Classic of the Month
Horch 670 V
When the Horch 670 V was launched on the market in 1931, it was considered the most revolutionary vehicle of its time and the height of contemporary automotive engineering. In 2021, the vehicle is celebrating its 90th anniversary. A mere four of a total of 80 vehicles manufactured have survived to this day – one of them in the collection of the Autostadt's ZeitHaus museum in Wolfsburg.
With this vehicle, its owners acquired innovative automotive engineering technologies previously not known in European car manufacturing in the 1930s. For example, the vehicle's V12 engine designed by Fritz Fiedler had a cubic capacity of 5990cc and hydraulic valve clearance compensation – which not only made the vehicle much easier to maintain but also ensured a smooth ride. The 670 also had a synchromesh transmission. Its top speed was 145km/h, and it was equipped with a power brake system by Bosch that applied the brakes on all four wheels.
Modern car with a built-in hydraulic jack
The rear of the vehicle featured two boot mounted spare wheels that could be moved out of the way to load the boot. In the event of a breakdown, the vehicle, which weighed almost 2.5 tonnes, could be lifted with the aid of a built-in hydraulic jack to change the tyres. Due to the high price of 23,500 Reichsmark, only a few people were able to afford this vehicle. It therefore went out of production after only three years in 1934.
The original owner of the Autostadt's Horch 670 was Swiss. After the end of the war, the vehicle ended up in the USA, via Austria and France. It was then reimported into Germany in the 1980s and fully restored for a Munich doctor before its acquisition by the Autostadt.
Technical specifications Horch 670 V
V engine with twelve cylinders, bore x stroke 80 x 100mm, cubic capacity 6021cc (5990 according to the way engine displacement was calculated at the time), output 88kW/118bhp at 3,000rpm; curb weight approx. 2,500kg, wheelbase 3450mm, top speed 145 km/h; price new: from 23,500 Reichsmark. Built: 1931 to 1934; numbers produced: 80 (600/670; 670: 53).
Horch company history
The story of the legendary Horch 670 V began with August Horch, one of the pioneers of German automotive engineering. Born on 12 October 1868, he founded August Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke AG in Zwickau in 1904. After he left the company, it was renamed to Horchwerke AG Zwickau in 1918. Paul Daimler took over as head designer in 1922. Gottlieb Daimler's son paved the way for the Horch brand to become Germany's leading luxury car manufacturer – Fritz Fiedler pursued it further from 1930 onwards.
In 1932, the Horchwerke merged with Audi, DKW and Wanderer into the Auto-Union. Each of the four brands was allocated its own market segment: DKW – motorcycles and compact vehicles; Wanderer – mid-size vehicles; Audi – mid-size executive vehicles; Horch – top-class luxury vehicles.