March 4, 2023
YOUNGSTOWN, N.Y. – If you saw the four rings emblems on today’s RealRide and assumed it was an Audi, you’re close, but no cigar. This is an Auto Union 1000 Universal (a model built between 1959 and 1962), Auto Union of course being the successor of the DKW brand and the modern-day predecessor of the Audi nameplate. The four rings symbolize the four German manufacturers which merged in 1932 to form Auto Union GmbH (Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer). Surprisingly (to me, anyway) one brochure I found, which touted the 1000’s front-wheel-drive, rack and pinion steering, and valveless engine, on the last page also mentioned that “Auto Union-DKW vehicles are sold and serviced in the United States through dealers authorized by Mercedes Benz Sales, Inc. of South Bend, Indiana.” So yes, I guess there’s a bit of a Studebaker link there also, Studebaker being Mercedes Benz’s distributor back in the day.
Jim Corbran, RRofWNY
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