A Danish engineer named Jorgen Skafte Rasmussen founded a factory in Saxon, Germany in 1916 with the purpose of producing steam fittings. During the companies' introductory year, they attempted to produce a steam-dren car, called the DKW (Dampf-Kraft-Wagen meaning steam-driven car). Though the attempt was not successful, the engine was later used in a motorcycle and called Das Kleine Wunder, meaning 'the little marvel.' Within a few years, the DKW brand would be the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles.
In 1932, Audi, Horch, Wanderer, and DKW merged, forming Auto Union. In 957, ownership came under Daimler-Benz and in 1964, was purchased by the Volkswagen Group.
Though motorcycles were a large part of the DKW business, automobiles were also an integral part. They produced cars from 1928 until 1966 and were one of the very first marque's to use front-wheel drive and transverse mounting. Power was from a two-stroke engine that displaced 600 or 700cc, producing 18 to 20 horsepower. Their most popular pre-War models were the F1 through F8, with the 'F' representing 'front.'
The DKW introduced their 'Dynastart', an innovative feature that had a generator that doubled as a self-starter and was mounted directly on the crankshaft.
This vehicle is a DKW F7, produced from 1937 through 1938. Under the bonnet was a two-stroke 2-cylinder engine that displaced either 584cc or 692cc. It had a three-speed manual transmission and a wheelbase size of 102.8-inches. It was a replacement for the DKW F5 and was later replaced by the DKW F8.
The F7 was offered as a closed saloon or a two door cabriolet saloon. In 1938, a Front Luxus Cabriolet was added to the line-up.
In total, there were approximately 80,000 examples of the DKW F7 produced. By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2009