Be A King – 1959 NSU Prinz 30

In an ironic twist, the bulk of postwar microcars, built for (mostly) postwar European everyman, seem to be moving out of reach of today’s everyman collector. Recent sales show some microcars moving into the 6-figure stratosphere, to join pre-war Packards and post-war Porsches. So if you want the automotive equivalent of a scooter, you have to get creative. Look beyond the BMW Isettas and Messerschmitts, and you’ll find this 1959 NSU Prinz 30, for sale in Santa Margarita, CA with bidding at $222 and 9 1/2 days left to go.

1959 NSU Prinz for sale right front

The car has definitely spent some of its time in hibernation, and the likely upside of the competitive microcar market is this little one’s emergence from its hiding place. It wears a California black plate, suggesting it’s been here since the mid-1960s at least, and sports a bit of impact damage on the left rear fender. There’s also some light damage on the right side where it looks like the driver scraped up against a fence or other low object. It’s hard to imagine how, with such a small car and such (presumably) excellent visibility, one could run into anything with this car. Of course, storage damage or something caused by another driver is also a possibility…

1959 NSU Prinz for sale left rear

The car’s been subject to a fair amount of attention to functionality, such that the engine and transmission now function quite well, and the electrical system is fully functional (how complicated could that have been?). It features a later Prinz 30 engine, although it’s not clear what benefit that brings – later cars seem to have been equipped with a fully synchronized 4-speed, and perhaps this car has the 30hp inline 2-cylinder (that’s a whopping 50% increase over the old engine!).

1959 NSU Prinz for sale interior

The interior looks pretty decent – no carpet, but also an uncracked, if crazed, steering wheel, and decent upholstery on the seats. It also features accessory Stewart Warner gauges for fuel pressure, oil pressure and oil temperature, which should be helpful if you attempt freeway speeds. The car was said to have a top speed of 73mph, although with considerable noise from its rough 2-cylinder powerplant. Who knows, perhaps that Solex 32 will get you a few extra mph on top of that!

1959 NSU Prinz for sale engine

Foreshadowing the futuristic powerplants of today’s automobile, the NSU’s engine was nearly completely covered in shrouds. Given all the recent work, you hopefully won’t have to dig into it much, and when new they were said to have a fairly light appetite for maintenance. This particular car needs a full servicing of its brake system – a seized master cylinder, leaking brake cylinders and old brake hoses are issues the seller lists. Perhaps parts availability is one of the reasons the car is for sale? The seller does mention a comprehensive spare parts collection, including a 1960 parts car, NOS wheel cylinder rebuild kits, a set of chrome hubcaps, and more, so some questions are in order to confirm you could get this one driving without many hours spent searching for parts. Depending on the final hammer price, the current microcar market suggests that this would not only be a fun toy, but you could perhaps turn a small profit as a reward for your contribution towards bringing this one back all the way.


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4 Responses to “Be A King – 1959 NSU Prinz 30”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    It’s a $700 and change now; I’ve spent more on a nice dinner out. (pre-recession, of course)

  2. juan Says:

    still for sale?

  3. Antonius Vanden Hoogen Says:

    I am looking for parts for mine, can anyone help?

  4. Tom Says:

    So, Where is this ’59 prinz 30 located or contact info to purchase???

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