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Lloyd 400 in the driving report: Small car brought back to life

Reinhard Schmid
Lloyd 400 in the driving report
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Wilhelm W., that's for sure, was a careful person. He put the water decal for his legal protection insurance twice on his nile green L loyd 400 station wagon on, on the front and rear windows.

With the first owner of his Lloyd 400 Rainer Kaun-Mikolajewicz doesn't have much in common. The man with the elaborate surname was born almost 60 years after Wilhelm W. He likes to leave his home district and covers more kilometers in half a year than Wilhelm W. has in his entire life. But Rainer Kaun-Mikolajewicz only rarely moves his Lloyd 400 in order not to use up its year-old car aura. And the 36-year-old automobile salesman from Wermelskirchen also has a penchant for conscientiousness: That is why he researched the history of his Lloyd until the résumé of the Borgward small car showed hardly any gaps.

'The nicer life with Lloyd'

Litigation with him, everyone should be able to see that, would be unstructured. Wilhelm W. did not have too many opportunities to argue with other road users. When he published the Lloyd 400 in December 1954 bought, there were only two other automobile owners in his home town Bad Meinberg. And he never left the Detmold district in his life. 'The nicer life with Lloyd', as the advertising copywriters of Carl FW Borgward promised in their brochures, only lasted 4,539 kilometers anyway and took place on East Westphalian country roads.

It was worth it, because probably Rainer Kaun-Mikolajewicz owns the best original Lloyd 400 there is worldwide. And he can prove that the number on the small speedometer is correct because Wilhelm W. carefully kept and filed every piece of paper. The files say that the station wagon was only registered for 22 months of its existence, usually for exactly three months, until Wilhelm W. had its license plates canceled again - for the last time on December 28, 1961. He then put the Lloyd 400 in his own Garage built for him, spread sheets over the body and storing potatoes in theTrunk.

Decades of Sleeping Beauty

Once a week, neighbors remember, he let the engine run, but Wilhelm W. never drove his Lloyd 400 again. The self-employed master shoemaker probably didn't quite know where to go. When Rainer Kaun-Mikolajewicz puts the red 07 license plate on the green station wagon today and carefully steers it over the hills of his homeland, he coughs up his blue clouds of exhaust gas from the exhaust that the Lloyd workers gave him 50 years ago. Above all, the Lloyd 400 tells in the excited soprano of its motor fan how serious Carl F. W. Borgward was not only with the cars that bore his name in rhombuses, but also with the small Lloyd cars.

Plywood and synthetic leather

A Lloyd 400 cost almost exactly half the price of the lovely Isabella in 1954, but it went out of its way to be a decent automobile and no make-shift like the many scooter mobiles of those early days of the economic miracle. For Borgward, who at that time earned up to 16 million marks a year with his little ones, was the key to great success, and he was allowed to have auto motor and sport tester Werner Oswald confirm it. 'Most buyers of such small cars are more willing to forego higher speeds, but want a car that looks good and does not look too different from a larger car,' wrote Oswald after a long test drive of the Lloyd 400 station wagon in the spring of 1953 .

Wilhelm W. couldn't have missed much in his Nile-green Lloyd 400 - also because his Lloyd 400 with chassis number 64 006 was one of the first examples with an all-steel body. When the man from Bad Meinberg signed the purchase agreement on October 15, 1954, the bonnet, roof and rear were made of plywood, insulated with felt and covered with a grained artificial leather called Rulon. And the tinny doors and fenders were only available from March 1953. Previously, Borgwards carpenters and carpenters had built the entire Lloyd 400 housing out of wood because the natural material was cheaper than steel. In any case, it could not have been due to the feeling of space that Wilhelm W. drove so little: Even tall Lloyd people sit upright behind the white steering wheel of the Lloyd 400 when the seat back ends under their shoulder blades.

A little bit of everything

The bulbous Lloyd 400 body gives you the feeling that you are no worse housed than in a Beetle of the same age. And the plaid seat covers in the imitation leather edge tell of pride in the first prosperity: the barreness of the we-had-yes-nothing must have been a faded memory in the sheet metal cocoon of the Lloyd 400. Instead, the Lloyd 400 already offers a little bit of everything, almost enough, but never too much, but always served in an appetizing way and with a finish that worksnot too far from an Isabella. As one of the few front-wheel drive vehicles of its time and with only 13 hp, it is as far removed from the limits of fast corners as Carl F. W. Borgward was once from not smoking.

The Lloyd 400 even decelerates with oil pressure brakes and has proper heating, and the ease of its gearshift takes away the fear of the distant world of double clutch even today for hobby beginners. Wilhelm W. must not only have been conscientious, but also strong-willed so as not to pack his suitcase, look at the Bad Meinberg town sign in the small rear-view mirror and let the fan howl until the two-stroke salty sea air passes through its air filter sucks. Rainer Kaun-Mikolajewicz, who found the sale of the Lloyd 400 in an internet forum, did not meet Wilhelm W. When his children sold the Lloyd 400, it had moved into a retirement home. There he definitely didn't want to find out where the only car of his life would end up.


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