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NSU Ro80

I've realised a long held dream and purchased a "practical" classic (or perhaps not so given it has the Wankel engine), a 1974 Ro80 as once owned by Sir John Whitmore. I very much hope this is a vehicle which will appreciate in value, I see it as a long term investment and weekend project. Given that it cost only a little over £1000, It's something of a bargain classic in my eyes, especially given its good condition, MOT, tax and provenence.

Does anyone have any tips having owned/run one of these, or a weekend car in general? My father-in-law had one for ten years until 1986 and cant' wait to have a drive again. He's a keen restorer of classic bikes and is currently working on a rebuild of a 1971 Silver Shadow, so will be able to help me out. It will be kept garaged and I intend to insure it for 3000 miles a year on a classic policy. I've got a quote from Footman James for just over £140 a year (I'm 26). Any advice on other classic insurers to look at? This price does seem very reasonable though.

Sorry for allt he questions, but I'm very excited, and looking forward to collecting the car at the weekend.

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Comments

Lud    on 27 September 2006

Fabulous machine, funny electric clutch worked by the pressure of the driver's hand on the lever. Takes a knack like an early DS, you have to time it right, and driving in traffic there's no clutch pedal, so don't come down on the brake with yr left foot without thinking, very embarrassing.

If it's drinking oil, the piston tip seals have gone I believe. There must be specialists and it must be crucial to get a good one. Yr father in law should be able to help.

Well done. An all-time classic, and rare too. Be careful.

CCBG    on 4 July 2014

Fabulous machine, funny electric clutch worked by the pressure of the driver's hand on the lever. Takes a knack like an early DS, you have to time it right, and driving in traffic there's no clutch pedal, so don't come down on the brake with yr left foot without thinking, very embarrassing. If it's drinking oil, the piston tip seals have gone I believe. There must be specialists and it must be crucial to get a good one. Yr father in law should be able to help. Well done. An all-time classic, and rare too. Be careful.

I have an original Audi/NSU "Operating Instructions" book for sale here: - It explains all these quirks..


CCBG    on 4 July 2014

Fabulous machine, funny electric clutch worked by the pressure of the driver's hand on the lever. Takes a knack like an early DS, you have to time it right, and driving in traffic there's no clutch pedal, so don't come down on the brake with yr left foot without thinking, very embarrassing. If it's drinking oil, the piston tip seals have gone I believe. There must be specialists and it must be crucial to get a good one. Yr father in law should be able to help. Well done. An all-time classic, and rare too. Be careful.

I have an original Audi/NSU "Operating Instructions" book for sale here: - It explains all these quirks..


Actually I also have an ORIGINAL Manufacturer's Workshop Manual. However, that's not for sale.

I got it from someone who had an RO 80 back in the day and left the manual in the garage for 20 years.. it was a bit "musty", but nothing that 10 years on a shelf in an air-conditioned office couldn't sort out..

mrmender    on 28 September 2006

Good luck glad to see someone looking after one of these under rated cars but ...... er..... rather you than me!

Collos25    on 28 September 2006

You could always change the engine as many people did,then you could recon the NSU unit to its original state and refit when you come to sell.Lovely looking car there are still a few knocking around Germany..

Roger Jones    on 28 September 2006

Wow! Only last night was I reading LJK's book, Drive On!, in which his love of the car was declared.

I do hope you are saving up for restoration/maintenance costs that could dwarf your purchase price.

Sign up here as soon as you can:

NSU Ro80 Club GB, Round Barn, Blackburn Road, Entwistle, Turton, Lancashire. BL7 0QB, tel: 01204 852425, email: georgecordingley@supertowshipley.freeserve.co.uk

I wonder if HJ's advice about the Mazda RX8 is relevant:

"Must check oil every second fill of petrol, but actually uses no more than many conventional cars. Car must NEVER be started then shut down without reaching full operating temperature or petrol washout will harm rotor seals. Car must not be used for short runs from cold."

