Thursday, January 24, 2019

1971 NSU 1200C - Rare In North America

I owned an NSU once. For about a day in 1974. It was a Prinz. A friend told me about a neighbor of his who had one sitting in his driveway with a blown head gasket. He didn't want any money for it, he just wanted it gone. I jumped on it.

Knowing that my dad would blow a head gasket of his own if I parked a broken NSU in the driveway, I arranged to park it behind the store I was working at. The next day I came to work and one of the guys I worked with said a friend of his saw the car and wanted to buy it. He offered me $20.00. I countered with $30.00. (I'm no pushover. ;-)) We settled at $25.00. By the end of the day the car was gone and I had $25.00 in my pocket. That was enough for around 40 gallons of gas back then. But, I digress...

This car is an NSU 1200. You could look at it as an upscale Prinz. It's a little longer than a Prinz with a slightly different rear suspension. It was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled four-cylinder SOC engine that was transversely mounted.

The 1200 was a successful car for NSU. Between 1967 and 1972 they built over 250,000 of them.

NSU ran into financial problems after developing the revolutionary, but trouble prone, rotary engined Ro 80. Volkswagen took over the company in 1969 and the NSU name was discontinued in 1977. Audi still builds cars at the NSU Neckarsulm plant.

This 1200 is a U.S. model. It has the rare semi-automatic transmission. The seller says the engine turns but does not run. It does have some rust, much of which looks to be repairable, although the front hood may need to be replaced. Best of all, the car looks to be complete and straight.

The NSU 1200 is not worth a lot of money. Restoring it will be a labor of love. But with so few left in the world - especially in North America - it would be great to see someone bring this back to its original glory.

Located in Cleveland, OH, click here to see the eBay ad.

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