The new 1000 Sp bore a striking resemblance to the 1955 Ford Thunderbird and was soon known as the schmalspur Thunderbird, translated literally “narrow gauge Thunderbird” but usually known in the UK as the Baby Thunderbird.
The coachwork available as a hard top from 1958, or soft top from 1961, was by Baur in Stuttgart who are probably best known for their BMW conversions.
Power for the 1000 Sp 2 stroke 3 cylinder motor was up from the original 44 hp of the 1000 S models to 55 hp which gave the 1000 Sp a top speed of 87 mph, 7 mph than its lesser powered siblings.
Note the fashionable fifties column shift, not as fast as a stick shift but has the benefit of allowing your better half to snuggle up next to you with out interruptions for gear changes. Although the 1000 Sp’s were lower than the 1000 S models they were not significantly lighter.
From 1958 to 1965 5000 of the hard top Auto Union 1000 Sp’s were built. Today’s featured vehicle is seen in the Malta Classic Car Collection in Qwara.
Thanks for joining me on this Narrow Gauge Tunderbird edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, Don’t forget to come back now !