Do come back here from time to time and let us know how you are getting on.

Roger Jones    on 28 September 2006

P.S. Insurance:

www.rhclassicinsurance.co.uk/

I've been with them for several years. This year, not for the first time, they managed to reduce my renewal premium.

But check around:

AON 01384 552789
Classic Line 01455 639000
Equity 01277 206912
Adrian Flux 0845 130 3400
Footman James 0845 458 9146
Insurance Line 0800 298 2749
Insurance Solutions 0870 240 3362
Lancaster 01480 484848
Norton Insurance (Heritage classic-car insurance) 0121 246 6060
Performance Marque 0121 248 0911
Peter Best 01376 573033
Peter Taylor 01273 820303
Policy Sure 01604 615412
RH Specialist Car Division 01277 206911
TR 01202 712800

tr7v8    on 28 September 2006

Yup I'd second RH as well.
As for the car they're great, one of the guys in one of the decent classic mags owns one & has it maintained in Reading. The main problem his suffers from is lack of use which makes it grumpy! Pretty sure it's Classic Cars but can't remember. Yours sounds like it has good provenance as well although having seen Sir John Whitmore drive I just hope it wasn't as side ways all the time as his big saloons used to be.

Happy Blue!    on 28 September 2006

In the 1970s my father owned five of these. Two were for him (one after the other), one was given to a staff member as a company car, one was sold to another staff member who put in the Ford Corsair V4 engine and the last was used for spares!

According to my father (I was too young to drive one), it is the best car he has ever driven.

Only do long journeys in it. It is not a car to burble around town in, as that WILL damage the rotor seals.

cheddar    on 28 September 2006

It is a great car, a real classic though the rotor tip issue has always been it's down fall, to an extent, dynamically the Citroen GS with it's flat four was what the Ro might have been if it had not had a rotary engine, though the GS had it's problems, early ones had very strong valve springs which prematurely wore the cam lobes however they offered good performance, even the 1015cc ones and characater - at the time only matched by the Ro and perhaps the DS.

Pugugly {P}    on 28 September 2006

Cheddar,

M sister courted a Citroen freak in the 70s. I sem to remember him saying that the GS was designed with a Wankel engine in mind......or am I losing it ?

Pugugly {P}    on 28 September 2006

Should have read the entire thread beofre jumping in with that one.

T Lucas    on 28 September 2006

In the 70s i had a Mazda RX3 Coupe with the rotary engine,i did about 20,000 miles with it and apart from using oil like a 2 stroke and burning 2star fuel at 15MPG it remains one of the cars that i would have in my fantasy garage in a flash.Have you seen the prices they make on Ebay?Fond,fond memories.

bell boy    on 28 September 2006

well done on getting a proper classic car all the answers are good i believe .
The only thing i can add is there are specialists that know how to rebuild the rx3 engines so your earlier type wankel should i hope not cause any problems.

good luck.

cheddar    on 28 September 2006

I remember it was no good in Top Trumps cos it was listed as something like 998cc.


have you looked at......

www.ro80.nl/

............. fascinating info in the history section, in English too.

Aprilia    on 28 September 2006

It was warranty claims on the Ro80's engine that broke the company IIRC. Tip seal wear was a major problem and not many engines made it past 18-20k miles. We actually tried to re-build one or two of these (borrowing tools from the agents) but not very successfully. The Ro80 also used a wierd semi-auto transmission that was supposed to help compensate for the relative lack of low-speed torque of the rotary engine (it uses a torque convertor). I believe the Ro80 body/chassis was used to develop the Audi 100.

