Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Been looking for 2 years and got myself another Trabbi.

The car is a June 1990, one of the last 601's built. It was exported to Hungary and came to the UK in 2009. It was sold to an aircraft mechanic, who gave it 6 coats of old English white 2k paint, with an orange roof and wheels. The hubs were also painted in high temperature polyurethane paint. I've recently purchased the car.

It's only covered 46K KM from new and the whole suspension was overhauled and uprated with new shocks and all bushes replaced with polybushes. The exhaust was replaced with new tuned twin pipe unit that sounds fantastic. It's not really any noisier, but the two stroke sound is more clearly defined.

All brake cylinders were replaced, along with new drums, shoes and springs. All window rubbers were replaced when car was painted. The engine blanket was removed and the engine shroud painted to match the car. The coils were chromed and the air filter was replaced for a K & N type and the housing stripped. The bodywork is fantastic, no rust anywhere on the car and it drives and rides better than it would have when new due to the suspension work. The top of the engine was stripped and was in perfect condition, so the gaskets were renewed and all put back together.
I've had 4 other 2 stroke cars before this one and it's by far the best two stroke car I've ever seen or driven. I've been looking for a Trabbie for 2 years and jumped at the chance to buy it. I almost bought a 1976 Kombi a few months back, but it needed a pile of work and I'm glad now I didn't as i like Trabant's to have 12V electrics and the factory electronic ignition is an excellent unit.
The car idles perfectly and climbs hills like none of the other cars did.
The interior is original, apart from a modern stereo and a pool ball on the gear lever. The seats are in excellent shape.

More pics and info to follow. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Something different and unrelated

I love classic cars of all genres and eras.  Last year I bought a 1991 Daihatsu Applause 1.6 GXI Auto, with only 36K on the clock, good service history and all mots.  The car was in very good condition but needed a few bits and pieces doing to it, which have now been completed.  The car drives as new, has a silky smooth gear change and does 40 MPG.  It's also pretty quick, the engine has 103 HP.

Lovely car to drive, the Applause.

These cars didn't sell well in Europe as they were expensive (£10,000 new in 1991) and Daihatsu have very few dealerships compared to more mainstream competition.  Nevertheless, they've always made very good, reliable cars.  They've been owned by Toyota since the 1970's and the 1.0 Yaris engine was from Daihatsu.

A Daihatsu Applause in fine fettle!

The car has had a full service, new timing belt, thermostat, front brake discs and pads and new rear pads.
Th body work on the car is excellent and the interior is like brand new.  The alloys are not original, I had them in my shed from a previous car and luckily they fitted.  The original alloys are in good condition, but needed 2 new tires for the MOT, so changing the wheels sorted this and I think the alloys suit the car well.

I also sprayed the underneath of the car with a waxoyl type product.  The car sailed straight through its mot with no problems whatsoever.

Nice simple interior.  Car has 4 x elec windows and elec mirrors.

Only 3 Applauses left in the UK

Great quality velour seats.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My 311 has been sold.

I've sold my 311 and it's going to the UK, to an enthusiastic collector of GDR vehicles.
The new owner has a Zwickau P70 and an IFA F9 among others in his collection, so the 311 will be in good company.

I've recently bought a Simson Schwalbe 50cc scooter.

Engine runs exceptionally well.

It's a 1981 model that was brought to Ireland by its Hungarian owners.
It's in very good condition and was painted a couple of years ago, but otherwise original.

with the cover removed to show engine.

I'll systematically go over the entire scooter in the coming weeks ahead and see if it needs anything.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Book is selling great! Get your copy here, personally signed.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars The most awesome book ever writtenJanuary 26, 2012
S. Kingsley (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Two Stroke Cars Of The Past: Dkw,Saab,Subaru,Suzuki,Wartburg,Trabant,Barkas,Framo and more. (Paperback)
Yep, right up there with the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. Anyone that does not own a copy deserves to be flogged with a cat of nine tails and then have salt rubbed into their wounds before being burned at the stake.

OK, maybe that is a bit much. But still, you should buy it if you are a fan of obscure two stroke cars. Everyone should own one of those too, BTW, but unfortunately there are not enough of them left to go around. So you will have to settle for reading about them instead of actually being able to drive one around and get funny stares from befuddled onlookers.


Positive feedback ratingBook is amazing, great service! Thanks!

