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Restoration Projects

Owner:    Gerry Hoey

Make:       DKW auto union

Model:      1000

Year:        1958






The Auto Union 1000 was a compact front wheel drive saloon manufactured by Auto Union AG between 1958 and 1963.

It was the first (and in many markets the last) model branded as an Auto Union by the manufacturer since the 1930s: it replaced the paradoxically named DKW 3=6, although the latter continued in production, reassuringly now branded as the DKW 900, for another year. The two cars were broadly similar, but the new car had its two stroke engine enlarged to 981 cc yielding a 10% - 37% (according to model) power increase.


The Auto Union's 981 cc two stroke three cylinder engine came in various states of tune. After 1960, advertised power in the saloon versions was increased to 50 bhp (37 kW). Power was delivered via a four speed manual gear box, controlled using a column mounted lever. The electrical system was a six volt one which by this time was beginning to look old fashioned.

1961 saw the introduction of the so called Clean Oil Regulator “Frischölautomatik”, a system incorporating a separate oil tank and pump to dispense the oil which, in a two stroke engine, is mixed with the fuel ahead of combustion. The stated purpose was to reduce the characteristic blue smoke emission for which the car was known. This was to be achieved by ensuring that oil was introduced in exactly the correct 1:40 proportion to the fuel, and the device was advertised as a way to improve engine longevity. The timing of this innovation proved unfortunate The 1962/63 winter was an exceptionally cold one in Europe. The Auto Union 1000 model experienced an unexpected increase in crankshaft damage because the oil, its viscosity affected by the cold weather, was unable to flow freely through the narrow feeder pipe in the carburetor.

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