I owned several Mazda RX3's in the early 1970's. They were basically a rotary-engined version of the Mazda 818 (a small cart-sprung Escort equivalent). The RX3 engine (Mazda 12A) was actually not bad and much better than the Ro80 engine. Mazda more or less cured the tip-seal problem by using very hard sintered-iron seal pieces. The problem of the corner seals remained - these tend to wear depressions in the side housings as the rotor 'pirouettes' as it goes through its cycle. The side housings had to be metal-sprayed and ground to repair - not many got past about 30k miles without a rebuild.
we rebuilt a number of 12A and 13A (RX4) engines and they were pretty easy to do (no special tools required - unlike the Ro80), but not always totally successful. There are massive thermal gradients across the rotor housings in a rotary engine and coolant leaks in the combustion zone were a common problem - caused by differential expansion of the alloy epitrochoid housings and the cast iron side housings, and the thermal gradients across the engine.
It was all very educational for me, but I'm not sure I'd want to tangle with a rotary engine again. Reciprocating engines have improved so much that the power-to-weight and smoothness advantages of the rotary are not what they once were.

SjB {P}    on 28 September 2006

On holiday at Port St Charles in Barbados, I saw a pristine Ro80 sitting under a car port awaiting its owner's next holiday. The last place I expected to find one, and the security guards were bemused at my interest in it and photographs!

Enjoy yours!

cheddar    on 28 September 2006

Just been looking at the website I mentioned above, it is fascinating for anyone intersted in cars even if most is in Dutch, great pictures etc etc.

M.M    on 28 September 2006

When I was a kid Dad took Which magazine. I would avidly read these to try and persuade him towards the car of "my" choice. I've bought a few of these old Which mags on EBay recently and have the one with the RO80 test from Oct 1969.

It is a real gem of a group test with the Citroen DS, XJ6, Mercedes 220, RO80, Rover 3500 P6 and Volvo 164. If you are interested Nomag I can copy and send to you.

I remember the RO80 well from the 70s. Around '72 Dad bought a new Audi 100 from the dealers and they had a new RO80 in the showroom I tried to get him to buy that instead. However by then the low engine life issues were well known and no-one wanted them... well only the very brave. It stood in that showroom for months.

The Which test overview for the RO80 says a brilliant concept with fantastic ride and handling but a little slow with high fuel and very high oil consumption (200mpp!). It was reliable though (they took it to 14,000mls) and despite the downsides they made it the test best buy. At the time it was £100 more than the DS21 Citroen and £500 less than the Mercedes 220.

David

CCBG    on 4 July 2014

In the 70s i had a Mazda RX3 Coupe with the rotary engine,i did about 20,000 miles with it and apart from using oil like a 2 stroke and burning 2star fuel at 15MPG it remains one of the cars that i would have in my fantasy garage in a flash.Have you seen the prices they make on Ebay?Fond,fond memories.

I have a Haynes Manual for sale for the Mazda RX2, here - although I'd think twice (or possibly more) before I started messing about with a rotary engine.

CJay{P}    on 28 September 2006

So this is your car? -

(Sorry, had to remove the URL because it is too long and destroyed the format. HJ.)

Roberson    on 28 September 2006

Glad you bought something different, and not just another MG :-p

I remember hearing on a documentary about these cars (or more so its engine) that the most damage was done by people who labored or over-revved the engine, both as a consequence of its turbine-smoothness. Laboring the engine fouled the rotor tips, while over revving them either wore them out prematurely or shattered them.

With reference to cheddars initial post: The GS was, at one point, fitted with a rotary engine, and christened the Bi-rotor. The engine was of Comotor make, which was a company made up of both NSU and Citroen. After sales of about 800, the concept was dropped due to, amongst other things, the unreliability of the power unit. Citroen offered to buy them back to crush them, and most customers agreed which is why so few are left.

M.M    on 28 September 2006

If that EBay listing is yours it looks a great example. As said above far more interesting than many other classics... for the price of a bodged up Midget. Well done.

