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Tag: 1957

Ur-Avant: 1957 DKW 3=6 Universal Kombi

Most German car enthusiasts are no longer familiar with the name DKW. Its a shame considering the long history of DKW, whose name originates from the German Dampf-Kraft-Wagen or 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 were attempted. Its 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 Audi Avant. The F94 chassis you see here was an updated version of the F89, replete with the 2-stroke 3-cylinder engine that the company claimed gave the power of an inline-6 – hence the paradoxical naming strategy of 3=6 for the Sonderklasse. With a space-saving transverse motor driving the front wheels, there was ample room for flexible seating in the rear. Outside was a reasonably aerodynamic, compact design and the small motor ensured reasonable fuel economy though no promise of speed. Today, nearly 70 years after the design was first sketched out, finding these Universal Kombis is extraordinarily hard and when they surface in the U.S., theyre typically not in particularly good shape:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 DKW 3=6 Universal Kombi on eBay

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1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

This is a new one for me. A car so far gone, so decrepit, so haggard that it’s only salvageable parts are maybe some gauge cluster faces and one windshield wiper arm. All of this for the price of a new Mercedes-Benz CLA250. I’m not joking and neither is the seller of the 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL in Ohio. What once was a beautiful Mercedes-Benz convertible, is a now crumbling under the weight of it’s own rust. I’m not sure where to being or where to end with this 190SL but I do know that the price, $32,950, is well, a little optimistic in my opinion.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL on eBay

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Clark Gable’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Last week I checked out a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL in Hellgrün which is a lovely, as well as much cheaper, alternative to the big brother 300SL. Well, today we have the big brother and believe it or not, it also is a 1957 in Hellgrün. Just to top it all off, it was owned by “The King of Hollywood” Clark Gable and has just 1,368 miles. But, as you might have guessed, this 300SL comes with a much higher price tag than the 190SL. Much, much higher.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Clark Gable’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster at Classic Driver

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Feature Listing: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

I write a lot about Mercedes-Benz and their monetary values. The overwhelming majority of the time their values are depreciating or, at best, holding steady. Every once in a blue moon I come across a car which is actually appreciating in value. Today’s featured car is not only appreciating, but is one of the hottest models in the substantial Mercedes-Benz catalog you can buy at the moment. That car is the 190SL. Produced from 1955 to 1963, the 190SL was the baby bother of the now seven-figure 300SL. Although similarly styled, the 190SL was much different mechanically than the 300SL with a carbureted four-cylinder and built on a shorted saloon chassis as opposed to a tubular space-frame like the 300SL. Because of this, 190SL values stayed relatively flat and didn’t have great demand outside of a few particularly outstanding examples. However, now that the 300SL have reached a point where they are so valuable that even putting miles on them is frowned upon by collectors, the baby brother 190SL isn’t so “baby” anymore in terms of value and collectibility. Today’s 190SL for sale in Ohio is right in that sweet spot for a classic car that can be enjoyed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL on Hemmings

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1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

On Monday, I looked at a W124 cabriolet – a model I believe won’t witness a huge spike in value over the short term. While I do think the values will hold strong where they are and, at the very least, keep up with inflation, if you are hoping to make tens of thousands of dollars in a quick flip, there are probably better options.  Today’s car, the Mercedes-Benz 190SL, is one of those options.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL on eBay

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