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DKW Reviews

DKW, or Dampf-Kraft-Wagen, was formed by Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen in 1916. It started out in a factory in Zschopau, Saxony, Germany, to produce steam fittings. In the same year, he attempted to produce a steam-driven car, called the DKW, which ended up not selling. But the same year saw DKW build a two-stroke toy engine in 1919, which ended up powering a range of motorcycles.

Five years later DKW moved into car manufacture, and right from the beginning, built an innovative range of front wheels drive cars, starting with the F1. In 1932, DKW merged with Audi, Horch and Wanderer, to form the Auto Union. And in 1957, Auto Union came under Daimler-Benz ownership, and was then purchased by Volkswagen in 1964. The last German built DKW car was the F102, which mutated into the Audi F102 60-90 - production of the final DKW in Europe was in 1966.

Good: Rugged and unstoppable
Bad: Limited in its appeal
Good: Great to drive, fun handling, buzzy two-stroke engine
Bad: Needs to be driven flat out to keep up with the flow
Good: Advanced specification, front-wheel drive dynamics
Bad: Two-stroke power - you either love it or hate it
Good: Beautiful looks, and tidy handling
Bad: Doesn't go as well as it looks
Good: Advanced engineering, good looks, sweet-spinning two-stroke engine that thrives on revs
Bad: The end of the line for DKW, and one less innovative company