David

bell boy    on 28 September 2006

if i remember correctly the wankel engine and the comebacks with rotor tips bankrupted (nsu) the company which is why haudi fair and sheek bought the aserts ;-)
(said ernie)

cheddar    on 28 September 2006

With reference to cheddars initial post: The GS was, at one
point, fitted with a rotary engine, and christened the Bi-rotor. >>


Sorry, I knew that hence the mention of the GS, thanks for the extra info I should have added in the first place. IIRC the Bi Rotor was more powerful than the Ro80.

Roberson    on 28 September 2006

Sorry, I knew that hence the mention of the GS.


Thought it was just too much of a coincidence. A quick trawl around the net reveals that the NSU was the more powerful, with 118bhp versus the GS's 107bhp.

cheddar    on 28 September 2006

>> Sorry, I knew that hence the mention of the GS.
Thought it was just too much of a coincidence. A quick
trawl around the net reveals that the NSU was the more
powerful, with 118bhp versus the GS's 107bhp.


I thought it was called Ro80 because it was 80 bhp.

Happy Blue!    on 28 September 2006

Douby it had 80bhp. Dad used to get up to an indicated 130mph!

cheddar    on 28 September 2006

115 bhp apparently.

JH    on 28 September 2006

N
beautiful car. Good luck with it.
JH

Micky    on 28 September 2006

Potential nightmare, but good luck! Has the owner's club sorted all the problems? The development costs for NSU must have been enormous. Suzuki sold a Wankel bike in the 1970s that cost them a lot of money, and the Norton Wankel racer must still hold the biggest-flame-from-exhaust, allcomers category, I'm sure Steve Spray used to hold off the opposition with the threat of incineration. I watched the JPS Norton at Snetterton once, it could reel in everything on that long straight. And the flames, have I mentioned the flames? ;-)

A quick google shows what the Norton was capable of:

www.jpsnorton.com/videoclips.asp

scroll down to "A Demonstration of the Nortons speed at Snetterton!"

All rather blurry and needs RealPlayer :-(

barchettaman    on 28 September 2006

Nomag, congrats on a fantastic purchase, and the very best of luck to you - they´re beautiful cars, ahead of their time.
Although I would have bought a post ´83 Audi 100 - same looks and less hassle
(ducks under parapet)
seriously though, good on you, and good luck.

Nomag    on 28 September 2006

Thanks for all the replies. Yes the car on ebay is the one I've purchased. I appreciate all the good luck messages - I intend to use the car only for long-ish runs of at least 30 miles. I feel I got a good deal with Footman James on the insurance, considering I'm 26 £130 unlimited mileage and fully comp doesn't seem bad at all.
It's a car I hope to keep....well for ever! Luckily there is good support for the Wankel units by Hurley engineering in Coventry who started off doing the Wankel to Ford V4 conversions when the original engines hit the bucket. But I intend to keep it as NSU intended - with a rotary engine - even if ultimately it is almost completely non-original and full of mazda bits!
i will keep the BR informed on the car. MM I would be very interested in a copy of the article you mention, more than willing to pay postage/copy costs etc. Could you email me on j_l_gamon@hotmail.com to discuss further?
Finally, do any of you know what type of number plate the car would have been fitted with in 1974? It now has 'new style' number plates on and I would like to restore it to a more original appearance, but keep it legal and MOT-passable of course. Did cars of that period still carry black and white plates or would they have been yellow and black, albeit with raised numbers? Advise much appreciated!

Aprilia    on 28 September 2006

1974 seems like only yesterday! Definitely not black and white plates. They were 'modern' yellow/white and you could have them with the raised number or smooth, much as now. I wouldn't bother changing them.
Glad to see Hurley Engineering are still going. They must have made a fortune in the '70's with the V4 conversions. They used to advertise in Exchange and Mart every week and also in some of the motor trade mags.

Lud    on 28 September 2006

And God knows Aprilia V4s other than Lancias of course were fairly merry carp as I remember...

