Skip to content
1974 NSU RO 80 CabrioletJohn2020-01-06T15:16:14+00:00
1974 NSU Ro 80 Cabriolet 2-Door Special……… Sold
Very rare, award-winning, Convertible version!
The NSU Ro 80 is now seldom seen on the UK roads, but here is a fantastically rare Cabriolet 2-door Targa, one of only a handful built by a specialist firm in the 90’s, at enormous cost.
It was first registered as a standard Ro80 4-door saloon in January 1974. In 1990, Simon Kremer, who ran Ro80 specialists Rotechniks, decided he wanted to build a unique convertible conversion of the car for himself and successfully did so. He showed the completed car to the chairman of the UK Ro80 owners club, Ashley Turner, who was so impressed with the style and quality of the build that he commissioned Rotechnics to build another one for him to own. The cost to Ashley for the conversion in 1991 was over £9000, which was then a huge sum to convert a car (over £20,000 in today’s money)
The car for sale here, is the very car that Rotechniks built for Ashley Turner. The donor car, when converted, was stripped to a bare metal shell and had 12 inches removed from behind the front doors, along with the roof, before being heavily strengthened to retain the rigidity. The car was then cleverly re-panelled as a 2 door. There was a lot more to the conversion and details can be found in the history file, along with a photographic history of the conversion.
The car was painted in a beautiful metallic Beige colour and then given a thorough anti-rust treatment. The original but somewhat troublesome, NSU Wankel engine was replaced with a later and superior Mazda RX7 Rotary engine, but retained the innovative NSU vacuum-operated clutch system. At the end of the build, the car was driven from the workshop to the International Ro80 meeting in Denmark, where it was awarded the best car in show award. It was also featured on the front cover of ROVIEW, the Club magazine, issue 2/2004.
It was given the fantastic number plate of XRO 230 and has since covered only 23,000 miles in 28 years. The previous owner had the car in his collection for about 3 years, during which time he had the RX7 engine rebuilt with new seals and rotors. Recently mechanically checked, tuned and carb rebuilt. The car is road tax and MOT exempt. It drives very well and is ready to enjoy.
This exclusive car is available to view in Lytham St Annes, Lancs at anytime by appointment. Call John on 07909 231414. Transport arranged at only £1 pr/mile (one way only charged)
NSU RO 80 -Marque History
It was back in 1964 that NSU surprised everyone with its Wankel Spider, the world’s first rotary-engined production car. But this tiny and not terribly successful machine was utterly eclipsed by what came along in 1967, in the shape of the magnificent NSU Ro80. A car that broke so many moulds, its entire design was incredibly advanced, with a sleek wind-cheating body years ahead of its time, all-round disc brakes and independent suspension and, naturally, a rotary engine at its heart. The 995cc twin-rotor Wankel drove through a clutchless semi-automatic transmission. All in all, it was quite some creation and, unsurprisingly, scooped the European Car of the Year award in 1968.
The Ro 80 was a four door, front-engine saloon, manufactured and marketed by the West German firm NSU from 1967 until 1977. Noted for innovative, aerodynamic styling by Claus Luthe and a technology advanced power train, the Ro80 featured an 84 kW (113 bhp) 995 cc twin rotor Wankel engine, driving the front wheels through a semi-automatic clutch system. 37,398 units were manufactured over a ten year production run, all in a single generation.
The NSU Wankel engine, proved quite troublesome in service and eventually caused NSU to be acquired by Volkswagen in 1969, and merged with Auto Union to create the modern day Audi company. Although production of the Ro 80 ceased in 1977, Mazda continued with the Wankel concept in its RX7 series from 1978 to 2002.
NSU never offered a Cabriolet version of the Ro 80 and the only examples of such are the ones built by Rotechniks, reputedly only 5 models were ever made.