1965 NSU Wankel Spider  Chassis no. 5601389

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Lot 480
1965 NSU Wankel Spider
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone Registration no. ELB 955C Chassis no. 5601389

Sold for £ 15,525 (US$ 20,079) inc. premium
1965 NSU Wankel Spider
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone

Registration no. ELB 955C
Chassis no. 5601389
*First rotary-engined production car
*Tested by Motor magazine
*Convertible to left-hand drive
*Fully restored

Footnotes

  • With the launch of the Ewald Praxl-designed Prinz in 1957, NSU had re-established itself as a car manufacturer in its own right after a break of 28 years. Only a few years later, the German firm would stun the motoring world when it introduced the first rotary-engined production car: the Wankel Spider. Launched in 1963, the Spider was the first motoring application of Dr Wankel's rotary 'piston' concept, which used a rotor with three convex sides rotating eccentrically in a figure-of-eight-shaped chamber. Its first application was as a compressor or supercharger, the first actual engine being tested in 1957. This new power unit went into a roadster version of the Bertone-styled Sport-Prinz. Sadly, Wankel's concept was ahead of the available technology, and the engine was bedevilled by rotor tip sealing problems. Subsequent developments by Mazda would see these largely overcome, and the latest tip-seal technology has been incorporated into this car's engine. Modern improvements mean that rotary engines are now regularly running for 100,000 miles. In three years of production, NSU sold somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 Wankel Spiders, and survivors are relatively rare today.

    In dilapidated condition when acquired, this example was purchased by the current vendor in 1980 from marque specialists RoTechniks of Grazely, Berkshire and restored over a period of many years, approximately £76,000 being spent in the process. Related bills are available, including one of £4,500 for an engine rebuild. 'ELB 955C' had been Motor magazine's road test car back in 1965, and a copy of their article may be found in the large history file that accompanies the car. Improvements made during the course of restoration include fitting a rear window de-mister, radio, 6-CD player, and additional instruments. Presented in generally excellent condition, and described as 'better than new' in many respects, this landmark example of motoring technology is offered with an old-style logbook, current MoT certificate, V5 registration document, and the aforementioned history file. An original factory repair manual, a parts list, and a box of spares are included in the sale.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the car is not currently MoT'd.
Contacts
1965 NSU Wankel Spider  Chassis no. 5601389
1965 NSU Wankel Spider  Chassis no. 5601389
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