Aprilia    on 28 September 2006

Yes, they were rough and ropey old engines those V4's. My dad and I used to maintain some Transits that used them, and also the odd stray Corsair. They were always shaking the exhaust manifold nuts loose. I also remember that the head bolts were tightened in an odd sequence (from the outside inwards - rather than the other way around, which is usual with most engines).

cheddar    on 29 September 2006

>> My dad and I used to maintain some Transits that used
them, and also the odd stray Corsair. >.


My first job was working in a builders merchants, holiday / saturday job and then for a while after college, some of the builders came in in V4 Transits and in the hot weather they suffered bad vapourisation problems when trying to start a few minutes after being switched off.

scott1s    on 29 September 2006

And the blood line for every Audi of recent years lies in that car. Look at the Ro80, the Audi 80, 100, A4, A6, A8 - all variants on the same theme. Gorgeous car, years ahead of its time.
On another note, is it true that Audi is an acronym of Auto Union Dkw Ingolstadt???

Lud    on 29 September 2006

Closest relative of the NSU RO80 is the VW K70... very similar body shape and a very nice car. First VW front-drive water-cooled car.

Lasted about ten minutes. Why? Something to do with corporate politics no doubt.

bell boy    on 29 September 2006

they were ugly and didnt sell as i remember ...mr lud

Pugugly {P}    on 29 September 2006

they were ugly and didnt sell as i remember ...mr lud

That's never mattered with proper cars.

Altea Ego    on 29 September 2006

The k70 was nothing like the ro80. The k70 was a back to front beetle

Hideous beast
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >

Lud    on 29 September 2006

You don't remember what it looked like, either of you.

It looked very like the RO80. And was a damn good car.

Altea Ego    on 29 September 2006

Sorry I was thinking of the VW type 4


------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >

bell boy    on 29 September 2006

well i remember the k70 very well im afraid

Lud    on 29 September 2006

Agree they can't have sold well though om... something to do with what people expected?

Anyway, soon superseded by the first Passat, and would you want one of those nowadays? I can say very empahatically that I wouldn't.

M.M    on 29 September 2006

None of you remember the K70 correctly.... it was like a Mk.2 Cortina with squared off lights. Ugly as hell and a right load of trouble in its day. Had a friend who kept his Dad's dry stored from the 70s until a few years back in case it might be valuable.... made about £200!

David

henry k    on 29 September 2006

Agree they can't have sold well though om...


There are very few images on Google which IMO supports that.

K70 and various early Passats
www.e-vw.net/?p=dossier&rub=&num_p=0&id=163

K70
tinyurl.com/znwhl
hello.apo.nmsu.edu/~sjnk/bullwinkle/w1970.jpg

cheddar    on 30 September 2006

>>Closest relative of the NSU RO80 is the VW K70... very similar body shape and a very nice car. First VW front-drive water-cooled car. >>

The K70 was an NSU design adopted by VW.

Lud    on 30 September 2006

Thank you very much cheddar. Just what I thought.

Look at the proportions of the thing.

The one I drove in Accra, Ghana in 1977 was silver and had two fat twin-choke Dellortos or similar, but would whisper around at African market speeds as well as go very briskly indeed. Absolutely beautiful motor, far better than the first Passat which soon superseded it.

Garethj    on 30 September 2006

Hope the Ro80 ownership goes well, a friend had one a couple of years ago (in fact he sold it to one of the staff of a classic car magazine) and it used to munch through plugs at a fair rate, probably because of partial wear on the rotor tips.

The engine is only one part of the car, as important is the packaging as you'll see when you get in it. The floor is completey flat inside (like the K70) and there's a huge sensation of space. The rear doors are pretty much vertical on the back edge, none of this curving around the wheelarch nonsense so its proportions are different to most cars and the wheelbase is very long. My hazy memory is playing up, but didn't the windscreen curve in 2 directions for better aerodynamics? That makes it fairly unique too.

The original wheels are a thing of beauty, quite light and better looking (IMHO) than the contemporary Porsche wheels but I think they're the same stud pattern.

