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DKW Auto Union 1000SP (1958 - 1965)

Last updated 7 September 2013

Beautiful looks, and tidy handling
Doesn't go as well as it looks
were produced
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After the introduction of the 1000 S Coupe, it was inevitable that Auto Union would produce a roadster version. However the surprise was that the 1000 Sp Roadster ended up being one of the most visually and dynamically accomplished European models of its era. The styling was a pretty effort, being inspired by the designs coming out of America at the time, most notably, the contemporary Ford Thunderbird. The 1000 SP’s prettiness was rooted in its proportions – it was a design was correctly scaled to the size of the car, and it fitted in perfectly with European motoring.

First presented as a coupé in 1957, the 1000 SP was bolstered by the appearance of a roadster in 1961. It was built in relatively small numbers – and a total of around 1640 were sold in the end. Sitting on a DKW 1000 chassis, the SP also shared the DKW's all-independent suspension and front-wheel drive layout. From 1963, it was improved by front disc brakes and the 980cc three-cylinder two-stroke engine, which was also used by Saab, was tuned to produce a useful 55bhp. The coachbuilder Baur, based in Stuttgart, manufactured the bodies and a total of about 6640 coupés and roadsters were made.