The whole NSU story began in Riedlingen ( Riedlingen an der Donau ). In 1873 two young mechanics, Heinrich Stoll and Christian Schmidt started a workshop for production of machines for weaving. Later, they found a better location in Neckarsulm and they took the NSU name for their brand. The name comes from the rivers surrounding the plant: Neckar and Sulm….
Weaving machines have been selling well, but in the world bicycle rush began, and the two young entrepreneurs quickly switched and became “Neckarsulmer Fahrradwerke”, ie. NSU bicycles. NSU bikes were quickly becoming more and more popular, and soon followed the modernization of a large front wheel with bearings. Very narrow line divided them from bicycle to motorcycle, so in 1901 the first NSU motorcycle was ready. It had a 1,5 HP engine, imported from Dela Switzerland. In 1903 NSU started their own production of aggregats, while in 1904 there were six different models. At that time they were aware of the importance of the participation in racing and this has had a major impact on the development and sale. Numerous victories were accomplished. If You thought that the V-twin is an invention, You are wrong. In faraway 1905 NSU had a very popular 3 HP engine, and in 1909 V-twin of almost 1.000 ccm.
1936 was very significant. NSU took over the production of Adam Opel’s bicycles and presented the two best selling models: Quick and Pony. Then the World War II began and NSU has been re-ordered to start the production for the army. Most produced motorcycles were 250ZDB and Kettenrad, half-track with Opel Olympia engine. The factory in Neckarsulm was partly destroyed in the bombing, only few weeks before the war ended. After the war it was used as a military service garage. 1945 was a year of awakening for NSU with the Quick 98 model. In 1948 NSU celebrated the 75th anniversary by presenting and launching model Fox, 4-stroke with a 100 ccm. Sold and marketed with the slogan : Fixe Fahrer Fahren Fox ( smart riders ride the Fox ), in, until then, unseen advertising campaign. “Back from the ashes” was very fast, and in early 50’s NSU began manufacturing the Italian Lambretta scooter under license.
Model Quick was still popular, and pre-war models Konsul I and II, 350 and 500 ccm, have been improved and modernized to compete with BMW and Zündapp. Old models have ceased to produce, when in 1953 model Max was presented with four-stroke engine and 250 ccm. Max has quickly gained a reputation for very good, reliable and drivable motorcycle. Later same year, 50 ccm moped was presented under name – Quick. Produced in close to a million copies! During 50’s NSU had a lot of success in moto-racing worldwide. Many records were overthrown, even more so, NSU still holds some. License for the production of Lambretta expired in 1955, so the NSU constructors created their own version of 147 ccm, called Prima D, which was released on sale in 1956. Scooters had a fast development and very soon NSU entered the market with two new models: Prima III 150 ccm and Prima V 175 ccm. NSU even had a scooter with a four-stroke engine borrowed from the Max ( 250 ccm ), ready for discharge on the market in the early 60’s, but the demand for scooter sales dropped, so the project was abandoned.
Previous story has been told because we have found and bought the 1951 model NSU OSL 251. The model will be further discussed when fully restored and bring into the state like after leaving the factory back in 1951. In any case, in this section, we will show the pictures of the motorcycle as it was when we bought it, as well as photos of the restoration process.
Through pictures, enjoy the model in (p)reparation…..