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Culture

Lost Horch Limousine Brought from Texas to Germany

The last example of a rare 1953 Horch is undergoing restoration at the Audi museum in Ingolstadt, Germany. The car was discovered, battered and rusty, in a small Texas town earlier this year.

Horch 830

Once restored, the car will look a lot like this one

The car was exhibited unrestored at the Audi museum in July and August this year with its velvet seats slashed open, battered door trims and rusty exterior. It is now undergoing a complete restoration.

The car was built by hand for Dr. Richard Bruhn, the last man at the helm of Auto Union, a forerunner to Audi AG, one of Germany's leading luxury car manufacturers. The chauffeur-driven limousine was based on a 1938 Horch 830 BL. Horch was one of four companies that merged under the Auto Union label in 1932.

Later, a US soldier stationed in Germany bought the car and brought it home with him to the United States. Eventually the transmission broke down and he parted company with the car.

Al Wilson, a car enthusiast from San Angelo, Texas, saved the Horch from the crushers. Although he knew nothing about the Horch brand, he sensed that the vehicle was something special. And so the former manager of a shoe factory paid $500 (387 euros) for it, parking it on his property along with other finds.

Bringing the Horch home

An museum employee cleans a Wanderer W 23 Cabrio from 1940

Germans take pride in their car heritage

Wilson contacted Ingolstadt, the German Museum in Munich and a Dresden-based expert. Nobody knew anything about the car. His sons later resumed the research. Finally Ralf Hornung, who is responsible for buying and restoring vehicles at Audi Tradition, recognized the car.

"The photos clearly showed Bruhn's car, the whereabouts of which had been a mystery for decades," Hornung said, flying straight to Texas. Al Wilson agreed to sell it, saying: "The Horch should go home."

The car brands Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer merged under the Auto Union label in 1932. In 1985, the Audi AG was established bringing together the traditional companies Auto Union GmbH and NSU GmbH.

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