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Horch 930 S Streamline: Ideal-Line with a standard washbasin

Dino Eisele
Horch 930 S Streamline
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A n such a hinge we can't with the best of intentions recall. The Horch 930 S Stromlinie hangs its heavy, powerful four doors on only one hinge. But it looks as if the Nordic god Thor hit it with a hammer - perhaps as the hinge of a drawbridge over the Zwickau Mulde.

Comfortable entry thanks to the missing B-pillar

No wobbling, no play, the driver's door of the Horch 930 S Streamline has been closing and opening without errors for more than half a century; no wonder if you hang on to such an archetype of hinge. Mechanical parts of this quality may once have established the quality seal for German workmanship.

The portal of the Horch 930 S Streamline closes with a full blow, flush with the rear door hinged at the rear; a B-pillar is missing, access to the rear bench does not require any dislocation. This principle had many supporters in the thirties, from England to the Fiat Balilla or the four-door Rometsch Beetle. The problem, however, was the lack of rigidity in the frame structure. Sedans with B-pillars were simply more stable.

The Auto Union designers Günter Mickwausch, Georg Hufnagel and Johannes Böhm, on the other hand, had no problems with excessive torsion. The load-bearing frame of the Horch 930 S proved to be wonderfully stable, especially since it was initially only loaded by the short wheelbase of 3.10 meters. A version with more distance between the front and rear axles did not get beyond the planning stage. The Second World War also drew a thick line under the model policy of the Horch-Werke.

Horch as a pioneer of just-in-time production

In February 1939, Auto Union presented the Horch 930 S at the Berlin exhibition, still full of confidence. Its technical base was the Horch 930 V with its sturdy box frame and a 3.9 liter V8 engine that released 92 hp at 3,600 revolutions per minute.

Its individual parts were elaborately and precisely machined; the crankshafts, for example, were ground down to a thousandth of a millimeter. In order to compensate for the higher production costs, Horch introduced the just-in-time system as early as 1937: Expensive warehousing was dispensed with, the suppliers fitted the production lines directly.

So precision had been better known for yearsStandard at Horch. Something new was not so much hidden under the sheet, the new was the sheet itself, or more precisely: its shape. The wind tunnel studies of the former Zeppelin employee Paul Jaray had been the godfather here, some of his patents were used, and in 1939 the prospectus announced in discreet cursive the 'Horch Stromlinie'.

Auto Union Silver Arrows were the inspiration

There was a wonderful reference to the successes of the clad racing cars from Zwickau: 'The experiences of the victorious Auto Union racing cars that are made in the Horch workshop have now also been transferred to the body of a standard car. After extensive tests in the wind tunnel, an ideal and beautiful form of the modern vehicle was found that The requirements of the Autobahn: The Horch Streamline. '

The first test runs of the Horch 930 S Streamline on the Dessau record track ended at a top speed of 178 km /h (other sources even report 187 km /h), which the 2,300-kilogram sedan is definitely high Travel averages predestined. The found shape was declared exemplary and set by Auto Union as the style template for all other automobiles in the company. The war also destroyed this general concept, which subsequently could only prevail with the master class DKW models and their successors until the economic boom.

Disappeared in the chaos of war

The two Horch 930 S shown in February 1939 and a third example, the was reportedly driven by Tazio Nuvolari, drowned in the turmoil of the international catastrophe that followed. The avant-garde Horch were not forgotten. As early as 1946, the Soviet military administration had three Horch 930 S Streamlines built in the pre-war form from spare parts. Then she ordered another four - the last series of the old Horch glory. And as befits an aging body concept in peacetime, the final quartet of the Horch 930 S received another subtle facelift.

Following Italian and American templates, the Horch was removed from the wonderfully softly flowing radiator line and replaced with a steep angle. The radiator grille was now almost vertical, the hood silhouette was raised in the front part. This meant that the harmony between the front and rear of the car disappeared, but from the front the Horch 930 S Streamline looked more modern.

Sole survivor: Horch 930 S Streamline with chassis number 931002

The only surviving witness of this under extreme difficulties between the The mini-series assembled at the end of 1947 and 1949 is the specimen with chassis number 931002. Itbelongs to the August-Horch-Museum in Zwickau and was brought back from the Latvian city of Riga, where it was taken out of service by its private owner in the mid-1950s.

The last owner then had the Horch 930 S Stromlinie restored in Riga at Andrejs Rode. This in turn cooperated anyway with Audi in Ingolstadt, where the tradition department also has a 930 S, albeit in the body version from 1939. The '48 Horch from Riga was therefore mechanically restored correctly.

There is a wash basin with running hot water in the fender

Only one surface or the other could be a bit of a problem. The highlight of the Horch 930 S Streamline, namely its fold-out washbasin in the right front fender with running cold and warm water - a heat exchanger of the cooling system under the hood makes it possible - disturbed with a water bowl decorated with delicate leaves. In the original, the hand basins were enamelled in white at the factory; later there was also stainless steel.

Starting the still cold eight-cylinder in the Horch 930 S Streamline proves to be a company with a lot of 'know how'. The exposed intake spider between the two flat-flow carburettors and the cylinder banks cools the intake mixture down, the fuel condenses in the aluminum tentacles, and whoever gives too much choke has already lost. As a punishment, it is then time to clean a round of candles.

Once started, the V8 of the Horch 930 S Streamline falls into a slightly hobbling idle; one or the other cylinder is still sulking, so it is time to warm up. The single-plate clutch does not offer any increased resistance, the first gear in the H-scheme slips into it without complaint, and the streamline is already in a gently gliding movement. We don't want to turn it lukewarm above 2,500 rpm, shift it through, the Horch hovers over the country roads around Zwickau.

Independent wheel suspension with leaf springs

The chassis of the 2.3-tonner keeps pace with the engine forces in a relaxed manner. The independent suspension front and rear behaves well-mannered in interaction with the leaf springs - one across the front, two lengthways at the back. The drum brakes of the Horch 930 S Streamline decelerate sufficiently, and the steering doesn't disappoint either. The 930-S prospectus describes its technical principle as a 'worm with roller tooth', and the ZF Ross steering does not cause any difficulties either when turning in or when maintaining a straight line. The steering wheel is big enough to smoothly replace power steering with leverage.

The wheel suspension of the Horch 930 S Streamliner is not to be disturbed. The 2.3-ton sedan appears softly sprung and sufficiently hard-damped, a principle that Mercedes-Benz also liked to use. She irons themAsphalt holes, the cross joints and all the other nasties that poorly maintained county roads are capable of, pretty confidently.

The passenger of the Horch 930 S Stromlinie hears nothing more than a distant hum from the engine, which of course leads directly to sentimentality. What if Horch had survived and saved its position as one of the leading luxury car manufacturers from the 1930s into our time? Sensitive vintage car enthusiasts stop a little longer in front of the Horch 930 S Stromlinie when visiting the August Horch Museum in Zwickau. You can see they're thinking about it.


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