1956 DKW Schnellaster Kastenwagen

1956 DKW Schnellaster Kastenwagen 1956 DKW Schnellaster Kastenwagen
Kastenwagen
Chassis #: F800/3 22512640
Engine #: 66406870
Sold for $101,750 at 2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach.
Sold for $93,500 at 2018 Gooding & Company : Scottsdale, Az..
The 'Schnellaster Kastenwagen,' or 'Rapid Transit Panel Van,' was a van that had large capacity, a flat floor, low-threshold loading deck, and an easily accessible engine. It was conceived as a rival to Volkswagen's Transporter/Kombi.

During the 1950s DKW's US marketing team tried associating their products with Hollywood. They were able to get Swedish actress Anita Ekberg to drive a DKW Sports Coupe in the 1957 feature film Valerie. They felt that the big screen could be more effective that promoting their product in newspaper ads. Unfortunately for DKW, the Volkswagen product simply overwhelmed DKW, which ceased production in 1966.

Chassis number F800/3 22512640
This Schnellaster Kastenwagen 3=6 is powered by an 896cc 3-cylinder, 2-stroke engine which produces 42 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel drum brakes. It was shipped new from Ingolstadt, Germany on April 5th of 1956 to Peter Satori Motors in Pasadena, California. It was used a delivery vehicle for an auto parts supplier in Orange County until mechanical issues forced it into retirement. The van would sit in the store's parking lot for over two decades, serving as a stationary billboard, with hand-painted signage on the side panels.

In 2011, the van re-surfaced at a prominent Volkswagen gathering. The current owner had been searching for such an example, and after learning of its existence, contacted the owner and quickly negotiated a purchase. At the time, it was a 'rolling basket case.' Two years were spent locating missing parts and completing a concours restoration. The engine was completed rebuilt with NOS parts, including a new roller-bearing crankshaft. The rest of the van was completely disassembled, and the body shell stripped to bare metal before repainting. The chassis was also taken down to its boxed ladder frame.

The completed van was finished in 'Jadegrun' (Jade Green) and 'EierschalenweiB' (Shell White). The driver's seat and the optional foldaway front passenger seat were reupholstered in correct pebbled brown vinyl, and rubber floor mats of correct specification were replicated.

This van is equipped with US-specification pivoting front vent windows, turn signal lights (European version had semaphores), and a center-mounted license/stop light.

It is believed that there were just four known 'Kastenwagens' residing in the United. This example is the only restored and operational example.


By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2013



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3DKW
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)2,000
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)2,268
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)

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