First of all, the DKW Junior deLuxe is not the name of a new $13.99 artisan sandwich from Whole Foods. And no, the image above is not of a Ford Thunderbird that shrunk in the dryer. But you have to admit, this isn’t exactly what pops into your mind when you think of an Auto Union car, is it? (Although, if you’re reading this site, it very well could be). First shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1957, the Junior was first marketed as the DKW 600. Powered by a 3-cylinder two-stroke engine mated to a 4-speed manual transmission (tiptronic appeared a little later) the Junior was a rather popular car for a time, and also came in cabrio form. The Junior deLuxe itself was introduced in 1961 and lasted till 1963 when it was replaced by the DKW F12.
This kleine wunder may only produce 34bhp, but since the car doesn’t really weigh a whole lot, it’s reasonably agile. I’ve seen it move around, and it drove quite briskly. The Deek’s exhaust note actually sounds less like that of a motorcycle than some other two-stroke cars that I’ve seen, like early Saabs. The Junior wasn’t in production for very long, and its successor didn’t hang around for very long either, as in 1964 Daimler Benz sold the company to Volkswagen.
This one appeared to be in great condition, and needless to say there aren’t too many of these on our shores. Preserved in original condition rather than restored, this DKW was clean inside and out, and appeared to have spent extensive time in storage. Even so, it appeared to be very complete, down to all the small badges and trim pieces.
Here’s what I’d want to do with on of these: roll into an Audi dealership’s service department and in complete deadpan demand a free oil change, claiming that my grandpa bought the car here and that it’s still under warranty. That charade probably wouldn’t last long, but it may be worth attempting to see the looks on the tech’s faces. Actually, given the car’s age and uniqueness, they probably would give it some free service just for the publicity of having worked on a 1962 Auto Union. But who am I kidding, my local Audi dealership barely even stocks parts for a late 1990s A8. A better use for this car is a ticket into any Audi gathering, or even the New England 1000.
[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Jay Ramey]