NSU Spider Wankel Formerly Known as Prinz Makes a Rare eBay Appearance

Purple rain, pur-ple rain. . . oops, sorry. Before Mazda let us know that while others went boing-boing-boing, they went hmmmmmm, NSU brought to market the world’s first production car powered by a Wankel engine. And now eBay has an NSU Spider with a starting bid of $15,000. Does that make you go hmmmmm? Originating in 1964, the convertible version of the NSU sport prinz added a front-mounted radiator as well as a 498-cc single rotor Wankel engine in the rear. The Wankel sits aft of the four-speed gearbox and puts out something in the neighborhood of fifty horsepower. As 1960s metallurgy had yet to find a satisfactory solution to apex seal longevity, the rotary spiders had a greater than average failure rate, and warranty claims added to the woes of the already financially teetering firm. Production ended in 1967 as NSU attempted their second, and last, try at a rotary car- the vaunted but flawed RO80. This Prinz has few miles due to a lengthly stint in solitary confinement. Despite that, it’s in pretty nice shape, although the taken at night pictures don’t do the car justice. If you’re into historically significant but weird little cars, you might want to check this spider out. You sure won’t be seeing another one come across the block anytime soon. eBay

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