Sunday, October 27, 2013

Audi F103

In 1962 DKW released their new model, the F102. After the disappointments of the F11 and F12, the F102 was a welcome return to form. A large contemporary styled family sedan, the car was quite a step away from DKW's small car heritage. It was powered by a new 1176cc, 60 horsepower, three-cylinder, two-stroke motor. DKW sales, which had been declining for several years, began to pick up.

The release of the F102 coincided with significant changes at Auto-Union. In 1964 Mercedes-Benz, which had an 87% share in the company, sold its shareholding to Volkswagen. Mercedes-Benz had largely been a 'hands off' shareholder, rarely interfering with Auto-Union except to divest the company of DKWs loss making motorcycle arm to Zweirad Union. Volkswagen however was keen to make changes at Auto-Union.

Plans were already well underway on the F102's successor, including trials of a new 1300cc two-stroke engine. Two-stroke auto engines offered a number of natural advantages. Being simple in design with few moving parts, they were cheap to build and easy to maintain, required little maintenance, delivered high power for their size and had low fuel consumption. However, these advantages were progressively eroded as the displacement of the engines increased.  The F102's 1176cc engine had skated along the limits of two-stoke efficiency. The 1300cc engine however did not. To deliver the anticipated horsepower increase, combustive efficiency was compromised. This could be compensated for with fuel injection, but that increased fuel consumption. The natural limits of the two-stroke had been reached.

Volkswagen were not prepared to invest in further two-stroke research so they replaced DKW's two-stroke with a Mercedes-Benz 1700cc four cylinder four-stroke engine. Subtle changes were also made in the styling, such as introducing rectangular headlights.

Although the car was basically a DKW with a four-stroke engine, Volkswagen opted to make a complete break with the past. The DKW name was dropped and the Audi brand, which had not manufactured a car since 1938 was resurrected. The brochure below introducing the new car, skips over DKW's post-war years entirely, never mentioning DKW even once and presents the new Audi F103 fully formed, devoid of its true origins ....

This article has been translated into Portuguese and republished on a Brazilian DKW website

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Vauxhall Club of WA show & shine 2013

This is the Premier event for the Vauxhall Owners Club of Australia, WA Branch and all members are encouraged to attend with their Vauxhall or Bedford, including unfinished restoration projects.

My parents owned a Vauxhall Velox before I was born and I've always had a soft spot for these cars.

1947 Vauxhall with body by Holden

Holden badge

Vauxhall Wyvern

Vauxhall Velox soft-top

Vauxhall Velox

1935 Vauxhall

Vauxhall Wyvern

Look familiar?  This late model Vauxhall Viva is basically a rebadged Holden Torana.

Another rebadged Holden Torana with slightly different headlight layout. As a cost saving measure General Motors cross sold the same car designs amongst its subsidiaries. Then as now the English Vauxhall, German Opel and Australian Holden companies were all selling the same car.

A novel Bedford Dormobile.  Dormobile customised a variety of different car types into mini-campervans. This is one of only two known in Western Australia.

It still has all its original fittings. Excellent!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

French Car Day, Perth 2013

Having already committed to attending the Rotary Club Car Show - and not having a French car - I had no expectation that I'd see the French Car Show this year. But I met up with fellow SIVA member, Paul B, at the Rotary show and we decided to pop over for a quick visit. In SIVA there is a large French car contingent. It was a good decision as there was an impressive turnout at Supreme Court Gardens and some exceptional machines on display. Thanks Paul!

Renault 8s

Renault 4CV

The 2CV in the foreground has been converted into an electric car.

Renault Caravelle - the French competitor to the VW Karmann Ghia

Renault Alpine

Renault Gordini

1963 Citroen DS

Later model Citroen DS'

1952 Citroen Traction Avant

Unrestored interior

Flat out on the 2CV section.

Vietnamese restored Traction Avant cabriolet. The car is a mix of pre and post-war Traction Avant components.  It's not particularly authentic but it's still a magnificent machine.

1964 Simca Aronde P60 and a Simca Vedette. Simca-Aronde is not a well known marque outside French car circles, but Simca's were once quite a popular car in Australia and were even manufactured in South Australia during the 1960s. Simca were bought by the GM group and their South Australian facilities were given over to GM's Chrysler operation in the 1970s.

The star of the day - a Panhard Dyna Z. This is one of two known in Western Australia and has only recently been discovered. It's in a bit of a state, but nothing that cannot be restored.  Here's link to Shannon's club webpage about the car.

Like a gaping frog's mouth. The Dyna Z was powered by a two-cylinder air-cooled boxer engine of only 850cc and performed surprisingly successful in rallying.  In this they were in the the same category as DKW and Saab during the late 50s and early 60s.

The interior is complete, if a little worn

Another star - a 1913 Mors. Mors was the company that Andre Citroen first worked for. In 1908 he took over the management of the company. In 1925 Mors was purchased outright by and wound up.