1961 Auto Union 1000

***Images supplied by vendor***


  • Three-cylinder two-stroke engine, raspy and fun
  • Engine rebuild
  • History from new, including full list of owners and original sales invoice!
  • Bright ‘Mussel Yellow’ paintwork

The Appeal

How about owning something a little different? This 1960 Auto Union 1000 has a three-cylinder, two-stroke engine and has been restored after covering over half a million miles. 

It was sold new in Zimbabwe, in 1961 and kept by its first owner for 46 years. They clocked up some 580,000 miles in the car –  a remarkable achievement given that the two-stroke engine is a mere 981cc. 

This car now resides in South Africa and is accompanied by the original bill of sale, service book and workshop manual. Having got this far, it's ready for its next owner to take it to 600,000 miles and beyond!

The History and Paperwork

  • Sold new in Zimbabwe
  • One owner for 46 years
  • Covered 580,000 miles prior to restoration, a true high-mile hero
  • Original bill of sale included
  • Handbook, service book and workshop manual

The Interior

  • Quirky retro styling
  • Upholstery in excellent condition
  • Column-mounted gear shift

Upon entering this Auto Union you take a step back in time, with its brilliantly retro styling. The large, thin-rimmed steering wheel, distinctive vertical linear speedometer, and column-mounted gear lever are a world apart from anything you might see on a modern vehicle. 

The well-padded seats appear to be in excellent condition and the headlining remains taught and presentable. The car comes with rubber floor matting featuring the four rings of the Auto Union badge. 
The owner mentions a small tear in the rear left side panel which is visible in the picture gallery and says the door guides would need to be changed although his homemade ones are holding up fine. He does admit however that they are a little harder to close than they should be. There is a DKW parts specialist in South Africa which is unfortunately temporarily closed so this has been put on hold for the moment. Parts are also available in Brazil where these cars have a big following.

The Exterior 

  • Original colour of ‘Mussel Yellow’ retained
  • Wrap-around front and rear screens offer excellent visibility
  • Dry climate – rust not an issue

The rather fetching colour of ‘Mussel Yellow’ gives this charming little car a decidedly friendly appearance. In fact, it’s hard to imagine being able to get into this car without a smile on your face. 

The paintwork remains in a very presentable condition but has suffered from some blistering, as detailed in the photographs, and the chromed hubcaps have suffered from some peeling. 

Underneath, the body looks to have been well maintained, with the obvious advantage of a warm, dry, southern African climate. The vendor states that rust is not an issue.

The Mechanics 

  • Engine rebuild
  • Converted from 6V to 12V
  • Replaced fuel tank

Normally, a car which has covered over half a million miles would be showing considerably more wear than this one. But the vendor notes that the engine has benefited from a rebuild and that the brakes are excellent for a car of this period. 

The electrical system has been converted to 12 volts, but a 6 volt dynamo is included in the sale should the next owner wish to return the car to its original specification. The original steel fuel tank has been replaced with a fibreglass tank, which incorporates the two-stroke oil/fuel mixer. An auxiliary electric fan has been installed to  cope with the South African climate. 

Earlier this year, the car took part in a 1,700km tour, which it is said to have completed without incident, no wonder as there are only 7 moving parts inside the engine! 


This unorthodox little car has clocked up an impressive mileage, and has since benefited from restoration. 

A charming example of an unusual vehicle, which has spent its life in a dry climate and will be sure to turn heads and bring smiles to faces. 

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1961
  • Make Auto Union
  • Model 1000
  • Colour Yellow
  • Odometer 28,577 Miles
  • Engine size 981
  • Town Port Elizabeth
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location International
  • Country South Africa
Bidding history
14 bids from 6 bidders
  • kennedy•••• £4,100 10/08/22
  • neznoz7•••• £3,900 10/08/22
  • repella•••• £3,700 10/08/22
  • kennedy•••• £3,500 10/08/22
  • repella•••• £3,300 10/08/22
  • raul-go•••• £3,100 10/08/22
  • repella•••• £3,000 10/08/22
  • neznoz7•••• £2,600 10/08/22
  • kennedy•••• £2,000 09/08/22
  • repella•••• £1,500 08/08/22

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