Barn find typically means an old, neglected, cannibalized hulk discovered moldering in some leaky, vermin-infested lean-to. That's not this classic Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet (a "Cabriolet A" in generic German parlance), which was put up in dry storage in 1954 and discovered only months ago, straight, solid and complete with sound metal and only limited deterioration of its body's wood framing. It is the dream of every collector. The 853 was the culmination of years of development by August Horch, Paul Daimler, Fritz Fiedler and Hans Schleicher. Powered by an inline eight-cylinder engine, it has a single overhead camshaft displacing 4,944cc and developing 120 brake horsepower. With a four-speed transmission, independent front suspension, de Dion rear axle, transverse leaf springs and hydraulically-actuated drum brakes, the Horch was massively built to cope with the large, luxurious coachwork then in vogue. The success of the Horch concept was evident in its sales which in over 4.2-litre chassis vastly exceeded those of its German competitor Mercedes-Benz. Horch was one of the original four partners in Auto Union (Wander, DKW and Audi, which was started and led by August Horch) and all the great Porsche-designed Auto Union mid-engined grand prix cars of the late Thirties, the Silver Arrows, were built at the Horch works in Zwickau. Finding an original, undamaged, straight and largely sound Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet like this in pristine, complete condition is unprecedented in recent years. Its story is simple. Brought to the U.S. after World War II (on a cattle boat) by a U.S. soldier, it was taken to Lafayette, Louisiana where its size proved awkward for the town's tight quarters. It was traded in on Mercury, and then sold by the dealer to a crawfish farmer who drove it a few years then parked it in a shed where over time it was joined by other cars. It is the perfect restoration project: unmolested, straight, generally sound and complete but in need of complete cosmetic and mechanical restoration. Restored to Concours standards, it will be a welcome participant in the most prestigious and demanding Concours d’Elegance in North American and Europe.
If you have vintage cars for sale, like this 1939 Horch, contact us today and learn more about our classic car consignment program. Our consignment program is a seamless service designed for collectors to leverage our global network and broker a private sale. Sellers looking for more control benefit from our expertise in valuation, preparation, tax, timing, and venue guidance.