Someone's mentioned the gearlever - there's a microswitch in the base so don't rest your hand on the lever or it'll declutch, the torque converter was used to mask the engine's relative lack of torque.

Number plates for your '74 car must be yellow on the rear and white on the front, black & silver are for '72 and older but you didn't choose a completely modern car like the Ro80 when it was new and then stick old style plates on it!

Gareth

M.M    on 30 September 2006

Audi were already making their forerunner to the 80/100 series (& the Passat for VW) in late 1965.... two years before the RO80 and four years before the K70. They started (I think) with just the name Audi and then it soon expanded into the Audi 60, 72, 80 & Super 90 range.

99% sure all these were water cooled front wheel drive with good interior space, great ride/handling and a build quality miles above our Austin, Triumph & Rover offerings.

Google for images of them and you'll see just that classic early Audi styling like the Audi 72 (model not year) here....

auta5p.car.cz/katalog/audi/audi_1700_01.htm

Interestingly Audi must have been impressed by the RO80 and thought one day "we'll make one like that"... it took until the truly excellent 1883 Audi 100 for us to be properly reminded of the NSU.

The Audi-VW-NSU company history is a bit involved and told in different ways by different sources. However VW were buying Audi shares from around 1964 and I think they had a controlling stake by late 1966. So when the NSU K70 came along VW already had all the watercooled/FWD engineering they needed. Hence some comments you will see as to why they bothered to slap the VW badge on it rather than use one of their better existing Audi models.... which of course is eventually what they did with the 1970s VW Passat-Audi 80 range.

David

SjB {P}    on 30 September 2006

>>auta5p.car.cz/katalog/audi/audi_1700_01.htm

If anyone is interested in translating the Czech language, please ask and I'll do my best.

s61sw    on 30 September 2006

'And the blood line for every Audi of recent years lies in that car. Look at the Ro80, the Audi 80...'
good point scott1s, just shows how advanced the NSU was for it's time
S6 1SW

Roger Jones    on 3 October 2006

From Drive on! The social history of the motor car by L. J. K. Setright (2002: Palawan Press; 2003: Granta)

p. 119
"In 1967 NSU produced the sweetest, smoothest and most encouraging car that had yet been seen, the Wankel-engined Ro80 . . ."

p. 139
"Prominent among these [manufacturers pursuing aerodynamic solutions] was Audi, whose 1982 version of the upper-middle-class family saloon set new standards in airflow management and slippery styling. Few people recognised that the contours of the new Audi 100 recalled those of the Ro80 made in 1968 by NSU . . ."

Nomag    on 3 October 2006

I drove my Ro from Romford to Derbyshire on Sunday afternoon. I've driven lots of cars, and I can honestly say it was the most pleasurable journey I've ever done, despite the car drinking like a fish and consuming a good 8 gallons of unleaded (I was doing 80+ mph all the way!). I've never had so many curious glances, or EVER had a BMW driver flash me to let me into the fast lane on the M25, which happened a total of 4 times!

I'm stunned by the car in every way. It has a little rust, but is a very honest example which has had a decent respray and considering its age is in v good nick. The guy I bought it off has 12 Ro80's and clearly doesn't sell them to make a profit, just to try and keep them on the road.

Considering I stepped straight from my 2006 Leon diesel to a 32 year old car I didn't feel like I was stepping back so far. Nicely weighted power steering, smooth and intuitive semi auto box (again far ahead of its time) and the sound of the rotary powerplant is like nothing else. What's more, it didn't even burn a drop of oil, the whole way back.

The car is in the custody of my FiL for a couple of week's tinkering before he drives it up to the North East for me. May I encourage any of you thinking of getting a REAL classic to consider the Ro and keep this increasingly rare vehicle on the road.

Incidentally, I'll post some pictures of the car on a freebie site soon and drop a link here.

Lud    on 3 October 2006

Not a drop of oil, eh? Sounds like a very good one Nomag. And evidently the gearbox and electric clutch suit you (have to say I didn't like them much).