TRABANT (#110819226720)

Positive feedback ratingwhat a fantastic read, well worth the money,thankyou A++

 WARTBURG,TRABANT (#110819226720)

Positive feedback ratingvery interesting book, highly recommendedBuyer:
17-Feb-12 14:57
SAAB, WARTBURG,TRABANT (#110819226720)


Positive feedback rating
very fast delivery, item excellent! Thank-You

 New Classic Car book; TWO
WARTBURG,TRABANT (#11081922672

Mark, great book.   I am half way done, but done with the DKW section. 
 Very nicely done! Funny thing is that you commented on the DKW panel van 
what was on eBay, I bought that van. 
William Ellis.

Although there's been little fanfare and marketing regarding my book, it sold over 50 copies in 11 days, mainly through word of mouth and forum posts.  Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and is now tricking through.  If you want to buy the book and you're from the UK, use the button below, which will take through the paypal process.  The price is £16 plus £3.50 Postage.

If you're from Europe, the price of the book in Euros is 20 Euros, plus 7.50 for postage.

Click this link:

Anywhere else, Worldwide, amazon.com may work out cheaper, depending where you live, but feel free to contact me.  All copies I sell directly are personally signed.  The ones on Amazon are not.  Worldwide cost is 32.50 Euros including postage.

Click this link:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some pictures from the book 'Two Stroke Cars of the Past'.

back cover

from the Trabant chapter.

from theWartburg chapter

from the DKW chapter

from DKW chapter

American readers can get this book now from amazon.  It's priced at $27.99 including shipping.

Book now ready!

My book 'Two Stroke Cars of the past' is now being printed and will be on general sale through the usual channels (amazon, barne's and noble etc) later this week.  If anyone wants a signed copy directly from myself, let me know via email.  I can accept payment via paypal.  It's a large book, slightly bigger tha A4 and over 330 pages long.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Quiet month January

I had a number of proof edition books and they've all sold out.  I will have plenty of books available very shortly, so if you want one from the 1st edition, drop me a line and I'll keep one for you.  Early feedback has been phenomenal and early indications are the book is going to be a great seller.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to all.

My book " Two Stroke Car's of the Past" has been approved by the publishers, all that remains is for me to receive a proof copy, check it and give the go ahead if happy with it.  I should have copies to send in 2-3 weeks.  I will also make the book available to buy on cd, which will be a cheaper option.

My 311 is still for sale, despite quite a bit of interest in it.  I could have sold it several times over if I was willing to take a lower price than I want for it, but I'm not going to do that as I know I'll never get another one as good.
Good 311's are very thin on the ground these days and will only grow in value.

The popularity of this blog continues to soar.  Last month it received over 5000 hits.  This month will probably see in excess of 4000.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Yesterday on German Ebay a 1958 Wartburg 313 Sports Coupe sold at auction for 50,050 Euros.  The car was in good (not concours) condition and had about 8 months of TUV (MOT) remaining.  These cars had the 900cc engine from the IFA F9 and early Wartburg 311, but with twin carburetors.  Only 469 of these cars were produced and some later cars reverted to a single carb arrangement.  Obviously this price was exceptional due to the car's rarity, but all 311's nowadays are also rare in good condition.  Watch their values soar in next 5 years or so.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I'm currently putting the finishing touches to my forthcoming book, "Two Stroke Cars of the Past", which I hope to have ready for publishing in the next few weeks. Much of what has appeared in this blog is in condensed form and the book carries much more depth and detailed information.
Cars in the book include: DKW, Wartburgs, Trabants, Saab, Goliath, Framo/Barkas, FSO, Subaru, Suzuki and more.

The book will tell the history of the cars and also many owner's stories and characters unique to the world of two stroke cars. There are a number of period road tests reprinted in the book and much other information for owners and those who wish to buy in the future. The book also contains many period photographs and street scenes showing the cars in their native habitat.

If you're interested in receiving a copy from the first printing, please indicate your interest via email.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I've decided to sell my 311. I would like to buy a Barkas or Framo to use as a van and also as an advertising vehicle, so I need the funds to do this.
The car is in excellent condition inside and out. If interested, contact me.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Goggomobil car's and Van's.

Goggomobil Postal Vans.
Goggomobil were a car maker from Bavaria and was the brand name for the 'Glas' car company.
They made small cars, really micro cars with two stroke engines that ranged from 250-400cc.
The engine was really the same, just slightly differing sizes and power outputs.
Their two stroke cars were rear wheel drive, air-cooled and had the engine also fitted in the rear.
They really only made one model of car that was designated by its engine size and body style.
There were 2 door saloons, 2 door coupes and a stylish roadster known as the 'Goggomobil Dart'.
( The Dart was only built in Australia and had a fibreglass body and no doors!)
They had 4 speed manual transmissions as standard and were also available in type of semi-automatic format too.

