If you thought last week’s Audi 90 Quattro was going to be the oldest Auto Union car you were going to see on Hooniverse for at least a month, you were mistaken. This 1957 Auto Union DKW 3=6 looked stunning in person, and was pretty much in concours condition when I saw it. The 3=6 was a front wheel drive car developed by Auto Union in the late 1940s. First shown at Frankfurt in 1953, the 3=6 was warmly received, even though its styling was clearly an evolution of pre-war aerodynamic design language.
The car’s curious name, as I’m sure a lot of you know, arose from DKW’s advertising campaign that sought to promote the new two-stroke 3-cylinder engine as being just as good as the four-stroke 6-cylinder engine. Though by the end of the car’s production cycle in 1959, it was sold simply as the DKW 900. But this is essentially one of Auto Union’s most popular cars of the 1950s, even though there are very few of these in North America.
Weighing in at just under 900 kilograms, the 3=6 was a popular little 2-door sedan that also came in cabrio form by Karmann. Having heard this car moving around, you’ll be interested to know that it doesn’t do as good an impression of a 1980s Japanese motorcycle as some other notable two-stroke cars like the Junior deLuxe, the ZAZ 968, or the Saab 99.
Just how much are these now? A blue 1957 3=6 in good condition recenty sold for $8,800 at Russo and Steele in 2013. While that sounds pretty affordable, a 1957 wagon version of the 3=6 with a charming wooden roof rack brought a surprising $60,500 at RM’s Amelia Island sale in March of last year. Of course that doesn’t meat that every 3=6 wagon is now worth $60K, but still, those are some pretty impressive numbers.
[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Jay Ramey]