1931 Adler Standard 8 private car Walter Gropius

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1931 Adler Standard 8 by Walter Gropius

In 1928, the Adlerwerke wanted to crown the success they had had with the Adler Standard 6 and the Adler Favorit with the Adler 8-cylinder. The Standard 8 was to compete with Mercedes, Horch and the American 8-cylinder cars. To achieve this, the renowned founder of Bauhaus architecture Prof. Walter Gropius (1883 - 1969) was hired. He was commissioned to design new car bodies and a new Adler company logo. The logo, the Gropius-Adler-Mascot, was proudly used by the Adlerwerke until 1998. An original Gropius radiator grille is on display in the car design collection of the city of Ingolstadt.


For the motor shows in Paris in autumn 1930 and in Berlin in spring 1931, two cabriolets and five large saloons were built on Standard 6 or Standard 8 chassis by the coachbuilder Neuss, Berlin, based on Gropius' designs. The coachbuilder Karmann, Osnabrück, built a further 23 Gropius cabriolets. Only a few Gropius cars were sold, because they were too expensive and too extravagant. Prof. Walter Gropius was given a cabriolet with which he and his wife won several beauty contests until their emigration to London (UK) in 1934. A photograph of this cabriolet is still known from wartime, but then every trace is lost.


The door was made according to an American patent. There were four hinges on each side: Two at the top and two at the bottom. There were also two door openers. The trick was that the door could still be opened to the front and to the rear. There is even a photo of this car without a door. A journalist had operated both door openers at the same time. Unfortunately, the door fell out. This defect was later remedied with the help of an opening lock.


Unfortunately, none of the 30 or so Adler-Gropius vehicles survived. But there is a ray of hope! Experts, sponsors and enthusiasts around the Adler Motor Veteranen Club Deutschland are reconstructing an Adler Standard 8 Limousine 'Model Gropius', also affectionately known as the 'White Elephant', from existing parts and custom-made new parts.


Do you have any knowledge, photos, components or other information about the Gropius Eagle? If so, please let us know! I am a member of the Adler Motor Veterans Club and we are very grateful for any knowledge. We are also preserving automobile history for you! 


By the way, through our model car 1936 Maybach SW 38 Authenrieth for Heinrich Müller (Schuco) we have been able to clarify the whereabouts of the original car and have received previously unknown photographic material from the grandson of the last owner of the Maybach. You don't know what you don't know and what 'treasures' you own. With this in mind, have fun and success in your treasure hunt.

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