View Previous Image View Next Image
 
MANUFACTURER AUTO UNION GmbH
BODY SPECIALIST KARMANN, OSNABRUECK
BODY DESIGNER HEBMUELLER (Note long bootline)
MODEL DKW F91, TWOSEATER COUPé
YEAR OF MANUFACTURE 1953
ENGINE Two cycle, 896 cc, 34 hp/25 kW @ 4000 r/min, 69 N-m teen 2000 r/min
COMPRESSION RATIO 6,5:1
GEARBOX AUTO UNION, four speed, synchromesh for 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears
DRIVE Front wheel drive
MAX, SPEED 125 km/h
NUMBER MANUFACTURE 25 (Presently only two runners, the other one in the AUDI Museum Germany)

History:

Hebmueller from Wuelfrath (who also built the two seater "Hebmueller" VW cabriolet for Wolfsburg) were producing F89 two seater coupés and cabriolets for Auto Union as they went insolvent by 1952 due to a devastating fire in their factory. Karmann (who later built the Karmann Ghia) took over the production of this body – it is assumed that Karmann in any case had supplied the body pressings to Hebmueller.

In 1953, AUTO UNION started the production of their three cylinder engines, and this vehicle was one of the first ones to be fitted with the 900 cc power plant. Previously the two seater coupés were fitted with the 23 hp or 17 kW 700 cc engines. Hebmueller produced a number of F89s for Auto Union.

Since the outbreak of World War II no DKWs were imported into South Africa till about 1953, when Jacob Bos from Pretoria, a DKW dealer before WW II, got news that the new three-cylinder engine was in production. He allegedly flew to Germany by DC3, a journey that took him a week. He ordered this special version of the F91 at the Duesseldorf factory and Jacob’s DKW was the first three-cylinder DKW, and probably the first DKW that crossed our shores since WW II.

Jacob Bos used this vehicle for rallying and it is said that it was applied in the East Africa Safari Rally in Kenya during the mid-fifties. One can just imagine what this venture entailed – he had to travel thousands of kilometers from Pretoria on his own without a support team, and without any sponsors. He related that it was so dusty that the oil-bath air cleaner was clogged completely, causing significant engine power loss. It had to be cleaned regularly due to the dust build up in the oil bowl.

I first saw this vehicle towards the mid sixties at Jacob’s business in Pretoria. The shape appeared comical to me and I was negatively attracted to the little car. At that time I was not aware of its heritage. The original colour was a deep blue, very much faded when we first met.

Dr. Howell of Pretoria bought the car from Jacob Bos, and when he passed away, his son John inherited the car. I bought the car from him during 1997. It is not hard to tell that the nickname of this car is "Jacob".