1973 NSU Ro80

Highlights

  • Re-trimmed seats
  • Rebuilt engine
  • Drives well

The Appeal

Winner of the Car of the Year award in 1968, NSU’s technologically advanced saloon featured a 995cc twin rotor Wankel engine and semi-automatic transmission with a vacuum-operated clutch.  Today they are very rare and a noteworthy sight on the road.
This example has been treated to a reupholstered interior and a rebuilt engine and is reported to drive well. It’s been resprayed at some stage and, while the paintwork does suffer from a few blemishes, overall it presents well. 

The car is only offered for sale due to the owner downsizing his road car collection to concentrate on his collection of historic race cars.
The owner reports that it needs more regular usage than he is able to give it and its rarity and unusual engineering make it one of those cars that is worth preserving. It’s both practical and usable which shouldn’t make giving it the exercise it needs a chore so if you’re up for a left field classic, then get your bid in now.

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered 2 April 1973
  • Bought approximately 1 year ago from a private seller who had recently recommissioned the car
  • Work reportedly included:
    • Full brake system rebuild
    • Seat retrim
    • Engine rebuild
  • Has been resprayed at some stage, though it’s not known exactly when
  • Set of recent invoices
  • Full set of owners manuals
  • Workshop manuals
  • Period magazines and books
  • MOT exempt
  • V5 present in owner’s name

The Interior

  • Retrimmed upholstery
  • Dashboard in good overall condition
  • Everything working as it should
Open the door to the spacious interior and the first thing that strikes you is the retrimmed upholstery which is finished in oh-so-seventies shades but means that the seats look very smart. Behind the thin-rimmed steering wheel, the dashboard is also clean, tidy and only suffering from a little of the often-characteristic cracking.
On closer inspection, the carpets have suffered from a little staining and the headlining, although clean, is sagging a little in the rear. Overall, though, the cabin is very presentable and everything is in full working order. Back in the boot, it’s tidy and there is a spare wheel and jack.

The Exterior 

  • Resprayed at some stage
  • Paintwork generally tidy
  • Trim in good condition
  • New tyres
Metallic brown suits the car well and it presents nicely overall with good trim and a tidy set of wheels. There are some blemishes to take note of however, including some touch ups, a small dent to the bootlid and some scratches to the offside doors. The pictures provide the full detail.
The front bumper chrome bar displays some evidence of welding but the seller reports that there’s no visible signs of welding, damage or corrosion to the underside of the car which he describes as being in excellent condition.

The Mechanics 

  • Rebuilt engine
  • Fully rebuilt brakes
  • Has covered 200 miles in recent weeks with no issues
Open the bonnet and you’re greeted with an unusually compact engine in the form of the 995cc twin rotor Wankel unit. It was rebuilt by the previous owner who was running some 2 stroke oil in it to help bed it in. This does result in a little smoke when it’s cold and on choke but it’s reducing as fresh petrol goes through it. It’s also a little hesitant when cold but the owner believes that this is due to lack of use.
When warmed through and on the road, it reportedly pulls well, the gearstick-operated clutch engages as it should and the gear changes are smooth. The brakes, which recently benefited from a new master cylinder, callipers and lines, are effective and bring the car up in a straight line. The quiet engine is offset by a raspy exhaust note but no other untoward noises are reported.

Summary

An rare and unusual car that would make a very practical and usable classic and which is sure to be a talking point wherever it goes.

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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Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1973
  • Make NSU
  • Model Ro80
  • Colour Brown
  • Mileage 47,229 Miles
  • Engine size 1999
  • Seller Type Private
  • County Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
14 Bids from 6 bidders
  • ccts295•••• £11,300 30/05/22
  • martin-•••• £11,050 30/05/22
  • ccts295•••• £10,800 30/05/22
  • martin-•••• £10,550 30/05/22
  • ccts295•••• £10,300 30/05/22
  • ccts295•••• £10,050 30/05/22
  • Panhard•••• £9,950 30/05/22
  • lloyd.f•••• £8,800 30/05/22
  • Panhard•••• £8,500 30/05/22
  • lloyd.f•••• £7,800 30/05/22

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