Aussie cars - my other hobby

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Jaguar XJ220


Jaguar XJ220
Jaguar XJ220

The Jaguar XJ220 was the work of a group of Jaguar employees working in their spare time. It was revealed in concept form at the 1988 British Motor Show, powered by the firm’s V12 engine and a four-wheel-drive layout. The public loved it, with 1,500 deposits of £50,000 placed off the back of the concept alone. Production reality wasn’t quite the same, however: the engine was replaced by a turbocharged V6 (in-keeping with rivals such as the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40) – and it was rear-wheel drive. Just 271 were sold.
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Morris Marina


Morris Marina
Morris Marina

The Morris Marina was exactly the car newly-formed British Leyland needed to compete with the likes of Ford – a fleet-friendly Cortina rival. But, in a move that would set the tone for BL, the Marina was quickly seen as a parts-bin special. It was criticised by the press for its ‘almost heroic’ levels of understeer, and sales got off to a slow start. It was keenly priced, however, and 807,000 were sold in the UK during the 10 years it was on sale.
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Fiat 500L


Fiat 500L
Fiat 500L

Ah, the petite (original) Fiat 500. Such a cute little thing. We could have included the modern incarnation here, but we decided to stick the knife into the monstrosity that is the 500L instead. The 4.1-metre long 500L is a mini people carrier that’s not been blessed with attractive Italian design.
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Triumph Acclaim


Triumph Acclaim
Triumph Acclaim

The final new car to sport the Triumph badge, the Acclaim was very different to the British sports cars the brand was known for. It was a four-door saloon based on the Honda Ballade (using a 1.3-litre Honda engine), and was built on British Leyland’s Longbridge production line. It was good to drive, reliable, and prices on the classic car market are finally starting to go up as numbers dwindle.
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Ferrari FF


Ferrari FF
Ferrari FF

This is the third Ferrari to feature here: the four-seat shooting-brake FF (‘Ferrari Four’). Launched in 2011, Ferrari described it as the ‘world’s fastest four-seat automobile’, with its 6.3-litre V12 accelerating the FF to 62mph in 3.7 seconds. Its looks proved controversial at first, but they’ve mellowed with age, and who wouldn’t want like a Ferrari they can take the entire family out in?
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DeLorean DMC-12


DeLorean DMC-12
DeLorean DMC-12

Had it not been for a certain film of the 1980s, the story of the DeLorean DMC-12 might have been all but forgotten. Of little interest beyond car enthusiast circles. A chapter in the political and economic history of Northern Ireland. And the second act in a tale about John DeLorean. Aside from the fact that it could have been better, the DMC-12 wasn’t that controversial. What went on around it certainly was.
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Hennessey Venom GT


Hennessey Venom GT
Hennessey Venom GT

The Hennessey Venom GT was the fastest production car in the world, capable of hitting 200mph in 14.51 seconds and a top speed of more than 270mph. Or was it? Based on a Lotus Exige chassis and made by American tuning house Hennessey Performance Engineering, the Venom GT sold in limited numbers. Does that mean it qualifies as a production car? It certainly isn’t built on the same scale as the Bugatti Veyron. And Guinness World Records agreed. Today, the Venom GT has been eclipsed by the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport and Koenigsegg Agera RS.
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Ford Focus RS


Ford Focus RS
Ford Focus RS

The ‘Drift mode’ on the Ford Focus RS ruffled a few feathers. Some argued that it encourages irresponsible driving and is a danger to other road users. In response, Ford said it was designed for use on a track, claiming it can ‘help the driver achieve controlled oversteer drifts’. Controversial? Perhaps, but is it any more dangerous than a confusing touchscreen or drinking hot coffee at the wheel?
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BMW 7 Series


BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

When it was launched in 2001, many were horrified by the Chris Bangle-designed E65 BMW 7 Series. It replaced the discreet, three-box appearance the 7 Series was known for with a ‘Bangle butt’ rear end and a wheelbase some 60mm longer than its predecessor. Even those who could just about forgive its looks were confused by the new iDrive infotainment system. Twenty years on, BMW is courting controversy with its use of MASSIVE front grilles.
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Volkswagen TDI


