Category Archives: NSU TTS

2018 Pacific Northwest Historics- Kent, WA

The ‘Before’ picture of both cars.

 

We raced the Koepchen 2002 and NSU 1200TT at the 2018 PNW Historics on June 29- July 1. The weekend turned out tube a real mixed bag.

The 2002 ran well all weekend, but the driver was off his game just a little.

The NSU was a lot of fun to drive, but its run came to an abrupt end on Saturday afternoon in the rain.

This was the first outing for the NSU. I had purchased it last winter and had it shipped to Seattle. After its arrival Jim did a thorough inspection and came up with a list of items needing attention.

I had him work through the list and get the car ready for this event. It needed new seat-belts, an updated fire system, some electrical sorting, etc. Nothing major.

I was pretty excited to get to the track and see the car all ready to go. I was even more excited to get in it and have a go.

I last drove an NSU back in 1971. I had a car just like this that I autocross, ice raced, and did my first SCCA Driver’s School in. I then sold it and built a Mazda RX-2 to race.

I should have kept the NSU!

Everything went well with the NSU until Saturday afternoon. I had entered it in the USRRC race to get some extra seat time. After about 3-4 laps rain moved in from the west end of the track, which means Turn 2 got wet first.

After I ran out of talent.

My first time through the turn I spun. The second time through Turn 2 I started to spin, caught it, but the car snapped back the other way and went straight off into a dirt bank. OUCH!

The K2002 had a better weekend. It had no problems and ran perfectly all weekend. I just was not on my game for this event.

in my defense, I did get hit by another competitor in the first race. The other driver wanted to blame me for everything. I wanted to call it a racing incident. You can watch the video and make up your own mind.

 

NSU Fulfills a Dream, and Answers Questions

Looking a little like a Corvair, these cars have many similarities with their US cousins.

Along with BMWs and MBs my father’s dealership sold NSUs. So when I started racing he suggested I find the holy grail of NSUs, a 1200 TTS. I found one for sale in NJ and went with my friend Peter P. to collect it and bring it back to MN.

NSU was an old manufacturer. They began in the late 1800’s as a knitting machine manufacturer. Soon they became a bicycle manufacturer, and then in the early 1900’s began making cars and motorcycles.

After the war they continued making excellent motorcycles, winning races in Europe and setting many speed records at Bonneville. Their cars were small, but of high quality, and were also quite successful on track.

Their most successful model on the track and at hillclimbs was the TT and its successor the TTS. These cars came as 1,000 ccs and 1200 ccs, and were named for the race where NSU had had such success, the Isle of Man TT races.

Power comes from a 1,200 cc 4 cylinder, OH cam, air cooled motor derived from their motorcycle engines.

In the late 1960’s they developed a Wankle engined car called the Ro-80 that was a marvel. It was a beautiful design, but the engine proved unreliable, and the warranty claims put the company in jeopardy.

VW/Audi took over the company in 1969 and the NSU brand disappeared.

I ran my TTS in a few auto crosses in the fall of 1969, setting several FTDs, and then raced it on the Ice in the IIRA series in 1969 through 1971. I never got a chance to race it on a track because I sold it and bought a Mazda RX2 to race in 1972.

The question of how well these cars go has always rattled around in the back of my empty skull, so I decided to take steps to find out before I was too old to care.

Here are some pictures of my latest acquisition. It is a 1970 1200 TTS. It has a OH cam 4 cylinder air cooled engine, sitting on a 4 speed transmission. And no, I will not be doing any bump drafting with that oil cooler hanging out there.

It has independent suspension all around. Up front are unequal length arms, with coil springs and a sway bar. In back are swing axels locate by trailing arms, with coil springs and shocks.

I found the car in the Netherlands, and it is on its way via ship to Seattle. No Baby Corvair jokes please.

Stay tuned to follow the adventures of this little Bad Boy!