Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Auto Union 1000 SP (1958-65)

Auto Union AG, Chemnitz, was an amalgamation of four German automobile manufacturers, founded in 1932 and established in 1936 in Chemnitz, Saxony, during the Great Depression. The company evolved into present-day Audi and is now a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

The Auto Union 1000 was originally a compact front-wheel-drive saloon manufactured by Auto Union GmbH between 1958 and 1963. It was the first (and in many markets the last) model branded as an Auto Union by the manufacturer since the 1930s. 

Appearing in 1958 was the Auto Union 1000 SP, a low-slung two-seater sports car that was produced for Auto Union by the Stuttgart coach builders, Baur. The ‘pillarless’ fixed-head coupe was joined in 1961 by a cabriolet. Adorned with tail fins, the stylish modern look of the car gave rise to the "baby Thunderbird" soubriquet in the press, and belied the fact that it was, under the skin, another 981 cc two-stroke three-cylinder engine powered Auto Union 1000, albeit one with an increased compression ratio and a claimed maximum of 55 bhp (41 kW) to place on the road. The 1000 Sp was lower but not (assuming only two people were in the car) significantly lighter than the standard-bodied saloon: a claimed maximum speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) nevertheless put its performance at the top of the range. It would prove to be the last open top car produced by the company until the Audi 80 cabriolet in 1994.

Approximately 5,000 units of the hard top version and 1,640 units of the cabriolet were made. (wikipedia)

Auto Union 1000 SP Coupe (1958-65)

Produced in 5004 copies.

Auto Union 1000 SP Convertible (1961-65)

Produced in 1640 copies.

(Photos from commons.wikimedia.org, flickr.com, planete-gt.com & autowallpaper.de)

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