Rus Articles Journal

The Danish childhood of Audi

Once to the Danish smith Jorgen Skaft Rasmussen bothered to forge long ago iron, and he decided to become an engineer. No sooner said than done. After biennial training in Germany he gained the diploma, but work ““ at the Rhine machine-building factory did not inspire for the uncle, and on August 27, 1907 Jorgen organized in Tsshopau small (but the!) the enterprise for production of various fittings for steam-engines.

At that time steam-engines were widely used by

not only on engines, but also as stationary engines at factories. Rasmussen conceived to park a steam-engine on the rubber course and therefore called the zavodik DKW (DampfKraftWagen, that is “paromobil“). So three happy letters which he did not leave any more entered his life.

Experiments with steam-engines turned out

, however, unpromising, it was necessary to look for urgently to them replacement. Here also somebody turned up Hugo Rupp, suggested to master production... a toy duple petrol motor with the only cylinder there is no more thimble of 25 cm3. Boys then were fond of a modelizm, and such engine was a subject of their dreams. So it was also called - Des Knaben Wu. nsch (“dream of the boy“). Letters, as you can see, remained the same.

Motors scattered as hot pies, a design pass - the engine it turned out so successful that after some increase in the cylinder the temptation appeared to put the engine on the real bicycle. Already quite adult uncles rode such motorcycles with pleasure. “Children`s dreams“ it was finished, and the abbreviation of DKW got absolutely other interpretation - Das Kleine Wunder (“a small miracle“). And it was valid the real German miracle because in only 6 years the plant became the world`s largest producer of motorcycles!

not only the number of cylinders in motors, but also wheels under them were time to increase

. In 1928 Rasmussen managed to acquire Audi plant in Zwickau which designers received a task to develop the car with the two-cylinder duple DKW 600 motor of cm3, the wooden bearing body and the forward drive. By the way, the motor in them stood across so “Pass“ Alec Issigonis was not a debut of such configuration at all. The called DKW Front, it quickly became one of the most sold minicars of Germany.

to Live to the talented Dane in whom the engineering talent and intuition of the businessman connected, in clover, but here the Great depression came to Europe (it, by the way, soon brought nazis to power). Small enterprises were ruined or united in large as would tell now, holdings. On this wave in 1932 in Hemnittsa Auto Union (The automobile union) which united DKW and Audi plants of Rasmussen, and also the Horch and Wanderer enterprise was also created. In new concern DKW served “the budgetary segment“, its motorcycles and cars cost from 345 to 3 400 reykhsmarok and found sale, despite economic recession. Minicars of DKW collected 4 800 pieces a month, and they all the same were not enough. (You probably already guessed that four bound rings and became brand of the new autounion.)

Not only configuration of DKW was for those times advanced: these cars were born according to the modern scheme of division of labor. Engines collected in Tsshopau, bodies - in Shpandau, cars were manufactured in Zwickau. In those days hardly anyone decided on such dispersal of production. Neither Opel, nor KdF (subsequently - Volkswagen) could select a significant share of the market at DKW.

of Auto Union did not endure World War II. Its enterprises appeared partially in Western, partially in East Germany. Rasmussen in 1948 returned home where he tried to create automobile production, however, unsuccessfully. History of duple DKW cars in the territory of Germany came to the end in 1965 - m when in Ingolstadt finally refused such motors. And here “four rings“ revived on new Audi cars.

more interesting the destiny of DKW in GDR where there were both Zwickau, and Tsshopau developed. Some time these cars were issued practically without changes under the name of IFA, and then formed a basis for the real national German cars: Trabant and Wartburg made up to falling of the Berlin wall.


B them for many years preserved Rasmussen`s heritage: two-stroke engine. Only two cylinders were enough for the baby of Trabant, and “prestigious“ Wartburg had to add the third - otherwise 130 km/h to it were not to develop. However the real success is not always defined by the number of cylinders or “horses“ in them. Trabant still remains the cult car embodying nostalgia on socialist “paradise“. In due time it was necessary to stand for 15 years in a queue for brand new Trabant`om, today it is possible to buy not rusty (a body - that plastic!) Trabi (so it is tenderly called by Germans) for 20 euros. And sell cans with the duple exhaust of Trabant soldered in them for ten. Really - Das Kleine Wunder of the ingenious Dane!