Horch 853A Sport Cabriolet

Car producer : 



853A Sport Cabriolet





Horch presented a new model range reduced to two basic model series in the mid-1930s: the Type 830 with three-litre V8 engines and the Type 850 with five-litre straight-eight engines. The highlight in the 850 series was the 853, a sports cabriolet that was a resounding success in its class. Its two-colour finish gave it an extremely elegant look. Customers were also able to order this car with a kind of metallic paint finish at extra cost. The glittering effect of this paint, which was offered in several colour versions as “Fish Silver”, was achieved by adding extremely finely ground fish scales. Engine: 8-cylinder in-line, 4-stroke, 4,911 cc with 100 hp at 3,400 rpm and maximum speed: 84 mph. Fuel consumption: 11 mpg. Production: 619 cars.

Just as they were competitors on the track, with their team cars collectively known as the “Silver Arrows”, Horch and Mercedes-Benz also competed in the luxury market, and Horch decided to respond directly to the 540K. A design concept began, and a wooden model was built to assess the Horch Special Roadster. The decision was made to go ahead, and the construction of the car was undertaken by the factory works in Malan, Germany. The car was shown briefly, but it was not initially sold, as plans to supercharge the car were contemplated. Ultimately, the straight eight engine was deemed sufficient for the car, and plans to supercharge it were abandoned. Although not supercharged like its rivals, the 853 models do have overdrive, which closes the performance gap. In the 1930s, there were three separate series of this style built, some by the Horch factory, some by Gläser, and others by Erdmann & Rossi. Today, there are only six of all styles known.

It is believed that only five or six examples of the Horch 853a Sportcabriolet by Gläser are still in existence. Gläserkarosserie was a specialist in cabriolet coachwork, having taken out numerous related patents during the 1920s, and built many such bodies for Horch. Establishing who were the customers for these exclusive cars is very difficult, as Heinrich Gläser's original company ceased to exist after WW2, and nearly all factory records were either lost or destroyed. In February 1945, bombing damage had forced the relocation of Gläserkarosserie from its Dresden home to Ullersricht, near Weiden in Bavaria, where owner Erich Heuer resumed production after the war. In its new incarnation, Gläser manufactured cinema equipment, though the company did return to its traditional coachbuilding activities, albeit only briefly, as maker of the first cabriolet versions of Porsche's 356 sports car.

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