1932 Horch 780 Sport-cabrio,
Lot 233
1932 Horch 780 Sport-cabrio,
Sold for € 222,000 (US$ 271,128) inc. premium

Lot Details
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1932 Horch 780 Sport-cabrio
Le docteur August Horch fit ses première armes aux côtés de Carl Benz et Paul Daimler dès 1886. A partir de novembre 1899, il décida de voler de ses propres ailes et créa sa propre société de production d'automobiles, A.Horch et Cie, qu'il installa à Cologne-Ehrenfeld et débuta dans la réparation automobile avant de rapidement créer ses propres automobiles dès 1900.

Au salon de l'automobile d'octobre 1931 à Paris, sous la verrière du Grand Palais, August Horch se fait remarquer en présentant un montre de 12 cylindres. Cependant, il ne sera produit que 80 exemplaires de la Horch 12 cylindres jusqu'en 1935.
Reprenant le même châssis et la même gamme de carrosserie, la Horch 780 revenait à la réalité du marché tout en offrant les mêmes prestations de confort et de robustesse. Le type 780 fut élaboré pour concurrencer la Maybach Zeppelin 12 cylindres et la Mercedes Benz type 770, mais Auguste Horch, fortement inspiré par les réalisations françaises en matière de carrosserie, et veilla à séparer isoler la caisse du châssis. Pour détourner la clientèle de ses deux concurrentes directes, le prix de vente de la Horch 780 était singulièrement moins élevé pour un même standard de qualité.

La Horch 780 est équipée d'un moteur de huit cylindres en ligne à simple arbre à cames en tête, d'une cylindrée de 4 944 cm3, accouplé à une boîte de vitesse à quatre rapports avant et une marche arrière. Le moteur affiche 100 ch à 3400 tours par minute et la vitesse maximum de la Horch 780 était de 77,5 mile à l'heure, soit 125 km/h. La voiture ne pèse pas moins de 2,1 tonnes, pour une longueur de 5,1 m et une largeur de seulement 1,87 m.

Le style des Horch 780, comme le reste de la production de la marque, était marqué par un grand classicisme. On peut cependant noter que le capot bas, la calandre ramassée et surtout le pare-brise en trois éléments, concouraient à donner à ce sport-cabrio une allure imposante et martiale, digne de filer à vive allure sur les nouvelles autobahn bétonnées du troisième reich. Le tableau de bord est équipé de nombreux cadrans de contrôle. A l'arrière la malle à double couvercle s'intègre bien à la ligne générale et le porte-bagage additionnel permet d'envisager de voyager loin et longtemps. C'est le dernier grand vaisseau de la marque avant son absorption dans le groupe Auto-Union en 1933.

Cet impressionnant sport-cabrio est sorti des usines de Zwickau au début du printemps 1932, comme le confirme son numéro de série 78 115. Il accueille le moteur n° 55 802. Entièrement restauré dans un coloris rouge le mettant bien en valeur, ce superbe cabriolet bénéficie d'un habillage des sièges et contre-portes en cuir noir de toute beauté. La voiture dispose de sa carte grise allemande.

On ne recense actuellement que sept exemplaires survivants de sport-cabrio 780 sur le territoire allemand, et autant dans le reste du monde, rescapés de la seconde guerre mondiale. Ceci fait de cet exemplaire une exceptionnelle occasion d'acquérir un monument de l'histoire automobile germanique.


Dr. August Horch started his career alongside Carl Benz and Paul Daimler in 1886. From November 1899, he decided to stand on his own two feet and start his own car production company, A.Horch and Cie, which they set up in Ehrenfeld, Cologne and started out repairing cars before quickly creating his own vehicles from 1900.

At the Paris motor show in October 1931, under the glass roof of the Grand Palais, August Horch attracted attention for his 12 cylinder display. However, only 80 editions of the Horch 12 cylinder had been produced by 1935.
Using the same chassis and the same range of body work, the Horch 780 returned to the reality of the market, offering the same benefits of comfort and strength. The type 780 was developed to challenge the 12 cylinder Maybach Zeppelin and the Mercedes Benz type 770, but Auguste Horch, greatly inspired by what was being produced in the French body work industry, and [sic] made sure to separate, isolate, the body from the chassis. To win customers from its two direct competitors, the sale price of the Horch 780 was significantly reduced for the same standard of quality.

The Horch 780 was equipped with an eight cylinder inline engine with a simple overhead camshaft, a capacity of 4,944 cm3, coupled to a gear box with four forward gears and reverse. The engine reached 100 hp at 3,400 revolutions per minute and the maximum speed of the Horch 780 was 77.5 miles per hour, that is 125 km/h. The car weighed no less than 2.1 tonnes, with a length of 5.1m and a width of only 1.87m.

The style of the Horch 780, like the rest of the brand's products, was marked by a fine classicism. However, it can be noted that the low bonnet, the rounded radiator grille and especially the windscreen in three units, combined to give this sport-cabrio an imposing and military air, worthy of speeding down the new concrete autobahns of the Third Reich. The dashboard had numerous control dials. To the rear the boot with twin lids integrated well into the general line and the additional luggage rack allowed the driver to plan for long journeys. This was the brand's last great vehicle before it was taken over by the Auto-Union group in 1933.

This impressive sport-cabrio left the factories in Zwickau in early spring 1932, as confirmed by its serial number, 78,115. It has engine number 55,802. Fully restored in red, which really makes it stand out, this superb cabriolet also benefits from seat coverings and inner doors in beautiful black leather. The car has German registration documents.

We can now list only seven surviving editions of the 780 sport-cabrio in German territory, and as many in the rest of the world, which survived the Second World War. This makes this edition an exceptional chance to purchase a monument of German automotive history.
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