I confess to a measure of envy.

Aprilia    on 3 October 2006

It **should** burn some oil - they are designed to. About 600mpp IIRC - this is to get some lubrication to the tip, corner and side seals.

cheddar    on 3 October 2006

I think I recall reading that putting 2 stroke oil in the petrol helps the rotor tips, a weak mix, perhaps 100/1 or less, check with an Ro expert before you do it though.

Aprilia    on 3 October 2006

Some years back I know a chap who had a model rotary engine - made in Japan by OS. It was a lovely little thing - had a capacity of about 10cc I think.

One rotary engine car I would love to drive is the Mazda Cosmo from the early '90's - I thought they were a lovely looking car. There can only be a handful in the country.

Nomag    on 3 October 2006

Thanks again for the comments
The only way to get oil to the rotor tips is to mix 2 stroke in with the petrol. The guy I bought it from told me to slosh a little bit in with each tankful, which I will.
It probably used a tiny bit of oil, as he told me he deliberately slightly overfilled it in anticipation of my long journey.
Regarding the Mazda Cosmo - the guy I bought the Ro from has the only original Wankel engined Cosmo on the road in the UK....

M.M    on 4 October 2006

Which magazine on its way Nomag.

I was interested in their oil consumption comments. They thought it was OK that they only got 200 miles per pint with the NSU (!!!) as the engine "mixed the oil with the petrol for lubrication". Did they really mean that? In the same test the Citroen DS21 was best at 3,600 miles per pint.

David

Nomag    on 4 October 2006

Hmm...that's news to me! I didn't think it mixed the engine oil with the petrol, hence why i have been told to add 2 stroke to the tank for rotor tip lubrication. I know the oil consumption on the Ro can be high, but I certainly hope it's not 200 miles per pint! I will be changing the oil and filter every 3k though, have been told to use HD30 diesel oil.

Aprilia    on 4 October 2006

Its many years since I had the NSU Wankel apart, but I have a feeling that it did pump oil into the combustion chamber. Certainly something like 500-600mpp rings a bell.
I had more Mazda 12A and 13A apart and they **definitely** do pump oil into the engine. There is small oil pump, externally mounted at the front of the engine, it has two small semi-transparent pipes that lead up to the carburettor and each goes into one of the chokes to drip oil into the inlet manifold and hence the rotor chambers. The Mazdas run about 500mpp.

Lud    on 4 October 2006

Not all that different from a reciprocating engine which splashes or sprays the cylinder walls...

Aprilia    on 4 October 2006

Not all that different from a reciprocating engine which splashes or
sprays the cylinder walls...

Its a lot different because on a reciprocating engine there is good splash or spray lube of the cylinder walls each cycle. This is mostly scraped off by the oil control ring to leave a molecular layer of oil.
In a rotary engine there is no equivalent lubrication of the tip, corner and side seals by the crankcase oil. Oil control from the rotor journal feeds is achieved by two pairs of concentric circular oil control seals located either side of the rotor journal. These are a bit of bugbear on rotary engines and wear here results in very high oil consumption.
On an unworn, unmodified engine the only way for oil to reach the tip, corner and side seals is via introduction of oil via the inlet manifold (with the fuel etc).

Although rotary engine exponents say there are only three moving parts, once you add up all the seals there are a lot lot more. Each rotor has 25 seals plus associated springs, o-rings etc etc.

Garethj    on 5 October 2006

Nicely weighted power steering

I think Tatra used the Ro80 power steering rack in the 613-4Mi and 613-5, it's made by ZF isn't it?

Hope you enjoy owning it - just think that back in 1968 you could still buy an Austin Cambridge.....

helicopter    on 5 October 2006

I think not -It seems the name Audi was in use before the merger.

My understanding from web information into the history of MZ motorcycles ( see high mileage thread ) is that in 1907, a Danish engineer, Jorgen Skafte Rasmussen, started the first company in Zschopau which dealt with the production of engines. MZ stands for Motorradwerk Zschopau.