Volkswagen TDI
Volkswagen TDI

Volkswagen’s TDI engines were at the centre of the Dieselgate scandal. Millions of cars were affected, with Volkswagen caught fitting so-called ‘defeat devices’ to its cars in order to pass strict emissions targets. It cost Volkswagen billions of pounds and put a huge dent in its global reputation. “We’ve totally screwed up,” said Volkswagen America boss Michael Horn. Quite.
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Toyota Prius


Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius became the pin-up star of greenwashed celebrities and politicians trying to do the right thing for the planet. In doing so, the Prius cemented its reputation as the brand generic for hybrid vehicles. The controversy surrounds the production of the Prius and other hybrids. Remember the story about the Hummer being greener than a Prius? Although it was subsequently discredited, it highlights the controversial elements of electrified vehicles.


https://www.msn.com/en-au/motoring/news/the-most-controversi ... 1#image=41
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The most beautiful convertible cars:


Convertible 1.jpg

The most beautiful convertible cars.

The convertible is probably the oldest form of car body. In fact, it actually dates back to before the advent of the automobile. Horse-drawn carts were often equipped with a rudimentary folding top to protect passengers from the elements. Since the 1960s, the variety of convertibles has improved and diversified. Driving with the wind in your hair has never been more accessible. Choices are endless: sporty models for racing, luxurious models for cruising, practical models for everyday use, and all-terrain models for off-road adventures. You can even find a convertible van, if that’s your fancy.

Here's a list of 20 vehicles that all feature a retractable or removable roof and certain unique stylistic, mechanical, or historical elements.
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Ford Mustang (1965-1967)


Ford Mustang (1965-1967)
Ford Mustang (1965-1967)

The original Ford Mustang, launched in April 1964, certainly needs no introduction. Its rollout coincided with the arrival of a huge cohort of young adults from the post-war baby boom. The Mustang was immensely popular from the get go, and a big reason for that popularity was a convertible version that featured a well-balanced profile and discreet roof storage when retracted.
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Ford Mustang (1987-1993)


Ford Mustang (1987-1993)
Ford Mustang (1987-1993)

After making a grand entrance in 1964, the Mustang quietly swapped its slender lines for weight and volume, eventually becoming a clunky boulevard cruiser between 1971 and 1973. Worse still, the following generation's mechanics (Mustang II, 1974-1978) were based on the engine used in the Pinto, a rather unimpressive subcompact car. With the launch of the Mustang Fox in 1979, however, Ford was well on its way to correcting its errors of the 1970s.

This generation of Mustang boasted a 15-year run with occasional improvements and upgrades. The last version (1987-1993) is probably the prettiest, especially the GT convertible. Like the 1965 Mustang, its lines are particularly pure and balanced, with the top up or down.
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Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (1979-1992)


Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (1979-1992)
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (1979-1992)

Ah, the famous Golf Cabriolet hoop (kindly nicknamed the "basket handle") that got so many talking! This model made our list thanks to American passenger protection regulations and because the strength of a unibody structure is compromised when the roof is retracted. Nonetheless, the convertible version had a great 13-year run. Such longevity is astonishing, considering that the Golf's original design dates way back to 1974. Like the 1987-1993 Mustang, the last model (1990–1992) is the prettiest with its matching bumpers, rocker panels, and wing fenders. This model is once again becoming popular among young adults, who are putting in new engines and modern undercarriages.
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Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (1957-1974)


Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (1957-1974)
Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (1957-1974)

This timeless beauty is astonishing with a curvaceous line that lends itself perfectly to a convertible version. Even better, it loses none of its elegance when the top is up. In fact, the soft top echoes the original shape of the fixed-roof car, a detail that certainly made this model very popular. Its engine was the same as that used in the Beetle and dates back to the 1930s. The most powerful version of the Karmann Ghia boasted only a 60-horsepower engine, which is probably a good thing considering the rudimentary design of the torsion bar suspension and the imprecision of the worm-and-roller steering box.
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Porsche 914 (1969-1976)


Porsche 914 (1969-1976)
Porsche 914 (1969-1976)

