Audi

Stats: 1,175cc, 69bhp, 84 mph, 53,000 produced

A widely held view amongst car aficionados is that the F102 was the true starting block for the modern Audi (in the sense of the cars we know today). Not so well known is the fact the car actually began life as a DKW, marketed by Auto Union and with both names appearing on the bonnet.

In contrast to its smaller sibling, the Junior, the F102 was built with a modern monocoque body construction which belied the car’s dated and noisy three-cylinder two-stroke engine; a disastrous design that caused the F102 to sell in dismal numbers and almost brought the company to its knees.

Sometimes however, it takes a disaster such as this to create the impetus for something good and the rebirth of Audi as the teutonic titan we know today was partly attributed to the F102 misstep.

Originally launched as a two-door, the four-door came six months later and options include a Saxomat automatic clutch and a sunshine roof. It was binned in 1966, a year after the four-stroke facelifted ‘fully’ Audi version of the car was released. This definitively spelled the end for DKW and set Audi on its eventual path towards global dominance.

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