The cars were exported to USA ( 400cc versions only), the Uk and Australia ( where some models were also assembled there). I'm not certain but I think some went to South Africa too.
The American models had an automatic fuel/oil mixer as standard.
Goggomobil's had a combined starter/generator as one unit which must have been similar to Dkw's 'Dynastart', and also used a mini-coil for each cylinder( also like Dkw).

British period advert 1957.

Performance for their tiny engines was pretty impressive, as was their fuel economy.
The TS250 (coupe model) 1958, 13 hp @ 5000rpm for 47 mph. It sat on tiny 10 inch tires.

The TS300 (coupe) had a top speed of 59 mph from its 15 hp engine.
Its fuel economy was recorded as averaging 50 mpg (1957 by Motor magazine).


The 400cc engine put out 18.5 Hp and had a top speed of around 65 mph in the Dart version.
Probably about 60 mph in coupe version, same as the 300 cc but with better acceleration.

214,313 saloons and  66,511 coupés were built from 1955 to 1969.

They also made a small van and pickup truck that were based on the cars, but  more practical.
This van was known as the TL Transporter and was designed with the then, West German postal service( Bundespost) in mind who needed a small, nimble vehicle that would do their job, ferrying letters and small parcels in urban environments. The Bundespost bought over 2000 of these vans between 1957 and 1965.
One of these vans sold in 2010 at an auction in the Usa for an unbelievable $88,000 , which demonstrates how rare they are today. Just  3,667 Transporter vans and pickups were made from 1955-1969.

1959 restored transporter made 88k at a U.S auction.

Goggomobil's were well engineered and well built.
Downsides were they were tiny and pretty expensive for such small cars.
In Germany, they were almost twice the price of a Trabant, which was a bigger car with a bigger engine.
They were taken over by Bmw in 1966 and phased out in 1969.

lovely Goggomobil Dart.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The 'Goliath Story', a must for two stroke fans!


Many people have heard of the German car marque that is 'Borgward', and particularly well
known is their 'Isabella' car. There are other marques within the Borgward group that
are less well known. These are 'Goliath' ‘Lloyd and 'Hansa', all of whom made a number of small
two stroke cars and light commercials.

The company Goliath-Werke Borgward & Co was created by Carl F.G. Borgward and Wilhelm
Tecklenburg in 1928, but Carl Borgward started out a bit before that.
In 1919, he had a tiny factory in Bremen-Hastedt that employed just 20 people.
Here, they made car radiators and bumpers, both of which had been in very short supply
during WWI.
His radiators soon got a reputation for being of excellent quality and he successfully bid
for the contract to supply the venerable truck and luxury car makers Hansa-Lloyd, who were
also based in Bremen-Hastedt.
His factory grew and employed 60 workers by 1921.
Borgward had long dreamed of building his own car and drew up plans to make a small
two seater roadster, but these plans never came to fruition as he realised his factory wasn't
equipped, nor tooled adequately for such an enterprise, despite working on a prototype.
Some sources claim he sold this prototype to Hansa-Lloyd who then put it into production,
But I’m not convinced this was the case.

In 1922, the small firm bought a larger factory in nearby Bremen-Neustadt, where employees
would wheel parts around to the different workstations by hand-carts.
A disgruntled employee Opa (Grand-dad) Klie complained to Borgward about how labour
intensive and inefficient this process was and this led directly to Borgward designing a simple
3-wheel kart powered by a 120cc two stroke engine that produced just 2 hp from its one cylinder.
The kart had no starter, nor gearbox and had to be pushed to start with the driver then jumping
on. It only had the one fixed forward gear. It was named Blitzkarren (lightning cart).
It used bicycle wheels and the driver sat at the back, behind his cargo.

Figure 1: 1924 Blitzkarren.

He realised that this product, although crude and minimalistic, did the job and the factory
made 100 of these karts by 1924. It sold for 980 Marks.
These sales were greatly aided by the salesmanship of Wilhelm Tecklenburg, who had
recently became a partner in the company and devoted his efforts to selling the Blitzkarren.

So successful was this small motorised kart, that it quickly became the factory's main
product and a greatly improved version was built in 1925.
The workforce voted to name this model 'Lilput' but Carl Borgward named it 'Goliath'
instead after the biblical figure. The implication was that although small, it could do a giant
of a job.
It became hugely popular with small business owners for deliveries and the Reichspost
(postal service) was a big account for the company, who used them to deliver letters.
This made sure that Borgward's product was seen all over Germany and his business
continued to flourish and grow rapidly.