Whatever your opinion, the unloved 914 is one of two Porsche models that made our list of the most beautiful convertibles. Stylistically, the 914 is a revelation. Low, wide, and pared back, the bodywork is completely smooth, with no creases or decorative trim. The two hoods lie virtually flat, and the removable roof panel stows right under the rear hood when driving with the top down. Only the front turn signals are visible when the headlights are off. The minimalist tail lights are functionally perfect in their simplicity, and what about the colour scheme? Launched at the dawn of the 1970s, the 914 was the champion of bright colours. Its daring acid green, sky blue, tangerine, and canary-yellow versions were like no other.
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Porsche Boxster (1996-2004)


Porsche Boxster (1996-2004)
Porsche Boxster (1996-2004)

The Boxster is the other Porsche pick that made our list. Not surprising since the 911 line is so tightly associated with closed bodywork that the convertible versions seem to be missing something. In comparison, the Boxster is sublime in its simplicity. Check out its curvaceous stern with tail lights mimicking furrowed eyebrows. Note the roof that folds completely beneath the body line courtesy of the centrally mounted flat engine. The front headlights that were ridiculed when the Boxster first launched are now delightfully vintage, and their unique shape works perfectly with the car's lines. For once, silver is the most suitable colour, especially since the Boxster is a throwback to Porsche's famous 550s from the 1950s.
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Jaguar XJ-S (1988-1996)


Jaguar XJ-S (1988-1996)
Jaguar XJ-S (1988-1996)

This big British coupe launched in 1975 and had a long, 21-year run. It wasn't until mid-run that a truly convertible version hit the market, but what a look! Success, however, was not a given. The lines of the XJ-S were unique to say the least, especially the two long buttresses, nicknamed "flying buttresses," that extended from its roof to the rear fenders. When the time came to create a convertible, the designers scrapped these details to create a perfect line for the XJ-S. The folded roof, though, was quite bulky, and the XJ-S is better when the soft top matches the colour of the body.
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Jaguar XK (2006-2014)


Jaguar XK (2006-2014)
Jaguar XK (2006-2014)

In the automotive world, nothing sells better than nostalgia. In fact, we've seen many cars inspired by the past blossom over the years, like the 1998 New Beetle, 2010 Camaro, 2005 Mustang, and 2002 Thunderbird to name a few. Success isn't a given, however. The XK's designers drew on their rich past to design this convertible, and the outcome was very successful. The XK's line conveys power and elegance, two of the brand’s key concepts. While the R versions are quite sporty, the convertible is all about elegance. For that, a grey or light blue metallic paint job with beige leather interior is a perfect choice.
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Austin-Healey Sprite (1958-1971)


Austin-Healey Sprite (1958-1971)
Austin-Healey Sprite (1958-1971)

Who can resist the big eyes of a charming kitten or an adorable puppy? No one. In the automotive world, some cars have exactly the same kind of appeal. One of them is the Sprite with its hood-mounted headlights and smiling grille. No one can resist its sweet face! Its famous headlights, however, almost didn't make it into the final design: They were originally intended to be retractable, like those on the Porsche 928. Financial reasons forced designers to affix them permanently to the hood, much to everyone's delight.

Despite its rather silly look, the Sprite was a good basic race car at the time. Its unibody, which had no trunk opening, was fairly rigid. With its rack-and-pinion steering and light, 700 kg mass distributed equally between the two axles, the Sprite could take a corner like a champ.
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Mazda Miata (1989-1997)


Mazda Miata (1989-1997)
Mazda Miata (1989-1997)

How can you make a list of interesting convertibles without including the Mazda Miata? You can't! The hard part is choosing a version. The NA (first generation)? The more mature NB (1999-2005)? Or the larger, less spare NC version (2006-2015)? The answer is actually easy: the NA. This version clearly deserves a place on the charts. It's the "purest,” simplest, lightest, most iconic, and who can resist retractable headlights? Everyone loves them.

