Rare Rides: The DKW Wagon From 1962 - Deceptive Geography (Part II)

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the dkw wagon from 1962 deceptive geography part ii

Last time, in Part I of this DKW wagon’s saga, we covered a condensed history of the Audi marque. From its inception as Horch, through separation, renaming, and merger into the Auto Union fold, Audi wavered along unsteadily. The company even performed a vanishing act between 1940 and 1964.

In the middle of all this history is our Rare Ride, a tidy DKW wagon from 1962. But all is not as it seems.

You see, something didn’t sit right between the historical timelines presented online and the model year of this DKW. Through a little research, I discovered the model-less wagon in the ad was actually a DKW 3=6 “Universal,” the name of the three-door wagon variant. But the front end looked a little odd, and it turned out that production of the 3=6 ended in 1959. So what gives with this 1962 model — an uninformed seller, perhaps?

Not quite. This photo betrayed one key detail of this DKW: “Vemag S.A.” Those two letters stand for “Sociedade Anónima,” a form of corporation in Brazil. Vemag produced licensed DKW vehicles with slight modifications in Brazil, between 1956 and 1967. The factory in Brazil made several models, which underneath were versions of the 3=6. Production of the F94 version of the 3=6 began in 1958, with sedan and wagon variants. Though initially the models retained their DKW nomenclature, Vemag renamed them Belcar and Vemaguet in sedan and wagon versions, respectively.

Vemag also produced a fiberglass-bodied sports car called the GT Malzoni, which would be the foundation for Brazilian sports car manufacturer Puma (still going today in South Africa).

Turns out what we actually have here is a Vemag S.A. produced DKW Vemaguet. The South American market was the very last place you could buy a new DKW, as Volkswagen wound down the Brazilian operation in 1967. And so concludes the story of DKW branded cars — a long tale for this little German/South American wagon.

It’s yours for just under $24,000.

[Images via seller]

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  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Mar 11, 2018

    In the late 50's and early 60's DKW cars were often seen in and around London in addition the very stylish DKW two stroke motorcycles were popular. Compared to the pitiful James and BSA singles the DKW's were sleek, with much of the mechanical bits hidden beneath cowlings with leading link front suspension and most of the brightwork in polished aluminum and deeply valanced mudguards.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Mar 12, 2018

    It wasn't uncommon back then for cars to be built under license in South America, with cars being facelifted, yet still recognizable. One example would be the IKA-Renault Torino, a '64-'65 Rambler American, refreshed by Pininfarina, built in Argentina by a subsidiary of Kaiser Motors, and later taken over by Renault. Whoa, now I've got a headache. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IKA-Renault_Torino

  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.