This car was built in Sindelfingen in 1955 for the South African market. That’s why it has right-hand drive, since the British played a big role in road traffic there too, of course. A good friend of mine who was in South Africa at the time found out the car was available, bought it, and then had it shipped back here to Germany. The entire car is still in its original condition.
After I bought it, I did some restoration work on it two years later. I took everything out of the interior, including the floor mats — there was still coconut matting underneath — and you could see that the car had never been in an accident. It had never had an accident, there was no damage, and no welding seams had been added. That means it’s certainly one of the absolute rarities among classic cars.
Because the car stood indoors for such a long time, it had some damage to the engine. Of course everyone advised me to scrap the original engine and replace it with a newer one. But I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to keep the old engine that was already in the car, and I decided to really invest a lot of money to restore the car and re-equip it. Here we’ve got the six-volt gasoline engine. Of course it’s not as zippy as the engines we have today. It has an output of 52 hp, and we can go from 0 to 100 in 32 seconds. Of course that’s a fairly long time, but the car handles very well, the engine is very quiet and it runs very smoothly. It’s a four-cylinder engine, but you might think it’s a six-cylinder one — that’s how quietly this engine runs, and it’s been optimally tuned.
Yes, the shift is on the left, and there’s a single-H shift on the steering wheel, which makes it very easy to shift to the wrong gear. You really have to be careful and ask yourself, “What gear am I driving in?” “Which gear do I want to shift into next?” You sometimes really start to have doubts, and you have to think carefully: “Which gear can I shift into fastest, the next one up or the next one down?” When you’re driving this car anywhere in this region, it goes without saying that you cause a sensation, because it’s an absolute classic. Besides, people don’t see this kind of car every day. In the next two or three years, I’m going to drive along an alpine road — I mean up in the high Alps. I would start at Lake Constance and drive over high mountain passes. In this car, a trip like that would be extremely interesting.