Solid mechanics make the NA extremely reliable and easily adaptable to the rigours of the track. Despite its angelic look, the Miata NA is the ideal car for fun racing on a budget. In fact, one set of tires will last the entire season. The NA can rack up fast laps without batting an eye, and its modest power forces drivers to delay braking and perfect their corners. The NA is real treat!
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Lincoln Continental (1961-1963)


Lincoln Continental (1961-1963)
Lincoln Continental (1961-1963)

For once, the convertible version of a sedan is prettier than the fixed-top version. Storing such a large soft top behind the seats is no easy task, but Ford managed it very successfully. This model's lines are naturally perfect for a convertible. The chrome strips over the fenders surround simple, unadorned sheet metal. The linear simplicity is typical of the 1960s, when the excesses of the 1950s were no longer in vogue.
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Chevrolet Corvette (1963-1967)


Chevrolet Corvette (1963-1967)
Chevrolet Corvette (1963-1967)

The Corvette has been available in a convertible version from its very beginnings. In the 1950s, this sports car was almost always a small two-seater with no roof. Designers would fashion the car without a roof and then add a removable hardtop or soft top afterwards. The result was generally not very attractive, but everything changed in 1963. Bill Mitchell pulled off a masterstroke with the Corvette Stingray coupe, which had a spectacular split rear window. He doubled his triumph by offering a convertible version as successful as the coupe. The body lines on the convertible are so strong that the absence of a roof goes almost unnoticed.
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Cadillac Allanté (1987-1993)


Cadillac Allanté (1987-1993)
Cadillac Allanté (1987-1993)

Ah, the '80s! After the euphoria of the 1960s and the slump of the 1970s, the decade of fluorescent colours, CDs, and crimped hair seemed promising. Car manufacturers were finally coming out of their funk and introducing new stuff. Cadillac's Allanté was designed to expand GM's offering into new markets led by Mercedes and Jaguar. The result is a beautiful coupe designed by none other than Pininfarina. Its Italian-made bodywork was flown to Michigan where the engine was installed. The process was expensive, but the outcome was a Cadillac whose exclusivity and elegance rivalled models by prestigious European manufacturers.
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Ford Bronco (1966-1977)


Ford Bronco (1966-1977)
Ford Bronco (1966-1977)

It's not just cars that benefit from the lack of a roof. In fact, some convertible 4x4s (that's what SUVs were called before the 2000s) were tested in the 1960s and 1970s. The first 4x4 vehicle with a soft top was the Jeep, the quintessential convertible SUV then and now. Ford also played the convertible 4x4 card with its little Bronco. Initially offered with a soft top, the roof was later replaced by a removable fibreglass top. While not very practical for a quick conversion, this solution was tighter and quieter than the soft top.
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Chevrolet Blazer K5 (1969-1975)


Chevrolet Blazer K5 (1969-1975)
Chevrolet Blazer K5 (1969-1975)

Similarly, GM offered a convertible version of its K5 Blazer. At the time, this 4x4 was intended for fishing, hunting, and outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, it was a shortened GM pickup truck with the rear section welded to the cabin. The idea was that a 4x4 had to be short to drive over obstacles in the forest or desert, something that a pickup truck (even with a 4x4 gearbox) couldn't offer. Outdoor enthusiasts made the Blazer the star of its category in the 1970s. The soft top wasn't very popular, so the Blazer was also given a removable fibreglass roof, a solution well suited to our climate.
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International Scout (1961-1980)


International Scout (1961-1980)
International Scout (1961-1980)

Another forgotten 4x4 star is the Scout. This rudimentary 4x4 produced by International, a farm tractor and mid-sized truck manufacturer, had little to offer in terms of refinement, but was very versatile. Designed to compete with the Jeep, it necessarily had to be available in a convertible version. The 1970s roofless version was most spectacular, particularly the Scout SSII, which was inspired by desert racing. It had a raised suspension, roll bar, and minimalist doors or no doors at all. This model was not very common at the time and is practically impossible to find today, especially in its original condition
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Dodge Dakota (1989-1991)


Dodge Dakota (1989-1991)
Dodge Dakota (1989-1991)

