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Ah the good Days of German Motoring. The NSU Ro 80 with a Wankel Engine. Our Neighbor had one back in the Days talking about some superb Car. So far ahead of its time just like Tucker.:nerd:

NSU Ro 80: Der Kilometer-Fresser - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Auto

here is the bad translation.

n 1985 Erik Spiekermann bought a used car with a great design and a poor image - a Ro 80. The car is considered chronically unreliable. But its now has more than 400,000 kilometers on the odometer

It is the engine sound, which irritates in the carriage. Other cars do not sound like it's something between singing, humming, buzzing and rattling. In addition, the engine seems to rotate effortlessly high, the sedan puts meanwhile unexpectedly agile in the curve. "It sounds a bit like a two-stroke," says the owner. "Completely wrong that's not. This engine has also no inlet or outlet valves."

Erik Spiekermann had much opportunity to think about the sound of his car. In 1985, he bought him a used car, as a consolation prize after the separation from his first wife. Since he holds the Bahama blue NSU Ro 80 faithfulness.
NSU is a car brand that has ceased to exist in the seventies, Audi bought it at the time, and let them expire. It is not so that the up-today-owners no new cars would have in the meantime can afford. With his former company Metadesign he developed the corporate identity of Audi and the Schroeder government, as a typographer, he created fonts that each house as writings of today Deutsche Bahn or by Bosch knows. On the day of our interview he is working on the design of a euro coin for San Marino.

Chron ic unreliable? Not this.

NSU Ro 80: Dieses Exemplar musste bis heute noch nicht restauriert werden Zur Großansicht
Robbie Lawrence
NSU Ro 80: This one had not yet been restored to this day
But Spiekermann saw it a never to spend a lot of money for a new car. At least until the mid-nineties he spared the NSU not total the car to date is 417,000 kilometers driven. This is quite impressive, as the technique of NSU is considered chronically unreliable.
Under the hood, a Wankel engine, named after its inventor Felix Wankel infected. In the aggregate, no pistons move up and down in cylinders, but the three combustion chambers revolve in a circular casing to the fixed inlets and outlets over. They are separated by one in the middle eccentric rotating disc triangle with rounded sides, the so-called trochoid.

And how many engines you had already?

In the sixties, the technique was considered a drive concept of the future. Also Citroën and Mazda Wankel built cars in series, Mercedes created hauntingly beautiful and rapid prototypes with these engines. But in the long run to Wankel engines have not been successful - not least on was bad image of the NSU Ro 80 .

"In the beginning there were problems with the sealing strips between the combustion chambers", Spiekermann describes. "The NSU scored after a while under control. But in the meantime, she had changed into a panic at previously sold cars even for small problems complete engines. They cost a pig money and complete workshops put out of business." And the reputation of the car sustained ruined.

Since then, there is the story of "Ro-80 Greeting" - two, three or four extended fingers in the air, depending on how many engines the car had already worn. Not true, says Spiekermann: "Der Spiegel has spread this rumor at the time of the old drivers, no one can remember something like that and today Wankel engines are still being built for aircraft running without any problems...."

Läuft und läuft: Dieser Motor wurde nur einmal überholt Zur Großansicht
Robbie Lawrence
Runs and runs: This engine was overhauled only once
In the eighties, there were technical and design alike that fascinated the up-today-owners. Because the drive was so compact, designer Claus Luthe was pulling down the front far. He sat on smooth surfaces, thus creating a line that was years ahead of its time is 20. He became a car for those who wanted to drive a Mercedes. "Architects Auto" then said the vernacular. "I'm not that type of baroque" says Spiekermann.
This Ro 80 - e in workhorse

Who now stands before the limousine, would you ever trust the astronomical mileage. Here, the car has never been restored. Only one part paint she got two years ago, at the same time the interior was refurbished, renewed the carpets and parts of the seat covers.
But even the motor with the bad reputation is in the car since the date of first registration. The late eighties he has been overhauled once since he makes his work without complaint. Only on damp days Spiekermann must sometimes short Unscrew and dry, the NSU has to rely on a powerful spark the spark plugs. The perfect car for the owner so? Not quite: "The motor has no torque at all," says the 67-year-old. "And in the summer it runs very, very hot."

Treue: Erik Spiekermann und sein NSU Ro 80 verbinden 30 JahreZur Großansicht
Robbie Lawrence
Fidelity: Erik Spiekermann and his NSU Ro 80 combine 30 years
But still, even today, has 80 still plow the Ro. Since a while a trailer hitch is mounted so that the owner can install the bike carrier for its racing bikes. And the hunger for a bit more power is already a solution in sight. "The original engine has 115 hp" Spiekermann describes. "But the engineers have developed very well still end up with a variant with 165 hp." A handful of copies of the drive were built - and one of them is already in the workshop, which will take care of Spiekermann's car. Soon he is to be installed - then Spiekermann must no longer turn in the Kassel mountains in the lower gear.
A portrait about Erik Spiekermann is also published by "friends of friends".
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