1936 Horch 853 Special Roadster Recreation

  • Brand: Horch
  • Car Code: 540694

1936 Horch 853 Special Roadster Recreation

August Horch was born in Winningen in 1868. After a technical education at engineering school, he worked for a marine engine manufacturer in Leipzig. This job was followed by a position managing Karl Benz's motor works at Mannheim, which was followed by Horch seeking financial backing for his own venture. His departure from Benz's motor works was prompted by frustrations over the conservative approach and regarding the rear-engined 'horseless carriages' as outdated. Horch's first automobile of 1900 featured a front-mounted, twin-cylinder engine and shaft-driven rear axle. Larger four and six-cylinder models followed. Horch was active in competitions and trials of the day, though these excursions would bring August into conflict with his fellow directors and force his departure in 1909 to found Audi.

Paul Daimler, son of Gottlieb, was hired as Chief Engineer in 1923, to modernize the engines in the lineup. The first car to benefit from his expertise was the 300 Model. Power was from a 3.2-liter, double-overhead camshaft straight eight engine. After Daimler's departure Fritz Fiedler designed a single-overhead cam straight-eight engine for the Horch 450, which was followed by the 6-liter V-12 powered 600 and 670 Models in 1931 and the 3.5-liter V8 engined 830B in 1933. Horch attracted wealthy clientele, and their cars wore elaborate and exclusive bodies ranging from cabriolet to a close limousine.

Horch became part of the Auto Union in 1932, joining with Audi, DKW and Wanderer. In 1936, Horch introduced the 4.9-liter Type 853 with power by a Fiedler-design, SOHC, ten-bearing straight eight mounted in a well-built chassis and fitted with a four-speed overdrive gearbox with servo-assisted hydraulic brakes providing the stopping power. The 853 and 853a would remain in production until the outbreak of war, by which time 950 of these exclusive vehicles had been built.

After WW2, Horch's Zwickau factory ended up on the eastern side of the border where it would eventually be pressed into service manufacturing the utilitarian Trabant.

This particular 1936 Horch 853 was purchased in Hungary in 2011 by Appel Klassiker. The car's original body was lost either during World War II or after, thus it is not clear if the car original carried a factory Sportcabriolet of an independently coachbuilt body when new. After Klassiker acquired the car, it was given a restoration in 2011 that was completed in 2017, taking thousands of working hours. A replica body in the style of the style of the Horch 853 Spezialroadster was built. It is believed that only seven examples of the Spezialroadster were built in period.

The finished vehicle was painted in a period-correct appearance consisting of silver metallic. A coach line was applied through the mudguards, doors, bonnet, and the rear of the body. The interior was done in black velour carpet, piped in the same leather that was used for the seats. The dashboard was done in burl wood veneer that was lacquered and polished.

Power is from a 4494 SOHC inline 8-cylidner engine fitted with a single carburetor and offering 100 horsepower. There is a five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

Descriptions & pictures by supercars & conceptcarz

Production Start 1936
Country of origin Germany