Rotary Trio: 1965 NSU Wankel Spyder Package

Nsu Wankel Spiders Overhead

Few cars have been as important to automotive history, yet as overlooked and underappreciated as the NSU Wankel Spider. The Wankel Spider was the first production car to be powered by the Wankel designed rotary engine. These three rotary powered Spiders can be found as a package with extra parts on eBay, with a current bid under $500.

Nsu Wankel Spiders Front Corners

The red one is the only one with its rotary engine still in place. The grey one comes with its original engine, but is out of the car and in pieces. All three cars are in rough shape, but between the three of them it should be possible to put together one or possibly two complete cars.

Nsu Wankel Spiders Rear Corners

The Sport Prinz that the Spider was based on wasn’t particularly spectacular. But with the roof chopped off and the tiny single rotor engine placed above the rear axle, the Spider became a spectacular car to drive. Its rotary engine was rated at 50 hp, which was a huge upgrade from the Prinz’s meager 2-cylinder engine’s 30 hp. Between the two engines included with these cars, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get at least one running.

Nsu Wankel Spiders Engine

The Wankel Spider was a very innovative car, but proved to be unreliable, which led to the car’s demise. Only 2300 Spiders were built and very few are still in one piece. The Spider showed the world the potential of a rotary engine paired with a light platform. While there are plenty of other cars out there that are faster, few are as unique or as nimble as these. If the reserve isn’t set to high, we think these cars could make for a great buy. We just hope they are not too rotted out and that someone will be able to get one or all of them back on the road soon.

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Comments

  1. Harry Bonkosky

    Hmm…. That engine bay looks large enough for a two-rotor Mazda rotary…Whoever buys these should try that with at least one of the cars!

  2. Jesse Staff

    That's a great idea! I sure loved the 2nd Gen RX-7 I owned for a while and it seems like it would be even more fun in one of these little spyder bodies.

  3. Eric van Domselaar

    Do they still run? If not many of the NSU RO80s were fitted afterwards with the RX7 engine which is more reliable. I remember the RO80s in the rest areas in Germany and NSU replaced the engines right there with a new engine. This was the first time I was in touch with lifetime waranty, LOL!

  4. Bill Shaw

    To see a restored model running, check http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/at-the-garage/class

  5. paul

    are those spiders still for sale?regards paul

  6. Rich Behrends

    Porsche tractor in the first pic?
    Looks likes one to me

  7. paul hessens

    do you still have those spiders for sale?
    best regards paul

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