From Ingolstadt to Düsseldorf

DKW Junior -61











manufactured by Auto Union AG.

The   car   received   a   positive   reaction   when   first   exhibited,   initially   badged   as   the   DKW   600,   at the   Frankfurt   Motor   Show   in   March   1957.   The   ‘Junior’   name   was   given   to   the   (by   now)   DKW   750 in   1959   when   the   car   went   into   volume   production,   but   failed   to   survive   an   upgrade   in   January 1963,   after   which   the   car   was   known   as   the   DKW   F12.   In   addition   to   the   saloon,   a   pretty   ‘F12 Roadster’ (cabriolet version) was produced in limited numbers. The   car   was   known   for   its   two-stroke   engine. A   number   of   European   auto-makers   produced   two- stroke   powered   cars   in   the   1950s,   but   by   the   time   the   DKW   Junior   came   along,   the   market   was beginning   to   resist   two-stroke   powered   cars   as   the   industry   increasingly   standardised   on   four- stroke   four-cylinder   units   which   accordingly   were   becoming   cheaper   to   produce.   Two-stroke- engined cars were perceived by some as rough and noisy by comparison.

The DKW line-up

In   terms   of   its   size   and   pricing,   the   DKW   Junior   slotted   into   the   range   just   below   the Auto   Union 1000,   which   itself   underwent   an   upgrade   and   a   name   change   (from   DKW   to Auto   Union)   in   1957. The Junior was therefore from its introduction until August 1963 the only DKW branded car.

The body

The   Auto   Union   1000   had   a   form   that   closely   followed   that   of   a   prototype   first   presented   in 1938.    In    contrast,    the    smaller    Junior    had    an    uncompromisingly    modern    ponton,    three-box design,   filled   out   to   the   corners   and   featuring   tail   fins   which   were   just   beginning   to   appear   on one or two of Europe’s more fashionable designs at this time. Despite its modern shape, the body sat on a separate chassis.


The   DKW   Junior   prototype   exhibited   in   1957   featured   a   two-cylinder   660   cc   two-stroke   engine reminiscent of the two-stroke engine last seen in the DKW F89 Meisterklasse phased out in 1953. A   new   plant   was   constructed   at   the   company's   Ingolstadt   location   for   production   of   the   car (DKWs   having   been   assembled   since   the   war   till   now   at   Düsseldorf),   and   by   the   time   the   Junior went   into   production,   the   prototype’s   engine   had   been   replaced   by   a   three-cylinder   two-stroke unit   of   741   cc   for   which   an   output   of   34   bhp   (25   kW)   was   claimed.   The   four   speed   manual transmission was controlled via a cable linkage using a column mounted gear lever. In   1961   the   DKW   Junior   retailed   for   4790   Marks.   It   offered   more   luggage   space   and   a   wider   cabin than   the   market   leading   Volkswagen   Beetle,   and   customers   willing   to   pay   an   extra   160   Marks   for the   optional   heater   had   the   advantage   in   winter   of   a   car   that   warmed   up   much   more   rapidly than the Volkswagen with its air-cooled power unit. It   is   not   clear   whether   the   DKW   Junior   de   Luxe,   introduced   in   1961,   was   intended   to   replace   or to   complement   the   original   Junior   which,   in   any   case,   was   withdrawn   in   1962.   The   Junior   de Luxe   had   its   cylinders   bored   out:   total   displacement   was   now   796   cc.   Claimed   power   output   was unchanged   but   the   torque   was   marginally   increased   and   the   wheel   size   grew   from   12   to   13 inches. Claimed maximum speed increased from 114 km/h (71 mph) to 116 km/h (72 mph). In   January   1963   the   Junior   De   Luxe   was   replaced   by   the   DKW   F12.   Outwardly   there   was   little change,   but   the   C   pillar   became   more   angular   and   the   engine   was   enlarged   to   889   cc   which   was reflected   by   a   claimed   increase   in   output   to   40   bhp   (29   kW).   Apart   from   the   engines,   the   big news   from   the   F12   involved   the   brakes:   the   F12   was   the   first   car   in   this   class   to   be   equipped with front disc brakes. In   August   the   Junior’s   796   cc   engine   reappeared   in   the   DKW   F11   which   was   in   effect   a   reduced specification F12. The   DKW   F12   roadster   which   appeared   in   1964   extracted   45   bhp   (33   kW)   from   its   889   cc   three- cylinder   engine,   and   this   more   powerful   unit   became   available   in   the   F12   saloon   for   a   few months from February 1965.

The end

Early   in   the   summer   of   1965   Volkswagen   acquired   the   Auto   Union   business   from   Daimler   Benz: production   of   the   two-stroke   DKWs   was   almost   immediately   terminated.   In   the   market   place   the DKWs   had   been   facing   an   increasing   struggle   to   compete   with   similarly   sized   more   powerful four-stroke-engined   offerings   from   Volkswagen   and,   more   recently,   Opel.   By   the   end   of   1965   the plant   formerly   controlled   by   Auto   Union   was   building   Audi   badged   cars,   with   four-cylinder   four- stroke engines designed, before the change of ownership, in collaboration with Mercedes Benz.


Engine 741cc 3 cylinders two stroke Power 34 HP Top speed 114 km/ Lenght 3,96 m
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.