Collecting Cars


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This NSU Prinz 4 L is a charming European classic, which was a rival to the likes of the Fiat 500 and Mini in period, and now makes a rare and refreshing alternative to those more commonly seen city cars. It is powered by a 598cc air-cooled twin-cylinder engine, driving the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. The odometer shows 27,337 miles, though this is not warranted.

After being acquired by Volkswagen in 1969, NSU would go on to form the foundation of the modern day Audi brand after merging with Auto Union. Understood to be an original UK-market car, this right-hand drive Prinz L was first registered in March 1971. The current owner acquired the NSU three years ago, and has invested a significant amount since then to improve and maintain the car.

Understood to have been restored earlier in its life, the bodywork and paint of this Prinz are described as being in good order, with only minor imperfections to note. These include some blistering on the corner of the front boot lid, another spot by a rear wheel arch, and small indentations to the rear bumper. Other than these blemishes, the vendor reports that the paint finish is excellent.

All of the chrome finishes, including the bumper trims, wing mirrors, waistline trims and window surrounds are in good condition, with no pitting or rust. The rear engine deck lid often pops open on the move, so the cable fastening requires some adjustment. It rides on 12-inch steel wheels with polished hubcaps, which all present well.

In the cabin, the tan vinyl is believed to be original, and the vendor reports there are no rips or tears in the seats or door cards. The metal door furniture, gear knob and column levers all appear to be correct, and are in great shape. The headlining, rear-view mirror and sun visors are also reported to be in excellent condition with no staining or damage.

The vendor reports that the carpets have been replaced at some point with non-original items, but it would be straightforward to have a fresh set made to measure in the future. He also notes that the fuel gauge flickers during driving, so it is not a totally accurate level reading, and that the chrome inner ring on the steering wheel to operate the horn requires rewiring and some adjustment of the fitting.

Its last maintenance was carried out in January 2019, which involved a comprehensive ‘fluids and filters’ service, along with cleaning out of the carburettors and jets, an overhaul of the drum brakes, cleaning the fuel pipes and fittings, and adjustment of the steering arms and track rods. Some repairs were made to the wiring loom, new wiring was fitted to the headlights, and the voltage regulator was attended to.

Prior to this, in July 2018, the vendor fitted a number of new parts sourced from specialist Frank Mellman in Germany. These included new wheel bearings, universal joint rubber bushes, a handbrake cable and clips, brake calliper repair set, and a new gear shift bushing. A brake binding issue was fixed, along with faulty tail lights. The driveshaft was removed to be overhauled and the hub bearings were repaired.

The vendor states that the car is running well, though it can be slow to start - especially after long periods of inactivity. It can require 7-9 turns of the ignition to get the car up and running, so he would investigate an upgr

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