The Steyr-Werke in the town of Steyr in eastern Austria was a weapons and bicycle manufacturer employing some 14,000 people during the First World War. By the time the war was over, the company had produced a total of 3,000,325 rifles, 234,919 pistols, and 40,524 machine guns. But following the war, demand for weapons sharply declined, and Steyr's managing board of directors decreed the company would try its luck at an automobile. In 1920, famed designer Hans Ledwinka (most famous for the Tatra automobile) designed and built the first Steyr, the Wafenauto. Later, cars were built under the leadership of Ferdinand Porsche, who joined the company in 1929 after working for Mercedes. The company was merged with Austro-Daimler-Puch in 1934. In total, Steyr manufactured 34,776 cars between 1920 and 1940. The 220 was the last pre-war model built by Steyr. They were available in four body styles provided by Dresden, Germany-based coachbuilder Glaser. All 220s were powered by a 260cc overhead valve six-cylinder inline engine producing 55 horsepower, coupled to a four-speed manual transmission.
Six of these unique Glaser-bodied Steyr 220 Sport Roadster models were built before World War I. Three were destroyed in the war, one is displayed in an Austrian museum, and one has been lost to history. This example is the only one in the United States, only one in private ownership, and was built as a factory demonstrator bodied by Glaser of Dresden and shipped to Berlin, Germany, in 1938. It features factory upgrades by Steyr which include dual carburetors, dual exhausts, a longer-duration cam, and bigger valves.
The car was acquired by its current owner in 2011 and given a restoration completed in 2012. The restoration was not easy, as parts were difficult to find. The owners visited with Mr. Egon Zweimuller in Enns, Austria. His grandfather worked for Steyr, and his father restored Steyr automobiles. Egon and his father went to the Steyr factory in the 1950s and purchased all the parts that were left. The current owners purchased all of those parts from Zweimuller for the restoration.