Oldtimer like new – first Horch rebuilt

A classic car is given a new lease of life: the Horch 14-17 hp Tonneau, first built 120 years ago, has now been handed over to the August Horch Museum in Zwickau as a complete replica. IAV designed and manufactured the gearbox for this complex project.

True to the original and ready to drive: Horch 14-17 hp tonneau from 1904

A wooden coach body, only individual parts such as the bonnet and wings are made of sheet metal. The leather seats offer space for five people, the steering wheel is on the right and there are two levers: one for the hand throttle and one for the three-speed gearstick. Top speed according to the catalogue: more than 60 kilometres per hour.

In 1904, the Horch 14-17 PS Tonneau model was launched on the market and established the automobile manufacturing tradition in Zwickau. A good 50 examples were built at the time – none of which can still be found today. For this reason, the Friends of the August Horch Museum Zwickau decided to build a true-to-original replica of the vehicle.

The basis was a historical photo, a catalogue from 1904/05, three construction drawings and an original engine, which was dismantled and rebuilt. The car, which was ceremoniously handed over to the museum on Wednesday, was created on this basis over twelve years of work and also proved that it is fully drivable.

“A true labor of love” 

The project was supported by many sponsors and specialised companies. IAV supplied the gearbox.

“This was a true labor of love,” says Michael Barth, engineer at IAV in Chemnitz/Stollberg. “Using our current development methods, we created a CAD model of the gearbox based on a historical design drawing, including simulations and calculations.”

Production drawings of the individual parts, including tolerances, were derived from this and transferred to the mechanical production department at IAV in Chemnitz. The individual parts were manufactured there and the gearbox assembled.

The result is now on display at the August Horch Museum Zwickau. The two hundred or so guests at the handover ceremony on Wednesday were already enthusiastic.

“It makes a car lover’s heart beat faster,” says Michael Barth. “We are incredibly proud to have contributed our bit to this amazing project.”

Photos courtesy of the August Horch Museum Zwickau