If you’ve been following my 6-part documentary on the Silver Arrows, you’ve seen the four rings of the Auto Union pop up. Now synonymous with Audi, the Auto Union was in fact four different companies that banded together, much like the Volkswagen Group of today. Like the Volkswagen Group, they had a range of cars; Horch for ultra-luxury, Audi was the sportier gentleman’s car, Wanderer covered the middle range and the entry level products and motorcycles were covered by DKW. All of the companies, independently, had significant history, but as we’ve seen in the Silver Arrows documentary, the depression years in the 1920s and 1930s meant that just like Daimler and Benz, the Auto Union was a partnership formed out of necessity for survival in a market where few cars sold. However, as we’ve also seen, the massive investments in infrastructure and breaks on taxes meant that the automobile industry was experiencing a big push by the mid 1930s, coupled with new technology and aerodynamic designs. One of the most promising designs for the Auto Union was the DKW F9; a versatile, aerodynamic small car, it resembled the KdF “Volkswagen” (Beetle) prototypes but was more refined. However, the outbreak of the war stalled the project, slated to launch in 1940. As with other similar projects by German automobile companies, the remnants of the company picked up the project in the late 1940s, and the “new” DKW F91 project rolled out in 1953 as the DKW 3=6 “Sonderklasse”. With a .9 liter two stroke inline-3, the performance wasn’t going to shock you but it was a cleverly packaged car and sold well. It was replaced in the late 1950s by an updated version, now named the Auto Union 1000; updated lightly and with more power from the now 1.0 liter motor, it was available in 5 different configurations and was the basis for the much loved but rarely seen 1000SP roadster – the mini-Thunderbird. Today’s example is an interesting 1962 coupe that apparently was converted into a cabriolet at some point:
The original Volkswagen Beetle is one of those curious cars that leads two lives. Devised as bare bones transportation and used by some as such, the car has also been the base for some impressive restorations. Some people like to take the route and modify with various Porsche bits while others prefer the dune buggy approach. And some like to go for the Cal look, popular ever since Beetle production was in full swing. This restored 1962 Cabriolet for sale in Pennsylvania in Gulf Blue looks sharp sitting on wider tires with deep dish wheels and is on offer just in time for the warmer weather about to hit on the East Coast.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1962 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet on eBay
When considering a restoration project, many things factor into one’s decision. You need to first pick a model that you find particularly interesting or intriguing. For me, that includes choosing something a little outside the mainstream interests. It’s why I prefer the Audi V8 to the S4/S6, for example. It helps if it’s something that you can afford, as well – for example, you could decide to restore a very early 356 Porsche rather than a 911, but if you can’t afford to buy one it’s no good. Then you need to weigh parts availability and cost along with your restoration goals; will this be a driver, a survivor or a 100 point show car? The costs vary for each, as will the amount of detail work involved. For me, while I love to see pristine 100 point show cars, I prefer something that can be driven to the show and home. My Audi, for example, is certainly not pristine – but it also doubles as a track car, and with nearly a quarter million miles on the clock I’m proud of some of its battle scars even if they make me sigh from time to time. So, when something very unique pops up that has potential to be different, special and really stand out from the crowd, I take notice. The 2002ti turbo from Monday is a perfect example of this; a car that needs a tremendous amount of restoration but it really different than everything else out there. In that vein, here’s a collection of the rare, rear-engined BMW 700s in various configurations and states along with a WW2-era 321 chassis. Why limit yourself to only one project when you could have six?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW 700 Collection on eBay
When you think BMW and engine behind the driver, you don’t immediately think of an economy car, but rather the iconic M1. But long before the M1 was even conceived, it was the BMW 700 that introduced the automotive world to a BMW with the engine behind the driver. That engine was effectively a motorcycle unit, so this mini-car was efficient if not particularly powerful. However, what it was good at was racing, so in some regards this car which seems at first glance to have little to do with other BMWs helped to solidify BMW’s reputation in the motorsport world and thereby helped to create models like the M1. On top of that, the 700 Coupe was a particularly neat looking little car, with plenty of 60s-spectacular tail fins and a smart-looking profile. Today there is a lovely light blue example on Ebay:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1962 BMW 700 on eBay
The Unimog is one of my favorite go-anywheremobiles, and while this recent bout of Bay Area rain has people driving like kittens walking on ice, I realize the rest of the country has had a hell of a winter that makes driving truly treacherous. All of a sudden the guys who bought snow mogs and have endured the esnuing “crazy dude with a SnowMog” derisions are looking like prophets. Well, if next winter is like this one, here’s your chance to stay ahead of the curve. Recently restored, this beplowed Unimog 406 looks awesome in red with a badass bed basket and is getting a lot of attention, with 57 Watchers on the auction.