1938 Horch 853 A Erdmann & Rossi Roadster

The history of the Horch Company dates back to the beginning of the automobile. August Horch worked with Karl Benz during the 1890's before beginning his own company in 1899, which he named Horch & Cie, and located in Ehrenfeld, Germany. The automobile industry was new and wide open for interpretation in terms, of design, style, and mechanical functionality. Horch is credited with introducing a fiction clutch and a shaft-driven for the rear wheels.

A dispute with his shareholders in 1909 had him leaving his company to form Audi, which is the Latin translation of his surname. The Horch Company continued the production of the automobile using the Horch name until the onset of World War II, though it endured various acquisition and mergers during that time.

By 1901 the company was producing a 4.5 horsepower engine which was used to power their vehicles. The engine was unique in that it used an alloy crankcase in place of the more traditional cast iron unit. A 10 horsepower twin-cylinder engine quickly followed.

There have always been hard times for automobile manufacturers and survival is an art. The Great Depression, World Wars, changing market place, evolving technologies, and stiff competition are some reasons for the demise of many companies. Within a few years, the Horch Company was feeling the pressure of the business and was forced to seek new partners. By 1902 the company had moved to Reichenbach and within a year was producing a four-cylinder engine that produced 20 horsepower. Their latest car was debuted at the Frankfurt Fair in 1903.

By 1904, Horch converted the company into a joint-stock company and the company became known as A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen-Werke AG. It was later moved to eastern Germany in a city named Zwickaul.

Within the span of three years, the company had created a six-cylinder engine. The vehicles that were produced were some of the most advanced creations on the road. They were considered superior to the Mercedes or Benz, which were separate manufacturers at the time.

In 1909 Horch was forced to leave by the supervisor board. The following year Horch had formed the Audi Company.

By 1926 the Horch Company introduced a straight-eight cylinder engine which would be used to power some of the most elegant vehicles ever created. By 1935 it had been enlarged to nearly five liters and produced 100 horsepower. This potent engine made its debut in the Horch 850 series. The 853 was a shorter wheelbase version of the 850. The 'A' version was introduced in 1937 and was powered by a 120 horsepower straight-eight engine.

Financial problems with Audi in 1932 forced August to merge with Horch, DKW, and Wanderer which created the formation of the Auto Union and the four-ring logo.

This 853A Cabriolet has coachwork courtesy of Erdmann & Rossi, a Berlin based company and one of the elite coachbuilders in Germany. In recent times it was restored by RM Auctions' restoration department and was later awarded 'Best in Show' at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Since then it has been accumulating awards at shows that it visits.


by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2008

Related Reading : Horch 853 History

August Horch began producing vehicles with Karl Benz prior to 1899, after which he began building vehicles under his own name, August Horch %26 Cie. In 1909, after disputes with shareholders, he departed from his company and founded Audi, which is the Latin translation of his surname. The production of the Horch automobile continued without their founder using his name. In the early part of the....
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1938 Vehicle Profiles

1938 Horch 853 A Erdmann & Rossi Roadster vehicle information

Roadster
Coachwork: Erdmann & Rossi

Chassis Num: 854275
Engine Num: 852006

Meaning to 'hear' or 'listen', August Horch's line of automobiles certainly something more to behold than just to hear, for it would be what the eyes would see that whole could be truly appreciated. And perhaps none of the Horch models could be more ....[continue reading]

1938 Horch 853 A Erdmann & Rossi Roadster vehicle information

Roadster
Coachwork: Erdmann & Rossi

Chassis Num: 854237A

This is one of three surviving examples of the first series of the stylish Horch 853. In early 1935, the Horch Company began to construct a luxurious sporting car along the lines of the special roadsters being offered by Mercedes-Benz in the 1930s. C....[continue reading]

Roadster by Erdmann & Rossi
Chassis #: 854275 
Roadster by Erdmann & Rossi
Chassis #: 854237A 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Horch
1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)

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