Top 10 Obscure German Cars

Isdera Imperator 108i grey parked indoors

German manufacturers are among the most well-known car manufacturers in the world. They have handed out one fine car after another over the decades, many of which go unnoticed by car enthusiasts due to the focus on certain models stealing the auto show from brands such as Mercedes, BMWand Audi, to name a few. Let’s take a look at some German car models that we may have missed over the years.


10/10 EMW 340

Front view of a red EMW 340 parked outside.

The EMW 340 was a large six-cylinder four-door sedan who used BMW designs for its construction. After the end of World War II, the Soviets took over the factories and more than 21,000 EMW 340 models were made before production ended in 1955. A five-door 340 station wagon variant was also produced. I’m sure our grandparents would love to see either one on the street!

9/10 Fuldamobil NWF 200

A red Fuldamobil NWF 200 on display at the museum.

Here we have a German “bubble car” that emerged during the then popular microcar craze. Built in 1954, the Fuldamobil NWF 200 was powered by a small nine-horsepower two-stroke engine. It was still able to reach a surprising top speed of 47 mph. Only 673 were made, making it hard to find these days. Still looks pretty neat!

Related: Meet the Isdera Imperator 108i – a car so rare it barely exists

8/10 Auto Union Monza

Front view of an Auto Union Monza parked indoors at a car show.

Audi used to be called the Auto Union – a coalition of German car manufacturers that together formed the company we all know today. The Auto Union had much more success building race cars than producing cars for the general public. However, they have the Monza . created, and while it didn’t sell very well, it was still a pretty cool car. The design was heavily influenced by drivers of the time. Released in 1956, only 240 cars were made.

7/10 1951 Hoffmann

Hoffmann 1951 parked at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee

This chubby little car was actually classified as a motorcycle. Hoffman only made one of these cars, and it is best known as a low quality car made from junkyard spare parts. Of course it’s cute! It is now located in the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, United States.

Related: Future Audi sports cars and SUVs will undeniably remain Audi

6/10 NSU Wankel Spider

Shot of a red NSU Wankel Spider parked indoors.

Despite Mazda being announced in Japan, Wankel rotary motor actually his life started in Germany. It was first found in cool little cars like the NSU Spider. It was the first production car with the Wankel Rotary and was a trendsetter when it came to efficiency. It was built in 1964 and only 2,375 were made. You’d be lucky enough to see one of these at your next auto show!

5/10 Isdera Spyder 036i

Front view of a white Isdera Spyder parked outside a lot.

The Isdera Spider 036i was a very cool German car from the 1980s. It started as a project from a Mercedes-Benz and was offered with high-performance options such as the Mercedes V-8 mill. This engine could dispense as many as 230 horses – quite impressive for its time. Besides being a Mercedes-Benz project, it also had a Porsche suspension – a bit of a Frankenstein car! However, only 30 of these models were made, making this obscure model very hard to find today.

Related: Top 10 Amphibious Cars You Didn’t Know

4/10 Melkus RS 1000

Front three-quarter view of a gray Melkus RS 1000 race car parked outside.

Made in East Germany, the Melkus RS1000 was a sports car that came out during the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War. It weighed just 1,500 pounds and was powered by a 70-horsepower two-stroke engine that gave it a top speed of about 103 mph. It had a set of super cool gull-wing doors and a classy racing look that was (and still is) radical at the time. Unfortunately, only 101 were produced, making this one of the rarest and most obscure German cars of all time.

3/10 AWZ P70 Zwickau

A frontal shot of a red AWZ P70 Coupé parked outside.

The AWZ P70 Zwickau is a small family car that was built in East Germany between 1955 and 1959 by VEB Automobilwerke Zwickau (AWZ). It came after the IFA F8 and used the same 684 cc two-cylinder two-stroke engine. However, it had a completely new Duroplast body that was placed on a wooden frame with a plywood floor. The engine was able to produce a modest 22 horsepower.

Related: Top 10 Obscure American Cars

2/10 Lotec Sirius

The Lotec Sirius is a very cool German car that drivers new to the scene have probably never heard of. It has that futuristic look that makes it stand out as a sleek looking sports car. It was built in 2000 and can go from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds. It has a very impressive top speed of 249 mph – that’s pretty damn fast for its time!

1/10 Isdera Imperator 108i

A gray Isdera Imperator 108i parked indoors at a car show

The Isdera Imperator 108i was a passion project for Porsche engineer Eberhard Schulz. He designed the car as a concept for Porsche, but was ultimately rejected for production. He then left the company and decided to make it himself. The car had a sleek fiberglass body and a really cool pair of gull-wing doors. Even more uniquely, it used a periscope instead of rear-view mirrors. It had a super-fast Mercedes-Benz V-8 engine, making it a force to be reckoned with on the road.