The DKW Owners Club of South Africa
was founded during 1981 and this year it turned 21 years. A good reason
for a very special meeting of the fans of the four rings.
In addition, the four ringed emblem is 70 years old this year and this
gave additional impetus for a celebration.
The Treffen (a get together) started off on Friday March 22 with a fun run from Silverton, Pretoria,
via Hartbeespoortdam and the Voortrekker Monument near Pretoria and back to
Silverton, a route measuring 180 km. We filled the fuel tanks to the brim at the
beginning and again at the end, and the fuel consumption was calculated.
We were accompanied by a few spanking new Audis manned by teams from
McCarthy Motors and the press.
The best fuel consumption was recorded by an Audi A4 TDI 1.9 liter
diesel with the unbelievable average consumption of 4.96 liter per 100 km.
Tiaan du Plessis was
driving a DKW 1000S from 1962 was the best DKW with 7.67 l/100km, while Floris
Coetzee with a 1000S fourdoor from 1960 was second with 9 l/100km. They both
received prizes donated by McCarthy Audi for their performance.
The oldest car that took part in the fun run was the DKW F5
Roadster of Apie Venter from Pretoria. The F5 completed the course without any
snags and amazed everyone with its reliability and durability.
Walter Wilde and Bina Wilde from the Auto Union Veteranen Club in
Germany were very special guests for this event.
They were European Rally Champions for 1992, and it was a great honour to have
them with us. Walter was an Auto Union –Audi employee for 42 years until his
retirement 2 years ago. He worked in the development department and saw many
generations of DKW and Audi cars
come and go during his career.
Walter is also the proud owner of a DKW Monza equipped with a
Mueller/Andernach V6 1300 cc engine with 60 kW output,
and a top speed of more than 160 km/h.
The same evening the German Club in Pretoria was filled with
enthusiastic DKW fans and their partners for a very enjoyable occasion with
excellent food and a live band which made the evening a great success.
German music, good food and beer is a formula for a most enjoyable and
Early Saturday, March 23, the first DKWs arrived at the Pioneer
House Museum in Silverton for the main attraction of the Treffen. Nearly 100 DKW
and Audi vehicles attended the meeting which marks it as one of the biggest DKW
meetings in Africa since the middle of the thirties when the first DKWs arrived
in South Africa.
Auto Union South Africa was registered as a company during
December 1936, and just after this the AUTO UNION racing cars of Berndt
Rosemeyer, Ernst von Delius, and Rudolf Hasse took part in races in East London
and Cape Town. Their performances inspired the South African motoring public and
it lead to an immediate success formula for the small two cylinder wooden bodied
DKW F5 and F7 cars, which proved to be very reliable and economical compared to
other small cars of the time.
It is said that at the beginning of 1935, the management of Auto Union
in Germany decided to develop South Africa as a market, and without much ado
sent a salesman to South Africa on a steamer, and with him 20 cars to be sold in
competition with established marques from the UK and the States. The first
outlet was in Johannesburg, and within 4 years, not less than 5000 cars were
sold throughout South Africa.
The second World War ended the importation of DKW
products to South Africa, but the DKW two cylinder cars were very sought
after objects during this time, because they were very fuel efficient and
traveled a long distance on a “gallon” of rationed fuel. Fuel could only be
purchased with a government coupon, while the war effort had priority.
Many a DKW used an illegal mixture of kerosene, petrol and oil, in
order to stretch the available energy. The engines worked fairly well on the
mixture because of the low compression ratio. Spark plugs needed more attention.
After WW II import regulations were tough, and the first DKW to
reach South Africa was a F91 two seater coupe of 1953. Jakob Bos from Bos
Motors, a DKW dealer before the war, flew to Germany with a DC3 “Dakota”, a
journey that took the best part of a week, because they made stops to sleep at
night, and ordered this car in Duesseldorf when he became aware of the new three
cylinder engine being produced from 1953. He
also raced this car in the East Africa Safari held in Kenia and Tanzania. He
related that the road conditions were so dusty that the tropical oil bath air
cleaner collected so much dust, that the engine stopped working.
From 1955 onwards, cars were imported by Auto Union South Africa
(Pty) Ltd, and there were very long waiting lists for them. At one stage one had
to wait for 2 years to get a car. By 1960 the name DKW was very well established
and it was said that Pretoria was the city in the world with the most DKWs per
The Treffen was held to relive the olden days when the DKWs were
the champions of the road and race tracks. Many of the DKW fans from the olden
days attended the meeting, and certificates in commemoration of their
contributions were handed to them.
Apie Venter se pragtige F5 Roadster
1000S Ernie van der Merwe, eerste prys vir restourasie
DKW F89, Johan Krige
Van tweeslag na vierslag