NSU_Prinz_30Listen, the concept here is pretty simple. I have no garage, limited tools, zero storage space, and a Volkswagen. This means I am wholly unable to start on a new project car, and in fact restricted in my ability to work on the project cars I already have.
To that end, I am forced to live vicariously through you, our commenters and friends.

Oh that doesn't look so bad! It's totally fixable!

Oh that doesn't look so bad! It's totally fixable!


Thus, I am going to choose the project car for you, and tell you why you should buy it and fix it up. Once I’ve done the hard part, all you have to do is… well, go do it. So here’s your first project. Get out your wrenches!
The Craigslist seller doesn’t exactly provide a whole lot of information, nor does he inspire a whole lot of confidence. His description is… well, let’s just say “succinct”. But it doesn’t matter, there are two photos, that’s the equivalent of two thousand words! Here’s his advertisement, in its entirety:

2 early 60’s pranx nsu werke, needs total restoration, you make one car out of two. $3000/obo All offers will be considered! Cash on pick up only! Thanks

So why should we care about this odd-looking little car? Well, for starters, it’s an odd-looking little car. And secondly, it’s an Audi!
Well, kind of. It’s an NSU. Despite the seller’s description, it’s actually a pair of Mk I Prinzes, circa roughly 1961. They are not actually “Pranx”, as the seller describes them, although it is entirely possible you will think that  a more fitting name for them once this whole project is finished. And NSU eventually became a part of the DKW / Auto Union / Audi / NSU amalgamation that were all folded into Audi when they were bought en masse by Volkswagen in the late 1960s. But that’s too much information for the average bystander, so when people ask, it’s an old Audi! Nevermind that NSU was actually a knitting machine and bicycle manufacturer. Those trivial details are on a need-to-know basis.

Okay, that one, maybe no-so-good. Parts car.

Okay, that one, maybe no-so-good. Parts car.


So what are the bragging rights for this car? It has an air-cooled two-cylinder engine from a motorcycle, producing slightly more than twenty horsepower. What? Yes. Twenty, two-zero. All this power is dumped straight into a crash-box transmission, again based on a motorcycle design, although if this is one of the later models, it’s possible you could luck out and get one with syncromesh! Ooooh! I know, it doesn’t sound too exciting at first, but think of the possibilities. The engine is roughly 880 cc’s in displacement… approximately the same as the smallest of the new Harley-Davidson engines. Or, what the hell, upgrade to the biggest Harley engine you can find. Just imagine how awesome this little car would sound when you started it up and got that fantastic V-twin heartbeat rumbling out of the rear! What’s that? Don’t like Harley engines? Fine, we’ll allow you to ‘Busa it, but that just seems wrong, given the German – Japanese rivalry of late.
Sure, it might take you a bit of work, and you might have to put in a few late nights, swearing your lungs out as you try and figure out how you’re going to deal with a missing part for a car, built by a company which no longer exists, because it was absorbed by another company which is notorious for charging an exorbitant fortune for the parts it actually does manufacture for the cars it currently produces, so the odds that they’d have your part are slim to none, and if they did it would cost more than both cars combined. But that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
The seller says he wants $3000, but he’s willing to negotiate. Get in there, get your hands dirty, and get to work. Oh, and send me photos.
Massive hat-tip to Jeremy, off of whom I stole the original Craigslist Ad!