BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Photo/Video/Media Gallery > August Horch Museum – Zwickau, Germany...

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      10-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #1
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Exclamation August Horch Museum – Zwickau, Germany...

August Horch Museum Zwickau
Audistraße 7
(formely Walther-Rathenau-Str. 51)
08058 Zwickau (Germany)

Telefon: (0) 375 27 17 38 10
Fax: (0) 375 27 17 38 11


Monday’s closed
Tuesday thru Sunday 09:30 to 17:00

Cost: 5 euros pp

August Horch Museum is a jewel of a museum. Not just because of the cars in their collection but because of how they present these cars. Audi has done a wonderful job on the displays and all the little details that transport you back in time. To a by gone era. Audi has collected a ton of car stuff that goes far beyond their cars. I really wish BMW would have a museum like this.

The Zwickau Factory is where the famous Silver Arrow race cars were built from Auto Union in the 1930’s. Later after the war it is where the East Germans (DDR) had their “people car” known at the Trabant. Most Germans just fondly call it the Trabi. After the wall came down (Nov 1990) Volkswagen bought the factory. First they started to build Trabi’s with VW Polo motors… but then they stopped production. VW got the German government to give them a ton of cash to build a state of the art factory just off the autobahn. The rest as they say is History. In 2004, Audi decided to open a museum at the former Zwickau Werk. The museum is on the former factory complex grounds. Audi has done quite a job remodeling the grounds and polishing the old gal up.

I should say I was a little bit disappointed that they did not have any of the Silver Arrow cars at the museum. They did have a small display area and one of the engines. But I think they could have done better on this part of their heritage.

Btw… I am not Audi fan boy! I am posting these photos because all things car related interests me. I think any motor-head would be happy to come visit this museum.

Ok… onto my photo essay!


Zwickau is only about 190 kms from my haus (a little under a two hour drive). So I took a lovely Bundesstraße to the autobahn and you could not have asked for nicer weather! It was a nice drive as the leaves are just starting to turn colors over here.

The krauts know how to make fun roads! But the East still doesn’t feel like Western Germany. No yet. Maybe in an another twenty years.

Brand new Autobahn! A72… but those East Germans love to hang in the left lane!

Museum main entrance…

Museum Café

A complete Esso gas station right out of the 1930’s!

The don’t make cars like this anymore…

Zwickau coat of Arms…

Gas station office…

A mural that was on the back wall of the display area of gas station…

The above is what Zwickau looked like back in the day AND today! The city has not changed much!

Each car company that makes up the four Audi rings… (L to R) Audi, DKW, Horch, Wanderer) Later on DKW & NSU were also part of Audi Group. VW took them all over in 1964.

Zwickau Werk is so spread out that they even had their own fire dept!

Some of the many small things in their car collection…

VW’s new mega factory on the other side of town…

Former glory days…

In the next big display area you were taken back into another time… 1930’s…

Engine test stand…

Mockup of the old machine shop…

Cylinder head boring…

Old workbench…

State of the art hand tools…

Washing up… building cars was a dirty job!

And next door… OMG!

Works of Art!

Grand Hotel Royal…

A crankshaft from a Silver Arrow…

The war years…

This I found interesting… mainly because the Germans have a way of brushing off their past when it comes to the ol’ Hitler days.

I can remember my first time touring the VW factory in Wolfsburg and the tour guide said how in 1944 they had to, errrr “remodel”. Oh... really!!!!! At least Audi kind of admits their past role here. Although they do use some code words:
Foreign forced labor = Concentration Camps = KZ in German.
End of final production at Zwickau was bc the Allies bombs fell on them! lol

Small square is the ZwickauWerk (factory), larger square is the concentration camp (KZ).

The German version of “we can do it”! Frau Olga.

Allied remodeling efforts…. Bombs…

“We all are helping our leader (Hitler)”…

And after the war they needed to build more useful things…

IFA tractor …

I just LOVED how they included this beat up old car in their pristine museum…
Horch 920S…

The factory also built more presidential cars too…

East German state party parade car… (GDR = German Democratic Republic, or DDR)

And to think THIS was the GDR’s idea of luxury!


Straight six power…

IFA also made trucks…

DDR bike: MZ… engine was based off the Eisenach (nee BMW) design…


An old street recreated…

Deliver truck…

Inside the store everything was from that era!

Der Trabant…

The plastic Formica body panels... remember the GDR had to import their raw steel. That is one reason why the Trabi was made out of pressed and heated up fiber aka Formica.

Red body panels are pressed formica…

Raw fiber…

The first Trabi type from the early ’50’s…

The Amplemännchen (traffic light man) was also a symbol of the DDR Life style…
Even 30+ years old these cars still stink of cheap plastic! Can you imagine having to pay in full and then wait 13 years for delivery! That was socialism life in the East!

