Audi Remembers Brazilian-Built DKW Models

Auto Union saw the potential of the Brazilian car market long before many of its competitors and started building cars locally with local company VEMAG under the DKW brand in 1956.

At the time, DKW was seen as the car of the Brazilian middle class and is still highly regarded today as the only Brazilian brand. There is a lot of trivia related to DKW cars in Brazil.

For instance, Brazilian soccer legend Pelé took his driving test at 18 in a DKW, a year after winning the World Cup, and F1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi wrote off his parents’ DKW at the age of 12 while on a family outing. All these stories and many other facts about DKW in Brazil can be experienced at the Audi Museum Mobile’s “Ordem & Progresso – DKW VEMAG and the new dawn in Brazil” exhibition.

The exhibition includes three DKWs, including a very rare one, the DKW GT Manzoni, a model unique to Brazil of which only 35 were made. Designed by plantation owner and car enthusiast Genaro “Rino” Malzoni, the sports car is joined in the exhibition by two other Brazilian DKWs owned by Audi Tradition: the DKW Belcar (one of the last DKWs ever built) and the DKW Fissore, a model created by VEMAG by combining German technology with Italian design.

The exhibition also features a Wanderer W 24, along with cars built after Auto Union was taken over by Volkswagen in 1967: the DKW Puma GT, VW Puma, VW EA 97 and VW SP2.

By Dan Mihalascu

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