About 160 large sized and numerous small-sized exhibits are presented on an exhibition space of about 6.500 square metres.
The beginning constitutes a reconstruction of a Horch 14-17 PS from 1904. Further along you will be fascinated by the Zwickau automotive design: the luxurious Horch cars of the 1930s.
The following exhibition area illustrates the role of Auto Union as a part of the war production during World War II and shows the alteration of the company from a civilian car manufacturer to a mere war producer by exhibiting various vehicles and war commodities.
The exhibtion area in the office building provides an insight into the technology and mechanical production of the 1920s and 1930s. Fully operational machinery, propelled by a single engine and transmission belts, together with a water brake for engine tests will transfer the visitor into the production period of historical automobiles. The art of coachbuilding may be marveled at when inspecting a »cut away« Audi from 1935.
The basement of the museum begins with the first waves of individual motorisation in the 1920s and 30s, mainly portrayed with DKW and Wanderer automobiles and motorcycles in a street scenery. The common distribution and marketing of Auto Union are explained in the premises of an Auto Union chain store.
The expansion building features the following themes: Racing of the late 1920s and 1930s: Have a seat at the grandstand of the race course and enjoy the video presentation about the history of the Silberpfeile! The Auto Union type C and type D racing cars are already lined up and a streamline racing car is being rolled off the transporter.
The next theme is automotive production after 1945. To begin with you will find the immediate postwar products such as a malt-mill and a pedal car. Zwickau’s publicly owned automobile production initially also featured lorries and tractors. As you proceed the Trabant takes centre stage. You will encounter it as you walk up the “holiday road” or as you discover the zeitgeist in a typical GDR bungalow. It is possible to tune a virtual Trabant or to drive a real Trabant through a computer simulated city. The production line for the Duroplast – the Trabant’s manifold patented Duroplast car body – is also unique. Secret developments and prototypes can be found as well as rally versions, the Trabant 1.1 or the last Trabant.
But how did production continue after 1990? This leads to the present with Volkswagen Sachsen, the supply industry and the engineering offices. Zwickau remains the main pillar of the Auto land Saxony to this day. A VW Golf Citystromer, a shot at VW Phaeton and a Bentley Bentayga car body and other VW can be marveled at. With a VW Golf Wörthersee from 2017 the exhibition concludes practically in present days.
The August Horch Mansion can be visited upon request. Please inquire at the cashier’s desk. A museum attendant will accompany you to the former industrialist’s mansion.
The exhibition – except the August Horch Mansion – is accessible for wheelchairs.
Rick and Kathy Howe have been to this museum and this is what they have to say about the museum: “Zwickau was the Detroit of the former GDR and it has been a manufacturing point for automobiles since 1909. Beginning with Horch, on to the formation of Auto-Union, then the ubiquitous two-stroke Trabant during the cold war period and on to a modern Volkswagen plant in the city today; this museum tells the story. A bit pricey, and with little information in English, it is still a very nice place to visit and a good reason to explore this area of the former East Germany. The museum is strikingly attractive and the cars are lovingly displayed.”
Read more about this museum and see all of Rick and Kathy Howe’s images at motor-museums.com. Their images below used with permission.
If the image is blurry, we are awaiting images from the Museum.
Number of exhibited items
Cars & Automotive: 101-200
General Museum Links
Available in the following languages:
Services / Facilities:
Guided Tours, Shop / Merchandising, Parking, Toilets, Accessibility, Audio Guide, Restaurant / Café
Getting to the Museum
Address: Audistraße 7, 08058, Zwickau, Germany, Europe
Coordinates: 50.733118, 12.484094
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Note: This information was accurate October, 2019 when it was published/updated, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.