In the 1950s, numerous small sports cars were born which proved to be highly performing

1y ago

In the 1950s the sports car sector underwent a radical transformation as numerous companies decided to make small coupes that placed lightness and manageability in relation to the power of the engine at the center of their project.

Below we have described three particularly interesting ones that attempted to impose themselves on the market not without difficulty.


In 1950 the French company Deutch & Bonnet had managed to make its first production spider based on the mechanics of the Panhard Dyna X and given the discrete success obtained they decided to make a coupe variant in 1952.

Called DB Coach, it was based on a steel frame wrapped by a body made by the Antem di Courbevoie and was equipped with a 33 hp 0.7 liter twin-cylinder engine managed by a four-speed manual gearbox and combined with rear wheel drive.

The suspensions were independent wheels with transverse leaf spring and torsion bar rear while the braking system consisted of four drum brakes.

Thanks to some victories in various competitions, including the 1952 Tour de France, the Coach had a moderate commercial success and was sold in 70 specimens built until 1954, when it was replaced by the more modern HBR4.


In 1950 the German group Auto Union managed to restart the production of DKW brand cars with the new F89 model and in several years the company managed to forfeit enough funds to start developing a small sports car in 1954.

This project was entrusted to the engineers Günther Ahrens and Albrecht-Wolf Mantzel, who decided to use the frame of the 1953 F91 as a base, shortening it and making it cover with a new aerodynamic fiberglass body made by Dannenhauer & Stuss.

This first model, named Solitude as a tribute to the circuit near Stuttgart, was later updated with the chassis of the new F93 to be mass-produced starting from 1955 with the name of 3 = 6 Monza.

The name echoed the commercial name of the F93 (3 = 6) and paid homage to the unparalleled Italian sports cars of the time (Monza).

As engine, a 40 HP three-cylinder 0.9 engine was mounted, managed by a four-speed manual gearbox and combined with rear-wheel drive.

Thanks also to numerous sporting affirmations, Monza was sold until 1960 in just under 240 units, becoming one of the most iconic cars of the German company.


In 1954 Jean Rédélé, son of the owner of the Renault dealer of the city of Dieppe and member of the racing team of the French company, decided to create his own car company which took the name of Alpine.

After two concept cars, the first series car was built in 1955, which took the name of A106.

Based on a tubular chassis wrapped in a fiberglass body, the car took its name from the abbreviations of the four-cylinder Renault 0.7 43 hp engines used as propulsion units.

Built until 1963, the A106 achieved numerous successes in several races and convinced Rédélé to continue the development of new cars in the following years.


They are all small sports cars with big ambitions, but among all the Alpine A106 has a special place in my heart. And which one do you prefer?

Thank you to Valentina Zanola per la cooperazione

Join In

Comments (9)

  • The DKw looks remarkably similar to the later Toyota S600. Any idea if there is a direct connection or did Toyota just like the look of it and decide to do something similar?.

    Love the Alpine it seems like a French Porsche 356 in concept.

      1 year ago
  • Lovely article, pal. I really want that DKW now for some reason..

      1 year ago
  • The Alpine has lots of parts that has been used on the Renault 4CV, just look at the wheels, engine and the air intake on the rear fender.

      1 year ago
  • How about Wartburg 311 coupes?

      1 year ago
  • I would have preferred reading this in Italian, since the story doesn't translate very well in English. It's a bit awkward...

      1 year ago