The DDR secret police (Stasi or IPA) also used Trabi’s for border patrol work.

Trabi engines…
2-stroke 600cc Trabi engine! Take note of that front suspension! ONE leaf spring! Lol

VW’s Polo engine used for the last few years of Trabbi production…

A three cylinder diesel version was also planned…

Toy Trabbi’s…

Real rock chips from the Berlin Wall…

Race Rally Trabi…

Your typical East German garage… actually the West German ones look almost the same! Except in Eastern Germany… you had to wait many many years for your new Trabi. And spare parts were non existent. So you had to go to flea markets and the black markets and keep some spare parts around!

The last new models before the company went under.

The first VW Polo built across town…

1,000,000 Passat built at VW’s new factory here…

One last room of cars before we leave…

A model of the Zwickau factory & museum…

They first made type writers, then cars… just like at Eisenach.

I don’t usually like really old cars… but I really liked this AutoUnion Cabriolet!

The reception area and gift shop…

Yea… I bought some DVD’s…

This rotisserie is reminiscent of the one at the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt.

New E-Trabi that will be coming out soon…

Museum Entrance…

August Horch’s haus (yellow)…

Audi name plate on the old factory HQ building…

A little memorial to the old Trabi… this is where the cars were built.

Some interesting things I saw in the neighborhood of Zwickau…

A recycling place just a few meters down the street from the Museum…

A local used car lot… note on what kind of cars the locals buy… cheap old cars. This stuff would not sell in Western Germany!

I saw this sign so I followed it… I wanted to see what they make there now…

I found their new factory… I have no idea what they make there though. I suppose its something boring like wash machines or something!

My 135i in front of the new Sachenring Werk.

Old world charm of Zwickau’s old city streets…

Nice brand new Autobahns in Sachsen…

But damm… all the Ossie’s like to drive in the left lane!

Some Videos

Minor adjustments…

promo ad…

Trabi crash test...


Since I had to drive past the city of Hof, I thought I would make a slight detour… Hof was the last major city before the Iron Curtain. IF you take the A72 into the Hof area… exit onto the B2 bundesstrasse. Turn right and follow the signs to Mödlareuth. Mödlareuth is a small village of fifty people. The town was literally divided in half by the Iron Curtain wall. Today there is a small museum there. And since in a few weeks it will be the 20th anniversary of the wall falling… I thought it would make a nice detour. I was kind of shocked to see how many other Germans had the same idea! In the past when I have been here there were very few people around. Today the parking lot was almost full! Mödlareuth was given the nickname of “Little Berlin” by the American and NATO soldiers who guarded this portion of the Iron Curtain.


Deustches Grenz Museum (German Border Museum)

One side of the street it is Bayern...

On the other it is Sachsen…

The original border wall…

Russian T34 tank…

East Germany on the Left, West German on the right…


The small stream is part of the border marking…

Looking from the West side into the Eastern side…

“Little Berlin” memorial stone…

2nd Amour Cavalry Regiment US & NATO soldiers… 1948 until July 15th, 1992

Guard pill-box…


the tale of two brothers from Mödlareuth

More of my photos can be found here:


Last edited by Dackelone; 10-12-2010 at 07:31 AM.
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      10-11-2010, 08:59 PM   #2
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nice photos
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      10-11-2010, 11:18 PM   #3
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thnks 4 share
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      10-11-2010, 11:47 PM   #4
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lots of cool pics, thx for posting
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      10-12-2010, 05:27 AM   #5
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Nice pics. I life near Zwickau and the museum is very interesting.

But i'am an "Ossi" an i don't hang on the left lane
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      10-12-2010, 07:32 AM   #6
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      10-12-2010, 07:54 AM   #7
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nice pics
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      10-12-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
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Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures. Interesting how similar the plant there is to the new plant under construction in Tennessee:

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      10-12-2010, 05:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DieselDiner View Post
Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures. Interesting how similar the plant there is to the new plant under construction in Tennessee:

I think that is because the Krauts brought in their own construction lead team. I saw something on German TV about that. That they used Thyson Kupp for the build... and the same plant design(s) as they have used over here in DE and Eastern Europe.

VW has built all new factories in Dresden, Zwickau and Chiemnitz(I think?) in the last ten to fifteen years. Plus in China and other emerging markets all over the globe. Each time they just refine their design. VW aim is to be the biggest car maker in the world. They want to be bigger then Toyota. But with VW they build them first and THEN fix 'em. They have a different way then most other premium auto makers.
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      10-12-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
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cool pics and vids. thanks for sharing!

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