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Page 394. 1938 NSU Opel Gent’s Roadster

1938 NSU Opel Gent’s Roadster

21 1/2 inch Frame

New Tyres

Lighting Set & Large Rear Carrier

Original Paintwork

Mechanically Restored

Excellent Condition

Ready to Ride Away…

 

NSU and Opel merged in 1937. Opel stopped manufacturing bicycles after WW2. So it was only for a short time that these NSU-Opel bicycles carried the emblems of both companies.

The head-badge and mudguard emblem use the NSU name…

 

…while the chainwheel uses the Opel emblem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSU

1904nsu

This German company really started in 1873 when Heinrich Stoll and Christian Schmidt joined up to make knitting machines. Like most engineering companies of the day they soon realized that bicycle production was the ‘new big thing’ and changed their operation. They took the name NSU in 1882 from their new location of Neckarsulm.

Though they started out making bicycles, like nearly all the future car and motorcycle makers, their bicycle production is generally overlooked due to their outstanding successes in the design and sale of motorized vehicles. Their first motorcycle was in 1901 (with a 1.5hp Swiss Zedel engine). It’s interesting to see the advert below for the NSU 3.5hp 2-speed motorcycle that was made in the same year as this bicycle.

By 1955, with the amazing success of the NSU Quickly as well as other models, they had become the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the wold.

For a more comprehensive history of the NSU company, you can visit the

Online Cyclemaster Museum – PLEASE CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEL

Adam Opel opened a factory in Russelshiem in 1862 to make sewing machines. The manufacture of bicycles started in 1886. After his death in 1895, his five sons expanded the business which, by now, had 600 employees. Car production started in 1899 and, by 1914, the company had become Germany’s largest manufacturer of motorized vehicles.

Bicycle production greatly increased after 1925: between 1925 and 1936 over 150,000 bicycles were made each year. In 1927 alone, production was over 300,000.

In 1928, the company pioneered work in rocket propulsion. The rocket motorcycle illustrated above is from 1929. A rocket-powered car achieved a speed of 238 kph and a subsequent model 254 kph on rails. Opel became a public company in 1928. However, the stock market crash affected the company badly, and 80% of the shares were sold to General Motors of USA. Although GM subsequently bought the rest of the shares, Opel continued to work independently and, in 1936, sold 120,000 cars, the world’s highest total for that year. In 1937, all Opel bicycles were sold as NSU, the Opel name being retained for cars and trucks. The 1937 photo below shows the last Opel bicycle leaving the factory.

The Opel plant was rebuilt in 1950, though bicycle production was not resumed.