Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Forgotten Steyr

There is a legend behind every old vehicle. And as a rule, the older the car is, the more impressive the legend is. As you know, some old cars haven’t been justly treated by fate.
There are numerous examples when real rarities just died in the open air only leaving their mark in the history of automotive industry.


The company called Steyr is primarily known for its trucks and specialized vehicles. But there was a period in the history of the company, when it manufactured passenger cars, the designers of which were such prominent names as Hans Ledvinka and Ferdinant Porsche.
Our team was lucky to be slightly affected with a part of the history. It all started with a legend…

For many years, in a certain circle of our friends, there was a cock and bull story passing from generation to generation.


It happened in 1945, after unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. There was a soldier of Armenian descent, who, on the way home, noticed a black sedan flipped over on its side right on the battlefield. The car was immediately put on the wheels and served as a personal transport to native land. Unfortunately, the rumors couldn’t identify the brand of the car, however, some distinguishing features of the car was reported: wooden wheels, bulled-riddled windshield, native tool box around the spare wheel, etc.
Unfortunately, for a long time, it was impossible to check out if there were any historical facts in this story which would correspond to reality, since the anonymous car was and is in a village situated on the other end of Armenia. Moreover, the village and the capital are connected with a 500-kilometr terrible road (to be more exact, with road remains).

One fine winter day, our group managed to take an expedition into this deserted corned of Armenian wild nature. Finally we found the German trophy-car of unknown origin. As mentioned above, the car wasn’t justly treated by fate. In addition, folklore had added lots of non-existent parts and details.
As we can see, we have Steyr 220 in so-called limousine version (so was called sedans by Germans). This car was produced in the period from 1937 to 1941, and was the last pre-war passenger model of the company. In factory price list, Steyr 1938 could be found both as a 4-door sedan and open-top model with two and four doors. This model was equipped, for that time, with the most powerful in-line 6-cylinder petrol engine with a capacity of 2260 cm, which produced 50 HP. In all, there were produced 5900 samples of this model (all types of bodies included). Unfortunately, we have no reliable data on the number of extant copies.