After nearly going bankrupt in the late 1970s, Chrysler showed a lot of energy and creativity in the 1980s. The automaker came up with some very interesting new creations, such as the minivan and Viper. That said, sometimes you have to face the facts. Few people really want to buy a convertible pickup truck. Nevertheless, Chrysler launched the Dakota with a soft top in 1989. Fewer than 4,000 units were produced in just three years. The end product was neither attractive nor practical, and it did not meet any specific need.
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Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (1967-1971)


Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (1967-1971)
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (1967-1971)

What would a hit list of convertibles be without a Mercedes SL? Simply incomplete. If asked to pick just one, however, go for the 1963-1971 version. It's superb with either the convertible roof or the removable hardtop. While the soft top isn't particularly elegant, insiders ironically know this model by its nickname "pagoda," inspired by the hardtop's resemblance to the unique shape of the Asian structure.
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Peugot 504 (1969-1983)


Peugot 504 (1969-1983)
Peugot 504 (1969-1983)

Another convertible car with a very long run, the two-door Peugeot 504 had the advantage of being designed by Pininfarina (yet again!). The Italian designer collaborated with Peugeot often over the years, and the results have almost all been recognized for the elegance of their lines. Thin, long, and discreet, the 504 convertible has moved through the years without changing one iota. Only the headlights, tail lights, and bumpers have evolved while keeping with the style.
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Citroën DS Convertible (1958-1972)


Citroën DS Convertible (1958-1972)
Citroën DS Convertible (1958-1972)

A symbol “par excellence” of the Glorious Thirty period, the post-war years when everything was possible in France, Citroën's DS enjoyed a long run spanning nearly 20 years. It was launched in 1955 as a sedan and given a new body in 1958, but the convertible version was the most spectacular. From an aesthetic point of view, it’s a success in every regard (as long as the roof is lowered). The car is reminiscent of a missile, a shark, a torpedo, and even a rocket. Simply fascinating!

The DS Convertible is very rare (1,400 units) and a safe bet for collectors, worth between $150,000 and $350,000!


https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/the-most-beautiful-conv ... p#image=21
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Great dead German automakers you've never heard of


German Car 1.jpg

German car brands are some of the most aspirational in the world.

Synonymous with quality but no longer priced out of reach, German cars are now churned out in huge volumes and as a result have become far more accessible. But if you had to name a dozen German car brands dead or alive, you'd probably run out of steam before you were even half-way there.

However, over the years there's been a raft of companies that have tried and failed to make a success of car manufacturing, many before the War and quite a few in the post-war period. These are just some of those that didn't make it.
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Amphicar (1961-1968)


PICTURE: Amphicar 770
PICTURE: Amphicar 770

Over the years there have been quite a few attempts to make a commercially successful amphibious car. Most have gone nowhere but not this one; almost 4000 examples of Hans Trippel's Triumph Herald-powered Amphicar 770 were sold. Most found buyers in the US - owners included one Lyndon Baines Johnson - but a handful were sold in European markets including the UK.
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Borgward (1924-1961)


PICTURE: Borgward Isabella
PICTURE: Borgward Isabella

If you wanted a premium German car in the 1950s, Borgward was the place to go, with its stylish sedans, coupes and wagons, most notably the Isabella shown here. Carl Borgward started making cars under his own name in 1924, but in the pre-war years he also set up or acquired the Hansa, Lloyd and Goliath brands.

This would prove his undoing as he operated the companies separately in the post-war era, which led to a high cost base – so he could never compete with brands such as Opel and Volkswagen. The company closed down in 1961 and Carl Borgward died two years later, but in 2008 his grandson Christian revived the brand to make SUVs, backed with Chinese money.
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Brutsch (1952-1958)


PICTURE: Brutsch Rollera
PICTURE: Brutsch Rollera

Egon Brutsch made some of the smallest, most basic mircocars ever created – to the point where he was taken to court in 1956 because his designs were deemed to be dangerous. Most of Brutsch's cars featured a single-cylinder engine, no doors and just three wheels; none of his designs were very successful. During a six-year production span Brutsch produced no fewer than 11 models but it's reckoned the total production figure for all of these was a mere 81 units.
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Champion (1948-1954)


PICTURE: Champion 400
PICTURE: Champion 400

Champion launched its 250 in 1948 to provide low-cost transport, with power provided by a supercharged single-cylinder 200cc rear-mounted two-stroke engine. In 1951 the 400 joined the 250, with a 398cc two-cylinder engine, roll-back cloth roof and improved suspension.

