Thursday, April 11, 2013

10k: Prinz Of Darkness: 1965 NSU Sport Prinz 1200cc Swap

NSU Motorenwerke AG was a small company from Germany that started life producing bicycles, later motorcycles and finally automobiles.  NSU was aquired by the Volkswagen Group in 1969, was subsequently merged with Audi and its eclectic collection of 2-stroke and rotary powered vehicles faded into history.  Relight the glory days of NSU's prime by picking up this 1965 NSU Sport Prinz with a 1200cc 4-cyl swap for the prinzly sum of £6850 GPB ($10,491 USD), located in Romsey, Hampshire, UK via  

The Sport Prinz consisted of a Bertone designed fastback body carefully dropped on top of the standard Prinz chassis.  It is indeed a rare sight anywhere in the world and will likely get you into all kinds of premium valet spots in ritzy locales.

This Prinz would have been originally powered by a 600 cc two cylinder air-cooled engine that produced 20 horsepower and could push the Prinz to a claimed (and optimistic!) top speed of 75 mph.  However, this Prinz has been converted to use the later NSU 1200 engine, a 1.2 liter air-cooled inline four (laid on its side) that puts out 59 horsepower in stock trim. 

The interior of this Prinz looks respectable, and the seller states that he/she has installed Ford Focus seats with inertia reel seat belts, but can provide the original seats if so desired by the buyer. 

Here the owner mistakenly assumes the boat-tail styling means the Prinz is water-tight...and later recounts: "Electronic ignition was installed in 2012 eliminating the only gremlins we encountered on a trial when the points closed up on a wild and wet Exmoor in the middle of the night. Not fun trying to adjust them with horizontal (and very cold) rain and only a torch for light!" We hope he didn't burn his hands on the torch...although in the UK, a torch is what we call a flashlight here in the US.

This Prinz was restored in 2007/2008, competed in the famous Edinburgh, Exeter and Lands End classic trials and survived the ordeal with typical chips of a used rally car. Overall we think this combination of coolness, condition and price makes this a fantastic bargain...can't help but wonder how much it would cost to import to the USA..?

See another regal rally car? email us here:


  1. Sometimes I think I am way off on the lunatic fringe of automobiles. I would take this a hundred times over before joining the masses paying huge money for other rear-engined German cars.

    As for importing, it's not too onerous for an old car, but will add a bit to the price. Why not pick it up and tour the UK prior to shipping it home? Man, I hate being a poor working stiff.

  2. Is it fair to say that Karmann-Ghia to Beetle is analogous with Sport Prinz to Prinz? A pretty version of a basic German family car? And they are all (Beetle, Ghia, SPrinz, Prinz) powered by aircooled flat-4s...

  3. Looks good to me


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.