1961 NSU Prinz 30
Sold For $23,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
With 30 horsepower, it is one of the fastest microcars of the era.
Manufacturer: NSU Motorenwerke AG
Origin: Neckarsulm, Germany
Production: 35,914 (all models for 1961)
Motor: NSU 2-cyl., 4-stroke
Displacement: 583 cc
Power: 30 hp
Length: 10 ft. 3 in.
Identification No. 33096
In 1955, the NSU engineering department was instructed to build a new small car. The sum of 7.5 million marks was allotted to build a new plant for the project. The factory wanted the car to be “deliberately kept small and functional, while cutting a pert, lively figure among its contemporaries.”
The car was ready for the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 1957. Its attractive sedan body carried a technically interesting, air-cooled motor featuring the Ultramax camshaft drive using eccentrics and rods. The motor produced a lively 26 horsepower, and the gearbox was of the constant-mesh motorcycle type. Production began in March 1958, the Prinz I being the base model and the Prinz II offering a higher level of trim and a wide range of color schemes.
An all-synchro box arrived in 1959, and the Prinz II, with a new 36 SAE horsepower motor, became the fastest small car of the time. The new base model Prinz III incorporated all the latest technical improvements, while the 30 horsepower model was renamed Prinz 30. It was succeeded by the Corvair-like Prinz IV. Volkswagen eventually took over NSU and merged it with Audi to form Audi NSU Auto Union AG. This example is not only quite sprightly, it is also, unquestionably, one of the few examples known to exist.