Inspired by the VW Beetle, it was the Wolfsburg-built car that would prove the Champion's undoing as it was much more usable and cost much the same. Champion collapsed in 1952 but was revived twice before the whole concern was sold to motorcycle manufacturer Maico in 1955.
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DKW (1928-1966)


PICTURE: DKW 3=6
PICTURE: DKW 3=6

Part of the Auto Union that was formed in 1932 (alongside Audi, Horch and Wanderer), in the 1920s DKW (Das Kleiner Wunder, or The Little Wonder) was the world's largest producer of motorcycles; by 1928 it had built its first two-stroke car. Up to the outbreak of war DKW focused on selling affordable small cars; in the post-war era the company was the first to offer a front-wheel drive model in Europe.

But in 1958 Mercedes-Benz took over Auto Union before selling it to Volkswagen in 1964, and by 1966 the DKW brand had been mothballed with all future cars wearing Audi badges instead.
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EMW (1945-1956)


PICTURE: EMW 340
PICTURE: EMW 340

BMW's main plant before WW2 was in Eisenach in East Germany. After the war it was nationalised by the Soviets but continued to produce BMWs – until BMW took legal action in 1952. The result was a change of brand to EMW (Eisenach Motorenwerk), but the models stayed much the same until the company was wound up in 1956, with the factory then being turned over to the production of Wartburgs.
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Fuldamobil (1950-1960)


PICTURE: Fuldamobil 200
PICTURE: Fuldamobil 200

Elektromaschinebau was based in Fulda and the company's only model was the Fuldamobil. A three-wheeled coupe with a rear-mounted single-cylinder engine, the first Fuldamobils featured a wooden frame with alloy panels; later models got an all-steel body, then in 1957 came a change to a glassfiber structure.

In time a cabriolet was offered along with a four-wheeler (with the rear wheels very close together); taking cars built under licence into account, the last Fuldamobils were made in 1969 although the original company shut up shop in 1960.
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Glas (1955-1969)


PICTURE: Glas Goggomobil sedan
PICTURE: Glas Goggomobil sedan

Glas started out in 1895 as a producer of agricultural machinery. By 1951 it had built its first motorcycle (the Goggo) then in 1955 came its first car, the Goggomobil sedan. Power came from two-cylinder two-stroke engines displacing 247cc, 296cc or 395cc; later came a coupe and a van with the same powerplants. A move upmarket led to 1.3- and 1.7-liter coupes being introduced along with a 2.6-liter V8-powered GT in 1966 – but it was the company's last hurrah as Glas was absorbed into BMW in 1966.
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Goliath (1928-1961)


PICTURE: Goliath 1100
PICTURE: Goliath 1100

The industrious Carl Borgward teamed up with Wilhelm Tecklenborg in 1928 to launch Goliath, initially to make three-wheeled light trucks. The three-wheeled single-cylinder Pionier passenger car followed in 1931, then in 1950 came the GP700, a neatly styled coupe, sedan, cabriolet and wagon, powered by a 688cc two-cylinder two-stroke engine. From 1957 Goliath adopted four-stroke engines but by 1958 the brand was dead.
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Gutbrod (1926-1954)


PICTURE: Gutbrod Superior
PICTURE: Gutbrod Superior

As with so many of the companies here, Gutbrod began by making motorbikes (in 1926). Set up by Wilhelm Gutbrod, his son Walter took over the business after his father's death in 1948, by which point the company had moved into manufacturing small two-stroke cars, most notably the Superior. Gutbrod closed down in 1954 but between 1975 and 1990 an identically named company set up shop in Germany, to build small 4WD farm vehicles.
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Hanomag (1925-1952)


PICTURE: 1953 Hanomag still-born prototype
PICTURE: 1953 Hanomag still-born prototype

In 1835 Georg Egestorff set up a company with the catchy name of 'Eisen-Giesserey und Maschinenfabrik Georg Egestorff', to build farm machinery and subsequently steam locomotives. A change of name to the even more unwieldy 'Hannoversche Maschinenbau Actien-Gesellschaft vorm. Georg Egestorff, Linden vor Hannover' in 1871, led to a contraction of this name being used: Hanomag.

