Something Rotten in Denmark : 1962 DKW Junior

You’ve come a long way, baby. So goes the cliche. How far then?

1962 DKW

Glostrup Cars in Denmark are selling this two-stroke body-on-frame fossil for just under €10,000. Introduced in 1959, the Juniors (renamed F11 or F12) were discontinued in 1965 when VW bought the firm, ending DKW’s post-war association with Mercedes*. These diminutive DKWs were built in Ingolstadt, at a new factory. The car’s run ended when it became clear that it was just not up to facing the competition presented by VW’s Beetle and Opel’s smaller cars (possibly the 1962 Kadett).

Interestingly, the Junior was a cut above the Beetle, offering a bigger boot and faster cabin heating than the people’s car but it cost that bit more. In one sense you can see Audi’s precursor being a slightly more prestigious product than its peers. Yet, even taking into account the technology of the day, the Junior looks a lot more toy-like and agricultural than similar cars at this price. The two-stroke engine, in particular, was even rougher, noisier and smellier than VW’s air-cooled nail though.

It’s hard to see where this car lies in Audi’s product evolution but perhaps we can say it was the precursor of the current A3, in which case we can say that a lot has happened to Audi in the intervening period but some things have stayed the same. I have not been able to inspect the car but if you feel the wish to do so, the vendor is contactable here. The advert assures prospective buyers that the vehicle is in good order.

Post Script: DKW was founded by a Dane, Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen. Trained in Germany, Rasmussen established several engineering companies in Zwickau. He purchased Audi Automobile Work in 1928. He left the conglomerate which included Horch in 1934, and eventually re-settled in Denmark after the second world war. Today’s Audi has some Danish roots by means of its having been grafted on to DKW. So, there is a little more to this car being suitable fodder for Something Rotten than it being old and in Denmark.

*Shades of the purchase of Alaska by the US from Russia in 1867.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

3 thoughts on “Something Rotten in Denmark : 1962 DKW Junior”

  1. Another thing that has changed about cars is that, nowadays, they generally avoid rubbing in your lowly position in the motoring hierarchy. Back then names like Junior, Kadett, Squire and Popular really rubbed in that you were driving My First Car.

    1. The other strategy is a naming scheme for trim that makes the lowest version sound like the best or else indistinguishable from the others. GM used to offer their cars in “Custom” or “Special”. Did they imagine the mid-level Buick Century Custom cars they turned out would be mistaken for bespoke selections?

  2. Richard. Yet again I notice that you need a fair amount of financial commitment to enter the classic scene in Denmark. The DKW Junior is of course a second cousin to the more famous Trabant, the circle being almost restored by the fitment of a VAG Polo engine to the Trabi near the end of its life, which was a quarter of a century after the end of the DKW’s life.

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