NSU was founded as a knitting machine manufacturer in 1873, moving into bicycle manufacture in 1886 and motorcycle manufacture in 1901 by which time it had ceased making knitting machines. In 1905 NSU began manufacturing motor cars of their own design before production was given over to the manufacture of FIAT cars under license in 1929. The production of FIAT’s under the NSU-FIAT brand continued until 1967. Thereafter FIAT cars were manufactured at the same factory under license but marketed under the FIAT brand until 1973.
Capitalising on the goodwill and reputation of it’s motorcycle business, the first motorcycle to reach 200 mph was an NSU in 1955, the company moved back into manufacture of a car of it’s own design in 1957 with the NSU Prinz 30.
Although billed as a Wunder Buy! full four seater in reality the rear seats were only suitable for small children.
In order to keep the maintenance to a minimum the rear mounted 20 hp 583 cc / 35.6 cui air cooled two cylinder, motor cycle derived, engine, gearbox and transaxle were contained in a single casting meaning that the lubricating oil level could be maintained from a single filler, the only other lubrication required was for the king pins on either side of the front suspension.
Production of the Prinz 30 lasted until 1962 by which time models were also being built in Australia, the Prinz 30 floor pan and drive was also used to launch Egypt’s entry into motor vehicle manufacture for various NSU Ramses vehicles including the Utilica and Gamila the latter featuring a Vignale styled cabriolet body.
Thanks for joining me on this “On Prince’s And Pharoh’s” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Americana Thursday when I’ll be looking at an Italian Styled Chevrolet. Don’t forget to come back now !