used. This round lamps adapted better in the design than the original rectangular lamps. Recently round headlights were mounted also. Further used components are the front window of a Fiat 850 Sport and the fuel filler cap of an NSU Sport. Because the non-original items were selected with care, the design of the 1.83-metre-wide car was not spoiled and became a beautiful balanced design.

The car is by Mr. V. sandblasted and repainted in the original red color. Also the original engine was built in, but Mr V. didn’t like it. The Coupe had a top speed of 185 km/h and was for daily use just too restless. Stationary the engine turned 3,500 rpm. With the now built-in standard engine the car has a top speed of 125 km/h.

It’s not hard to see many of the lines that were incorporated into the later 100 Coupe S. I find the inclusion of the Porsche 911 doors of particular interest and they fit into the design pretty well. Originally the car was fit with rectangular headlights that look pretty similar to the C1 model’s lights, but with the later quad-round headlight setup it looks more like the later 100 Coupe S. Condition appears to be top and though not all angles of this unique Auto Union are perfect, it’s a lovely example. Some of the originality has been lost with swapped parts to make it whole, but the aesthetic works and it doesn’t look hobbled together. It would be nice to know a bit more about the origin of the car and if indeed it was a crossover test model between the 1000SP and the 100 Coupe S as it appears to be or simply a unique creation by someone with deep pockets and access to some pretty good talent. Either way, though, it’s beautiful and one of a kind.

-Carter

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One Comment

  1. I do indeed see the 100 series. It looks like its a front wheel drive setup, sort of like the old Saab 900 with the drive shaft forward rather than aft. The change of engine is somewhat intriguing to me as I look at the car; I am imagining the car with something more than a 1 liter two stroke and the story gets even more interesting… Great find!

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