Steam road vehicles followed in 1905 and 20 years later came a gasoline-powered economy car, the 2/10, with a 500cc single-cylinder engine. Up to the outbreak of war in 1939 Hanomag introduced further models but after WW2 plans for an all-new car came to nothing and the company focused on making trucks and tractors before it was broken up and sold on to other companies.
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Hansa (1906-1961)


PICTURE: Hansa 1100
PICTURE: Hansa 1100

That Carl Borgward gets everywhere, and here he is again. Hansa started to make trucks and economy cars in 1905, but then merged with Lloyd in 1914 to become Hansa-Lloyd-Werke AG. Absorbed into the Borgward empire in 1929, by this point Hansa had moved upmarket with its cars but in 1937 the company resorted to making only trucks; Hansa became a model of car made by Borgward, which was made right up to the company's demise in 1961.
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Heinkel (1955-1958)


PICTURE: Heinkel Kabine/Cabin Cruiser
PICTURE: Heinkel Kabine/Cabin Cruiser

Between 1922 and 1945 Heinkel was best known for its military aircraft, but when the war ended in 1945 the company suddenly found itself with empty order books and anyway was banned from making them. The answer was to move into motorcycle manufacture in 1952, with a microcar following in 1955. Similar in concept to the BMW Isetta, there was a single front door, a single rear wheel (from 1957 there were two rear wheels very close together) and a 175cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine.

Heinkel made its last car in 1958 but the Kabine lived on as the Trojan 200, made in England up to 1965.
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Horch (1899-1939)


PICTURE: Horch 853 A Sport Cabriolet
PICTURE: Horch 853 A Sport Cabriolet

August Horch was the manager of Karl Benz's factory between 1896 and 1899, when he decided to set up his own car manufacturing business. His first car was built in 1901 but things were tough and by 1909 Horch was squeezed out of his own company by its board of directors. He retaliated by setting up a new company called Audi, which would join the Auto Union alongside Horch in 1932.

Horch would continue to produce cars under its own name until 1939, but after the war the company's Zwickau factory was in East Germany so it was turned over to truck production under the Soviets. As part of the Auto Union group, the dormant Horch brand is now owned by Volkswagen.
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IFA (1948-1956)


Industrieverband Fahrzeugbau F9
Industrieverband Fahrzeugbau F9

Industrieverband Fahrzeugbau (Industrial Association for Vehicle Construction), was a union of companies based in East Germany, which made everything from bicycles and motorbikes to cars, vans and trucks. Based on pre-war DKW designs, IFA's cars were outdated but in the communist GDR any cars were hard to get, which is why there was still a ready market for the the F8 and (shown here) which remained in production until 1956. That was when the IFA brand was killed off, replaced by Wartburg and Zwickau.
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Kleinschnittger (1950-1957)


PICTURE: Kleinschnittger F250
PICTURE: Kleinschnittger F250

Paul Kleinschnittger set up shop in 1950 to offer a 125cc single-cylinder front-wheel drive microcar with no roof and seating for two. The two-stroke powerplant peaked at just 5.4 HP and gave a top speed of 43mph, but the aluminum-bodied F250 could achieve 75 MPG, which was more important to buyers. Around 3000 F250s were made between 1950 and 1957; a 250cc coupe prototype was made in 1954 but it never went into production and three years later Kleinschnittger was no more.
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Kroboth (1954-1955)


PICTURE: Kroboth Allwetter-Roller
PICTURE: Kroboth Allwetter-Roller

Gustav Kroboth had two stints at building cars. Between 1931 and 1932 his company made about 150 two-stroke two-seaters but it's the post-war stint that he's best known for – not that Kroboth is what you could call a high-profile brand.

That's largely because between 1954 and 1955 he made just 55 or so three-wheelers, each powered by a 197cc single-cylinder engine – there were a few four-wheelers made too, with a 174cc engine, but by the mid-1950s Kroboth was gone for good.
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