Figure 2: The 1st Goliath 1925.

This rapid growth necessitated yet bigger premises and the factory moved to another
motor factory that had become bankrupt, that was opposite the Hansa-Lloyd works.
The Hansa-Lloyd company who Borgward supplied with radiators were also struggling in the
marketplace that was prevalent in depression-like Germany.
Few could afford their luxury, expensive vehicles and sales plummeted.
When their share price also plummeted, Borgward bought up enough of them that he took
control of the company in 1929.
He culled the model range and replaced most of it by smaller, cheaper vehicles that were
quicker to produce and in demand in the current economic climate.

Goliath continued to build mostly three wheeled light commercial vehicles, but launched
its first passenger trike, the 'Pionier' in 1931.
This vehicle had room for 2 people and its body was made of wood, which was then
covered with leather. It was good for about 25-30 mph from its 5.5 Hp engine.
At this point all Goliath vehicles were still powered by one cylinder engines.

Figure 3: 1932 Goliath Pionier.

By the end of 1934 over 4000 of the Pionier were built in different body guises.
Vehicle building for the Goliath company continued in much the same vein, making
Mainly three wheeler commercials.
We have to go to 1950 before any two stroke passenger cars of note were produced
under the Goliath brand.
In 1934, Carl Borgward introduced two new two stroke cars under the Hansa brand, which
were the Hansa 400 and Hansa 500.

Figure 4: 1934 Hansa 400.

They were rear engined and rear wheel driven, with two stroke engines of 400 and 500cc
respectively. Although small cars they had room for 4 passengers and were also constructed
from wood covered with leather. Both cars were 2 cylinder units.
These cars were not a big success due to bad timing.
In 1933, Hitler's Nazi party had come to power in Germany and the German economy
improved almost instantly. With that, the market for bigger, more substantial cars improved
 from 1934 and sales of the Hansa 400 and 500 were poor.
It would be the aftermath of WWII which would once again pave the way for similar cheap
to produce and cheap to buy cars.

Figure 5: Hansa 500.

Carl Borgward didn't fare greatly during WWII.
From 1939, he was instructed to make trucks, torpedoes and guns for the Wehrmacht.
He continued this until 1944, when his Bremen-Hastedt factory was almost totally
destroyed by allied aircraft. Another factory of his in nearby Bremen-Sebaldsbruck was
badly damaged also at the same time.
In 1945, he was arrested by American forces and imprisoned for 2.5 years for aiding
the German war effort ( like he had much choice!).

Initially after WWII, Borgward first made handcarts and small trailers for bicycles.
Then as the German economy slowly started to rebuild itself, the company started to
remanufacture the 3 wheeled vehicles in 1949 that were so successful before the war due to
their low cost and practicality. Just the thing a struggling economy needed.
Materials necessary for vehicle manufacture were in such short supply that the Government
were allocating equal supply measures to all car makers, regardless of size or production
Carl Borgward had two factories, rebuilt from the ashes of WWII, from which he build all
vehicles. He realised that if he registered each of his marques separately, he could avail of
more of what he needed. He quickly registered a new brand of car, the 'Lloyd'  which debuted
in 1950.
Borgward-Hansa vehicles were manufactured in the newly rebuilt Bremen-Sebaldsbruck.
Goliath's were made in his Bremen-Hanstadt factory, into which the new Lloyd LP300 would
be incorporated.
This car was very similar to the ill-fated Hansa 400/500 that preceded it, in that it was
cheaply made from wood and covered in leather type material to protect from rain.
This time though, the Lloyd was a winner as cheap transport was all the rage in Post-
War Germany and soon a new factory had to be built to accommodate ever-rising
production demands.
With production of Lloyd moving elsewhere, Goliath could then turn their attentions to
making a new two stroke car of their own and it turned out to be a cracker!

Goliath GP 700.  1950-1957.
GP 700 Sport 1950-1953.
There was also a cabriolet version of the saloon and a kombi estate model.

Figure 6: 1950 Goliath GP 700.

Former employees from Dkw, who had fled Zwickau when it became Communist and
subsequently annexed along with the rest of East Germany from West, had found
employment with Carl Borgward in Bremen.
These employees brought all the Dkw know-how and expertise not only in small
car manufacture, but also in two stroke engines and front wheel drive technology that
up to this point was still relatively unused.

