Thursday, February 17, 2011

1958 DKW F800 Panel Van - How Many Of These Can There Be in North America?

I've never seen one of these before.

DKW, along with Audi, Horch and Wanderer were part of Germany's Auto Union group. Daimler-Benz bought Auto Union 1957. They sold it to Volkswagen in 1964, who merged it with NSU and formed what we know today as Audi.

According to the seller, this car was purchased new in Peoria, IL, by a man who owned a mobile TV and radio repair business. In 1969 he parked it in his garage, where it remained until September 2010.

Check out the design elements of this van. There are some really cool, unique, little details. I love how the headlights stay in place when the hood is raised.

The body is in remarkable condition. The odometer reads 33,532 miles. It has a bit of rust but, but that's to be expected on an unrestored vehicle. The 3 cylinder, 2 stroke engine may be seized, but since this engine was used for a long time in a variety of DKW vehicles, finding a good used one - or parts to rebuild the engine in this one - shouldn't be too tough.

It's pretty amazing to see a vehicle like this in this condition. How many DKW vans were sold in the US? Very few, I suspect. How many wound up in a garage on jack stands for 42 years? I would bet this is the only one.

Located in Oquawka, IL, click here to see the eBay listing. This is a no reserve auction.

7 comments:

Sean said...

too cool!

djcocum said...

There used to be lots of these here in Spain in the sixties. There was even a passenger version with three rows of seats. It was probably one of the first minivans ever sold here :D But the two stroke engine was dramatically slow and tended to overheat easily on hot summers when the car was fully loaded with the family and their luggage on their way to the seaside. Good times!

Anonymous said...

super euro cool!! damn need more space to play...

Jon said...

What a fine looking ride. With a fresh paint job and a few simple tweaks, it would only take a couple of beers to convince me that this was some type of Japanese "retro van" of recent origin.

I found out quite a bit of info by typing "Schnellaster" in a Google search.

I saw a 2007 post from an owner of a similar DKW on the VW Samba forum. He wrote:

"The guy who I got it from, said his father imported 9 of them back in the 60's into Canada and doesn't know where the other 8 went."

A small HO scale model of this vehicle is available from the Busch company. It has "Grundig Radio" written on the side. Oddly enough, the previous owner of the DKW on eBay used it in a "radio repair business."

For more DKW fun, type "DKW Fissore" in a Google image search.

Bill said...

Road & Track magazine had one of these for a "company truck" when they were new. Must have been difficult to meet a deadline when you travel that slowly. Reporters had to phone in the copy if they took the company truck to an event!

Darren said...

Does anyone know what it went for? Unfortunately, the ebay listing has been wiped.

Anonymous said...

D. Hartig
November 3, 2011 at 1:37 am Thumb up 0 or Flag comment ...awaiting moderation
from south Africa

Hi I left a posted some time earlier, now I have to sell fast ,so to any one out there ,this is the time to scoop ,but I have to sell, breaks my heart ,I will ,keep at least two ,-many spares ,/collection over 25 years ,also crime here is starting to take its toll, please grab this opportunity, I can be reached on Skype :skyhigh7428
and here :oldnewhatodo@gmail.com,also some more info here:http://sites.google.com/site/dkwf800schnellastervans/home
For whats its worth ,I cannot imagine having another van etc. have been using mine for 25 years ,everyday,and still now ,most space for size ,most loading ,ability,overheating ,most likely a calcium deposit problem in the motor block, loads more than a ton[not legal,but absolutely no problem ever] adheres to the "kiss" principal, have never been stranded next to the road ,[mmm once [blush] bad battery . Easy to maintain parts can often be fabricated at home , altough this I try to acoid at all times ,keeping them as standard as possible ,..also the two-stroke motor ,vibrations etc. just is unique,mmm a bit noisy if not padded round the engine compartment ,after all these were mainly for commercial use, and not intended to do way more than the speedo indicates, for hour after hour ! this van can tow pushing it a five ton truck on a straight ,but yes it is not fst, so glad about that! the trip is the sdventure ,and the holiday starts when you leave home ,there is no competition ,even today,have done 1000km trips often in the hot south african sun fully laden, there are days when you have to keep the rpm up a bit ,you get to know the vehicle, up serious passes ,holidays ,and so many experiences over the years.
Thanx to my brother for introducing me to these ,and a awesome friend his brother and dad, from whom I got my first[I was the third owner,it was also the only delivery van to service our first two supermarkets in Pretoia and krugersdorp] I also met the son of the original owner ,his dad had passed away already, he had nostalgic memories of holidays and many child hood stories to tell. ,still operational van. I am hooked for life .these vans can almost always be restored.