My first car was a DKW, so shall be my last. My first car was a DKW Junior de Luxe, which I almost completely tore apart and then reassembled. And because of a serious affection I ruled that my last ride must then be a DKW. I started searching to find me the right model: a DKW 1000 S coupé. A coupé for the four fully retractable windows. And also did I want a car with a folding roof. After a long lasting search I discovered a model that seemed a worthy restoration project, nearby Karlsruhe. I got in contact with the vendor, asking whether it was accident-free – “yes” – and complete – “yes”. Later this came out as untrue. The following restoration proved to be more complicated than expected. From the beginning on I asked about what color to choose. A lot of people said, I should stick to the original color combination. Which really came out as a good decision. Bit by bit, I overhauled all the technical stuff in my garage. Renewing, restoring, refurbishing, replacing all parts of rubber, all bearings, all sleeves. The state of the car demanded more labor and more sweat than I expected. That’s just how these things go. At least, there was no need to weld. There was no body work necessary, all those years the car stood in different halls and was just moved around from on free space to another. This DKW’s build year is 1962, almost as old as I am, slightly younger. And it absolutely astonishes me the most, that a car this old is still running with it’s very first bulbs. Exempt for one lightbulb all the others are still working. Till today I just replaced one bulb. He who is driving a new car can estimate, how long it takes til one is exchanging the first bulb. Quality-wise, back in the day, the engineers built the very best they could, still with an eye for the production cost. Nowadays they must include when something fails. The engine is a two-stroke one, a three-cylinder two-cycle engine. It’s output is 50 PS / 49 HP Compared to contemporary cars this is a good amount of power. For example, a Beetle has 34 PS / 34 HP. The engine was also completely rebuilt All it’s parts were smoothed and honed. It got Mahle-pistons, the camshaft was overworked at the Eisenacher Kurbelwellen Manufaktur. Mr. Rudolph really created a piece of art, with new conrods, new bearings and new seals for the crankcase. This is gorgeous. All comes together in the former DKW-claim, sometimes less is more, respectively 3=6. The three-cylinder engine of the DKW can compete with any six-cylinder of it’s time. The engine has some further clues, normally it comes with three breakers and ignition coils, each. I replaced those with an electronic ignition, working without breakers. The motor also has a thermo-syphon cooling, making the coolant pump obsolete. Compared to the engine, the cooler is placed in a higher position. By physical laws the warm water moves up there, cools off in the radiator and flows back to the engine. That’s all one autonomous cycle. The DKW’s roadholding is good, so is its acceleration. It easily drives at faster speeds but at rates above 75 mph the motor gets noisy. For a short moment it’s not that much of a problem. Brakes are alright. I’d say the rear axle could stop a little harder. In my opinion the brake cylinders are a few millimeters undersized. Probably it’ll be worthwhile installing bigger ones. The heater is strong, warms the whole car, keeps the windows clear. But as it’s driven by the radiator fan it also transports that sounds into the compartment. The then high popularity of DKW made people make up their own catchphrases. There were quite a few. Primordial DKW means DampfKraftWagen Those phrases then were like “Dat Kubs Wish”, “Dat Kute Wonder
– drives mountains up like others under” Response to the car was totally unexpected for me. People are excited, wherever I stop they talk to me: “How nice!”, “Back then I owned on, too.” Most of the younger people just take the car for an Audi, the elder know what it really is. Bus drivers give thumbs ups, motorcyclists are greeting. Never ever did I expect such a feedback for the car. You can easily entertain whole counties with this car.