1970 NSU Prinz: Charming West German supermini

Tired of Minis, Beetles and 2CVs hogging the people’s car glory? Check out this 1970 NSU Prinz 4 for something different

If you were to spend five minutes glancing over the specifications and performance figures of the NSU Prinz 4, you’d write the humble West German people’s car off entirely. Yet, if you were to spend a few moments in the company of the Prinz 4’s minute styling and try-hard persona, the charm would have you bowled over.

Perhaps there has never been a better example of judging a car by its stance. You could easily get carried away with communist bashing and lampooning the car’s mantra, but this would be unwise. The styling boasts an alluring appeal, the handing is excellent and build quality trumps almost any other decadent supermini from the west.

More great communist cars!

We have grown expectant of cheap in-town cars, but back when the NSU Prinz 4 was new, it boasted more luxury than any factory-produced Beetle, Mini or 2CV. Such a list sounds paltry to contemporary drivers, but the NSU came with a heater, electric clock and parking lights as standard. Fancy.

The 598cc air-cooled two-cylinder may only have been good for a flat-out whack of 70mph, but the fuel economy was far from shabby; hinting at the Prinz 4’s innovative and solid engineering. Some point to the engine’s featured rod-driven camshaft borrowed from NSU motorcycle engines as a highlight, but the most eccentric for us remains the incredible dynastart – a combined starter motor and generator built into the crankcase.

The problem is finding one. Once as common as muck, a healthy specimen in the right specification can prove tricky to source. However, this one has appeared for sale online – and she’s a cracker. Get a closer look here.

Classic Cars for Sale