Woodies (wood-bodied station wagons) can be a luxury cars!
Driving a car used to be a luxury reserved for the relatively small upper class. The Horch brand represented luxury cars of the highest calibre, but then the Horch Woody (station wagon) came along – just a bit different! In 1938, 382,000 cars were produced in Germany (today 6 million) and about 1.3 million were registered ( now 45 million). In 1938 the cost of a Horch was 10,000-14,000 Reichsmark (one Reichsmark is equivalent to 3.70€). For the same money you could buy a luxury home! The average wage at the time was 165 RM a month. These figures help to illustrate the value of the Horch 830BL Woody at the time.
The Horch 830 is a passenger car with an eight-cylinder V-engine and rear-wheel drive. The brand belonged to Auto Union, who launched it as a successor to the Type 430 at the 23rd International Motorcar and Motorcycle Exhibition in Berlin, February 1933. It was an improvement over the 830B (1935-40); the 830BK led to the 830BL with 3.8 litres capacity and 92HP. The relatively small Horch was clearly superior to the Mercedes 320, and the V8 series became the most successful Horch model with a total of 9,571 cars produced.
At the time, the Wanderer Type W23 (known as the farmer's car) was declared the first German/European 'Woody'. This model was for export to countries in southern Europe with the prototype completed in 1941. During the war, however, development stopped. Based on what we know today, the 1938 Horch 830BL seems to have been the first German/European station wagon. The Horch was bodied by F.M. Tarbuk (Vienna). We do not know if there is any other model of a pre WWII German Woody. It appears that our 1938 Autopioneer model Horch 830BL is the only one in Germany!
F.M. Tarbuk & Co., later Tarbuk Cars & Cie., was an Austrian vehicle trading and body shop company, founded in 1920 in Vienna by Fritz Tarbuk. In 1928 Tarbuk took over the general agency for Horch in Zwickau. By the end of the 1980s, the company had expanded considerably, employed 1,000 people and was one of the 60 highest-revenue companies in Austria. In 1992, the group was renamed Tarbuk AG but in 2007, the company folded. More than 80 car brands were marketed by Tarbuk over 87 years; the company had relocated x times and even the turmoil of World War II did not cause it any harm. According to its long-term attorney Walter Priglhuber, "The death knell of the company was the disagreement of the owners".
Today, the restored Horch 830BL Woody is displayed in the EFA Automobile Museum in Amerang.