Words by Pipey McGraw & Photos by Henry Phull
Bonjour. This derelict patina’d automotive machine is the latest edition to our ever-growing Muttley fleet, a 1958 DKW 3=6 coupe. I’m sure some of you are wondering “what the hell is that?”. Well, DKW is part of the Auto Union automobile manufacturer, widely known for their racing team back in the early 30’s, where they dominated GP car racing. Aside from becoming an important supplier of vehicles to Germany’s armed forces during the Second World War, 1949 onwards saw DKW starting to produce 3 cylinder 2 stroke FWD beauties, straight outta West Germany!
Popular models in the 50’s were the F89, the 3=6 and the 1000S. The 60’s happened and they realised 2 stroke engines weren’t exactly pioneering in automotive technology, therefore started to build more desirable and attractive four stroke engines, until the company evolved into what is now the Volkswagen Audi Group…. So, finding a rare glimpse of one of these motors is simply extraordinary.
Like always with most of our rare finds, although unexpectedly, the DKW shockingly came up on the infamous eBay, so without a second thought we snapped up the chance to purchase the vehicle. Paul at Coltech Classics had recently sold an MGB that was awaiting collection from the customer, who luckily lived a couple of miles away from the owner of the DKW. So with a little organisation we had the car picked up and delivered to us at the same time, everyone’s a winner!
The car had originally been imported from California in 1969 and has been sat up in the UK ever since, as I’m sure you can imagine she’s a little tender. Our friend Tom, being a bit of a wiz on 2 strokes, set the challenge of getting it running. So, on a mild spring Thursday evening we tinkered with it in the hope of getting it to fire up.
Within an hour we cleaned up the and freed the points, addressed the catastrophicly mangled mouldy wiring, home-brewed a Fanta bottle fuel tank, and the old girl fired right up! No air box and no exhaust manifold… she was screaming the 2 stroke dream! We also freed off the clutch and managed to do a small yet satisfying burnout… as you do.
Our incentives are now extremely high to get this old girl on its arse and back on the road! Loads of wonderful and crazy ideas have been floating around in preparation for the daunting task ahead. Discussions have been leaning towards another Beetle panned body dropped platform.
As always with us, it’s go hard or go home! Luckily the DKW is a separate body to chassis car, which will make things slightly easier in removing and fabricating the body onto a Beetle pan.
With the Summer and show season right around the corner, the DKW will be tucked up and tinkered with, whilst no doubt planning and preparing it for another Winter build. We’ve still got tons of work to do on getting the rest of the fleet up together so we can party hard with you lot at the shows this year. We’ll keep the updates and photos flying in as we carry out the build.