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3 Equals 6? 1957 DKW Schnellaster 3=6

1957 DKW Schnellaster 3=6 Van

I just love oddball vehicles like this DKW! Look at that front end, it’s just so… happy! If I thought people would buy it, I think it would be the perfect face for another All Smiles T-Shirt design! These transporters are quite rare and you just don’t see them often here in the States, so this one seems like a great find! It’s a bit pricey though, with an opening bid of $15k plus an unmet reserve. You can take a look at this very happy looking DKW here on eBay in Granada Hills, California.

1957 DKW Schnellaster 3=6 Interior

The name still intrigues me, but it goes to show those silly Germans have quite the sense of humor! Actually, the name came from the fact that these are powered by a two stroke 3 cylinder engine. I guess they thought every consumer just knows how two and four strokes engines work, so they wanted to emphasis to buyers that this small two stroke engine does twice as much work per rotation of the crank than a four stroke, so this 3 cylinder is equivalent to a 4 stroke 6 cylinder. I’m not sure about that statement or whether it’s a good marketing strategy, but maybe if you’re German that is sound logic that is just universally known with all car buyers in Germany? The seller states that this van’s engine isn’t currently running. They don’t provide any additional info about the condition of the motor or drivetrain than that.

1957 DKW Schnellaster 3=6

Based on the condition and appearance, I’m going to guess this Van is wearing its original paint. It looks like there might be some type of signage on the passengers side. Given all the room in the back, this could have been used as a tour bus or a hotel shuttle at some point in its life. I’m sure if you dig around enough you’d be able to find a little bit of its history.

1957 DKW 3=6 Van Interior

While I’m a huge fan of these odd vans, that asking price seems a bit crazy. They are quite rare and there are collectors out there that want them, but the seller seems to be basing their valuation off of what a couple of fully restored examples have sold for at some of the big auctions. Given the rarity, I can see that being a great place to start with a valuation on something like this, but neither of the cars they reference are the same model as this one. One is an extremely rare truck version and the other a panel van restored to concours level. Finding parts for this thing isn’t going to be easy, so you will want to be into this one for as little money as possible. What do you think, is this price realistic for something like this or is this seller dreaming way too big?


  1. Avatar photo van

    Can you say fugly
    We can think it
    Just don’t say it

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  2. Avatar photo Ed P

    I think we have the star of the next ‘Cars’ movie !!! The seller wants $15g for this? Good luck with that fella.

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  3. Avatar photo James HGF

    The Seller only wants offers over $ 30k on his Craigslist ad. This car may not sell immediately on eBay, but don’t discount the possibility that the “to be restored” sale price may shock.

    This extensively documented ’56 DKW van sold for $101,750 at Pebble Beach in 2013 – take time to view all the many photos of the beautiful restoration and an original brochure:


    In 2014 another restored van – not as nice as above – sold for $ 60k. These were not passenger window vans. Is there a premium for the passenger van among Deek collectors?

    ps: to differentiate my comments from the other James (singular or plural) recently commenting I’ve added initials.

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    • Avatar photo Dave Wright

      Must have sold th Europe……….some Brochen delivery guy that made well and misses the old days.

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    • Avatar photo JayGryph

      Man, makes me think I should have bought the one out at the swapmeet for $1000 last year. Was VERY rusty, but mostly complete and rolled. The guys that bought it couldn’t fit some parts they also bought in it so they borrowed a sawzall and cut out the passenger headache rack and seat to make room.

      If only they knew.

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  4. Avatar photo Kris

    It seems you either love or hate these, I love em.

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    • Avatar photo MikeH

      I love them as well. What a spectacular restoration. There won’t be a dozen of these at every car show.

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  5. Avatar photo bcavileer

    That is a spectacular restoration and an unbelievable auction result. Insane result, good for them. Not for me!

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  6. Avatar photo Bill McCoskey Member

    The owner should contact the Lane Motor Museum in the Nashville, TN area, They love these [as well as almost anything unusual!]

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  7. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    The “Mother of all Mini-van’s”. This has Scotty G. all over it (touche’) I think a T-shirt with this, ( plus some catchy BF’s saying) would be a hit, although, I think it looks kind of sad, maybe ” Don’t feel left out, get your own BF”. The engine was a 900cc/42 hp ( although some sites say it was more like 32) up 2 hp from the original, and I highly doubt it had the power of a 6 cylinder. A restored 3=6 sold for 101K dollars at auction recently, so the price is somewhat justified. Parts are almost non-existent, so a restoration may be difficult. Regardless, there’s probably not many around, (Hemmings claims less than 6 remaining) and the ‘fun” factor would be through the roof. Just don’t take it on the highway. http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2013/12/24/one-of-two-restored-dkw-schnellaster-kastenwagens-in-the-u-s-heads-to-auction/

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  8. Avatar photo George

    On American Pickers, they sold a panel van version to a micro car museum for only $2,800. Granted that one needed more work than this one. I think they cleared a grand on that sale…

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