These employees had a big input into the new Goliath car which was named the GP700.
It had a very good separate type chassis and clever suspension set up, that was very
Dkw-like. The engine was a 688cc, straight twin cylinder unit and the car was front
wheel drive.
The engine was mounted far ahead of the front wheels and mounted transversely along
with the gearbox, which drove the front wheels.


Ist engine was 688cc and produced 25 Hp in carburettor format.
The same engine with fuel injection put out 29 Hp.
The fuel injection was first introduced on the sport coupe only but
shortly afterwards was offered as an option on the saloon.

Two stroke power seen a revival of interest in post-War Germany as their engines
were cheap to make, quick to produce, simple to maintain and economical.

Carl Borgward designed the GP700 himself and it's still today one of the nicer
 two stroke saloons ever made.
For 1950, the car's styling was very bold and adventurous indeed and it was superbly
crafted with wings that were fully integrated into the bodywork.
Most unusually,( for these times) the passenger cabin utilised the full width of the car.
It had a 4 speed gearbox ( all syncromesh was available from 1952).

Unlike the Lloyd LP300, the Goliath was a steel bodied car and was quite a bit
bigger and more expensive.
In size terms, the car is roughly the same size as the IFA F9 and its clever
design gave excellent interior space for its time, despite a wheelbase of just 2300mm.
Much of the labour on this car was done by hand as the factory wasn't retooled
adequately since the War for high production output.
The chassis was made by hand-welding and every body panel had to be finished with
a hand-held disc sander before assembly.
The GP 700 was a very good car and was praised for its handling and road manners.
Despite its quality, sales were never what they could and perhaps should have been.

In 1952, this car became the first car ever to offer fuel injection ( Bosch) and the
only two stroke car ever to have it.
This increased the already excellent fuel economy that the car enjoyed and also
increased its performance.

In the 1956 Mobilgas Economy Run in Australia, Colin Oliver and Kenneth Wright won with an
incredible 54.43 mpg or 5.12 litres /100 km!) Even under normal conditions the Goliath was
exceptionally economical. A Wheels road test got 43.5 mpg (6.5 litres /100km).

A range of vans and other light commercials were launched in 1954, called Express but
they never achieved great popularity despite being spacious and as good as anything else
in the marketplace. They used the same engines as the Goliath cars.

Figure 7: The Goliath Express range.

GP700 Sport. 1950-1953.

Figure 8: An early GP700 Sport.

This car looks a bit like a miniature Porsche 356 and thus has beautiful lines and looks.
This lovely car was only produced in small numbers.
Initially, the car had the same 688cc engine as the saloon car but soon had fuel injection
which boosted its power to 29 hp.

The sport version was also lighter than the standard car and its low slung, aerodynamic
presence ensured it handled like it looked.

In 1953, a more powerful 845cc version was available, with fuel injection as standard.

Goliath GP 900: 1955-1957.

This was the same car as the Gp700, but with a 900cc engine( 886).
It had Bosch fuel injection as standard and had a claimed power output
of 40Hp( 38% more than its predecessor).
It had a 4 speed all syncromesh gearbox also as standard.
This was extraordinarily powerful for these times , yet it was still almost
as frugal on fuel as the 700 model.

Buying a Goliath today:

Goliath’s these days are extremely rare in any format and the chances of buying
A 700 Sport is probably near impossible.
I saw in June of this year on ebay Uk, a Gp700 saloon that needed total restoration.
Despite this, it looked like a very good base for such.
The car only made £640 by auction end and I would have bought it if it hadn’t been in
England which would put at least £400 onto the price, to get the car to Ireland.
The car in question was a 1954 model with fuel injection, although it needed a replacement
Engine or rebuild, I’m sure.
I made contact with the seller a few days after the auction ended to see if it had indeed sold.
He told me the car had been paid for and picked up by a transporter, who was taking it to
Germany for its new owner!

Any remaining Goliath’s left will almost reside in Germany and most will have been restored.
I imagine the parts availability for these is somewhat precarious these days.
I couldn’t find any at the time of writing, for sale, other than the one mentioned, but a pristine
Goliath will cost a small fortune if you can get one.
German ebay is probably the best bet, although Goliath’s sold very well in Australia and have
A following there.


There’s no doubt that Carl Borgward was an immensely talented Engineer, who made many
Quality cars that were always amongst the best in Germany.
He made many four stroke cars also and for these he is undoubtedly renowned for, but
Less is widely known about his two stroke creations.
The Gp 700 or 900 is definitely one for the wish list!.