He built the first steam-engined car, under the name of DKW (Dampf-Kraft-Wagen). 15 years later, he started production of two-stroke motorcycles .

In 1932 DKW joined with three other Saxonian motor manufacturers, Audi, Horch and Wanderer to form AUTO UNION. The four ring trademark, signifying the merger of the four companies, is still used today by Audi.

helicopter    on 5 October 2006

That answer should have slotted in as an answer to scott1s query as to the origin of the Audi name further up the thread.

Dynamic Dave    on 5 October 2006

That answer should have slotted in as an answer to scott1s query as to the origin of the Audi name further up the thread.


It has. Just temp change to view threaded and you will see.

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=45334&...t

Nomag    on 8 October 2006

I've posted some pics of my Ro at groups.msn.com/honestjohn/nomagscarsincnsuro80.msnw if anyone is interested.
Car is with my FiL at the moment, looking forward to getting it up here to the North East next weekend.
While I think about it, can anyone recommend a good product for a) full shampoo of the seats and b)cleaning up dirty pale headlining, the car has a slightly 'musty' unused smell, not damp, and the headlining is quite dirty!

Pugugly {P}    on 8 October 2006

Lovely looking motor. It looks as if it was designed last week ! Have you driven it yet ?

Nomag    on 8 October 2006

See my post above. Drove Croydon-Romford and then Romford-Derbyshire last weekend. About 180 miles total. Used 41 litres unleaded! But drove at 80mph+ all the way on the longer leg and throughly enjoyed myself - it even drives like it was designed, well, some time after last week!

Micky    on 8 October 2006

">It looks as if it was designed last week<"

www.caradisiac.com/media/images/le_mag/mag251/citr...g

Pugugly {P}    on 8 October 2006

Micky,

I knew it reminded me of something.......beautiful cars both.

Micky    on 8 October 2006

Looks good for a grand.

For the next set of photos, please stand to one side of the NSU ;-)

Aprilia    on 8 October 2006

While I think about it, can anyone recommend a good product
for a) full shampoo of the seats and b)cleaning up dirty
pale headlining, the car has a slightly 'musty' unused smell, not
damp, and the headlining is quite dirty!


You could use very dilute 'traffic film remover' (from a motor factor) or try 'Upholstery shampoo' (from a factor or 'Machine Mart').

For the hard surfaces and engine compartment I recommend Simple Green 'Aircraft Cleaner' because its non-corrosive to alloy and doesn't damage plastics or rubber (www.simplegreen.co.uk).

Pugugly {P}    on 8 October 2006

Autoglym's best IMHO ! (for a car like that)

T Lucas    on 8 October 2006

Cracking looking car,and for a bag of sand its a steal,i wish i still owned my RX3 coupe.There is one on ebay Australia at the mo for 15,000 Aussi Dollars,not sure if i'm brave enough though.

Lud    on 8 October 2006

You are to be congratulated Nomag.

Keep it like that.

Roger Jones    on 9 October 2006

I envy you, Nomag. Well done.

barchettaman    on 9 October 2006

Looks a bit like an Austin Maxi from the side though....

Only kidding. Cracking condition, well done Nomag - happy motoring.

CCBG    on 4 July 2014

I used to have a "Whizzwheels" toy RO 80 back in the 70s. Loved the shape..

Years later, there was a sorry-looking RO 80 left to rot on a farm near Saltburn - I used to wonder why someone would just let such an amazing car waste like that.

I think I'd be tempted to preserve the "look", but replace the "troublesome" rotary with something more modern - maybe an AUDI Turbo Diesel? Yes, I know - sacrilege!

CCBG    on 19 January 2016

I have an ORIGINAL NSU RO 80 Repair manual for sale currently on eBay..

Here's the link: ORIGINAL NSU RO 80 Repair Manual on eBay

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