Monday, July 29, 2013

1938-41 Motor Kritik automotive review

A cross section of Motor Kritik auto reviews from the years 1938 to 1941

The Adler 2-litre

A medium sized family car built by Adler from 1938 to 1940. 7470 cars were built. A cabriolet, limousine and a sportster were all bodied by Ambi-Budd Karossiere in Berlin. Karmann of Osnabruck also built a sleek, limousine version.

BMW 328 2 Litre sports cabriolet

The BMW 2 litre was introduced in 1936 and remained in production until 1940. It enjoyed considerable racing success, in the 1938 Mille Miglia for instance, where BMW 328s came in second, third and fourth in their class and eighth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth overall. After the war the BMW 328 went back into production in East Germany as the EMW 328. In England a version of the car was manufactured as the Fraser-Nash BWM.

Borgward 2000

Carl Borgward had come along way since the days of the Blitzkarren delivery tricycle of 1924. This large 2 litre family car was introduced in 1927 under the name Hansa-Borgward 2000. The Hansa name was dropped in 1939. The following year it was replaced by the larger engined Borgward 2300.

Mercedes-Benz Type 540K

The spectacular Mercedes-Benz 540K was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 1936. The car was a development of the famous SSK roadster. It was powered by a 5.4 litre straight 8 engine that could develop approximately 140 horsepower. The maximum speed was 170 kilometres per hour.

Ford Eifel Sportster

Ford also manufactured cars in Germany. The car was manufactured between 1937 and 1942 built on the standard European chassis used by the Ford Prefect in England. Some 62,000 cars were manufactured before production was stopped.

Hanomag Rekord-Diesel

Hanomag introduced the Rekord in 1933. It was a small diesel powered family car but was only produced in relatively small numbers. The 1.9 litre was introduced in 1937.

Horch 951 A

The Horch 951A was introduced simultaneously with the Horch 850. The primary difference between the models was the 951A's double jointed rear axle and longer chassis. The Horch limousines were the pinnacle of Germany luxury vehicles.

Maybach Zeppelin

Maybach were originally an engine manufacturer building engines for Zeppelin. In 1919, with Germany banned from building airships, Maybach turned towards automobile manufacture. In 1928 Maybach introduced the Zeppelin model featuring a 7 litre V 12. In 1930 the engine was upgraded to 8 litres. Maybach cars were so huge and heavy that drivers of the 8 litre model needed to have a truck license.

Opel Kadett

The small family Opel Kadett was Germany's best selling car of the late 1930s. The car was designed by Opel's technical director, Heinrich Nordhoff, who would later go on to head up Volkswagen after the war. The introduction of the Kadett in 1937 raised the ire of Adolf Hitler, as it threatened his Volkswagen project, despite the fact that it was twice the price of the Beetle. The car remained in production until 1940. After the war the Soviets dismantled the Opel factory,plant and designs and shipped it back to the Soviet Union. From 1948 until 1956 the Soviets produced their copy of the Kadett under the name Moskvitch 400.

Opel Olympia

Another small car from the Opel stable. It was named Olympia in honour of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. 168,000 cars were built between 1935 and 1940.

Stoewer Sedina

The Sedina was one of the last civilian cars built by Stoewer before the war. It was a very popular medium sized family car.

Tempo G1200 Gelander

The double engined, four wheel drive Tempo Gelander was built for an army contract for a tough, cross country car. The army however found the double engine drive confusing and refused to accept it. Tempo instead offered the car for civilian use. Small numbers were purchased for forestry and police services, but most of the 1300 cars built were exported to dozens of countries around the world.

Volkswagen KDF

Government sponsored and sold through a savings plan scheme, the KDF was introduced in 1938. 165,000 subscribed to the scheme but no cars were delivered before the war intervened.

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