BK Micro Car Collection BK GROUP - Helsinki
Proferssor Zündapp´s car from the movie Cars 2

Zündapp Janus - 1959

Zündapp Janus is a microcar model made by Zündapp in

Germany between 1957 and 1958, the only car ever made

by the company.

Dornier Delta

Claude    Dornier    was    always    trying    to    minimize    the    dependency    of    his    company    Dornier Flugzeugwerke   on   building   aircraft,   by   diversification   into   other   areas.   After   World   War   2,   and the   Allied   ban   on   aircraft   production   in   Germany   until   the   late   1950s,   Claude   diversified   the companies   production   and   also   encouraged   his   son   Claudius   to   find   new   areas.   As   a   result, Claudius   designed   and   developed   a   four-seater   car,   where   the   two   front   and   two   rear   passengers sat   back   to   back,   to   optimally   use   the   enclosed   space.   A   prototype   was   built   and   tested,   which received   the   name   Dornier   Delta.   However,   the   company   had   never   made   a   car   before,   and economic   calculations   showed   that   the   volumes   of   sales   required   would   not   make   it   economical for the company to make the car using its existing facilities. Zündapp   were   a   motorcycle   maker,   but   in   1954   decided   to   make   a   more   weatherproof   vehicle. They   looked   for   partners   who   could   design   such   a   vehicle,   and   approached   Kroboth,   Brütsch, and Fuldamobil before settling on the ready-developed from Dornier.

Zündapp Janus

Under   a   commercial   agreement,   Dornier   licensed   Zündapp   to   produce   and   market   the   car. Further   developed   using   Zündapp's   engineering   input   and   envisaged   as   a   "quality   bubble   car", the   novel   developed   design   featured   a   front-opening   door   for   access   to   the   front   seat,   as   well   as a   rear-opening   door   for   access   to   the   rear-facing   rear   seat.   This   "coming   or   going"   design   was given   the   name   of   the   Roman   god,   Janus,   usually   pictured   having   two   faces:   one   looks   forward while   the   other   one   looks   back.   The   car   was   powered   by   a   mid-mounted   2-stroke   single   cylinder 245   cubic   centimetres   (15.0   cu   in)   engine   unique   to   the   Janus,   developing   14   hp   (10   kW), enabling   a   top   speed   of   80   km/h   (50   mph).   The   suspension   was   of   the   MacPherson   strut   type that   proved   to   be   very   comfortable,   and   then   the   company   added   four   individually   mounted ventilated brake drums, operated via hydraulics Production   started   in   June   1957.   However,   whilst   in   racing   and   sports   cars   the   mid-engine configuration   leads   to   optimal   car   handling,   the   engine   in   the   Janus   was   much   lighter   than   the rear   passengers,   leading   to   a   variable   centre   of   gravity.   Secondly   the   car   lacked   the   most modern   elements   seen   on   competitors   cars,   and   was   not   low-priced.   These   factors   combined   to result   in   a   lack   of   sales   success,   with   only   1,731   cars   were   made   in   the   first   six   months.   By   mid- 1958,   having   made   only   a   total   of   6,902   cars,   Zündapp   abandoned   the   project   and   sold   the factory to Bosch.

In popular culture

In   the   animated   feature   film   Cars   2,   the   secondary   antagonist,   Professor   Zündapp   is   based   on   a Zündapp Janus. Photo on the right from Cars 2 movie: Pixar Studios.


Engine 245 cc 1 cylinder Power 14 HP Top speed 80 km/h Lenght/width 2,86 m/1,4 m Weight 725 kg This Janus was in very poor condition when it arrived to the collection. Whole car was teared to pieces and carefully renoved during 2001. Were still looking for the original front bumper!
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.