Only avid Audi fans will know that the company started manufacturing cars in Brazil back in 1956 when they teamed up with local automaker VEMAG to sell DKW cars. When the first rolled off the assembly line, these were targeting the middle class in Brazil and to this day DKW is considered a Brazilian brand even though at its core was Germany’s Auto Union.
There are numerous interesting stories regarding DKW cars as Brazilian soccer player Pele actually took his driving exam at the age of 18 in a DKW. It happened only a year after he won the World Cup. In addition, Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi totaled the family car, a DKW, at the age of 12 while they were on a family outing.
These stories along with many others are included in the “Ordem & Progresso – DKW VEMAG and the new dawn in Brazil” exhibition at the Audi Musuem Mobile. Those who check out the exhibition will have the possibility of seeing three DKWs, including the superb DKW GT Mazoni seen here which was developed exclusively for Brazil and was produced in a limited series of just 35 cars.
Two additional DKW cars are being exhibited, the Belcar and the Fissore. The Belcar is actually one of the last cars built by DKW while the Fissore combined Italian design with German technology. Joining these cars are the DKW Puma GT which was built after Volkswagen took over in 1967.