NSU Books

This month I will again divert from the strict rule of this blog being a bike blog in presenting a few books on one of the most important German makers of bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, cars and other machinery. NSU being all that, the brand has always attracted major interest from both collectors and historians, so a great number of books has been published on it. All of those presented here are either still in print or available used without large expenditure. They also are worth getting for the photos if readers´ German isn´t that good.

Starting with the exception to the rule though, a book that I obtained (free!) from NSU GmbH in 1998, when the brand had its 125th anniversary. This might be difficult to get now, but it´s slim and does not offer any info beyond what is found in the other books as well, so it´s not really worth hunting down.

The volume most worth getting for a general overview must be this one:

It´s the latest iteration of Peter Schneider´s work on the marque, Schneider having had access to the archives, producing ever larger editions of his monography. An earlier one looks like this: They all are well worth getting, but the later the edition, the more photos and info can be found.

Then there´s the little one which mostly consists of reprinted snippets of old sales brochures, commented ably though:

And this one which has much data:

It´s basically an abridged version of the NSU Story volume.

The weirdest one must be this, listing meticulously all info on mod/cons, prototypes, and other NSU based oddities over the decades. Pic quality is not good though, shame.

There are several book focussing on single models, like Ernst Leverkus´Max book, or this one on the tiny Fox:

My favourite of them all for decades was the NSU Renngeschichte, the Racing History. Fascinating, early research, again with poor pic qualty in places. I´ve had my copy for nearly 40 years. It cost 68 Marks in 1982, which was a whopper of a price in those days.

But nowadays there is this volume, well illustrated, partly in colour, well researched too, very technical and focussing on the world championship bikes of the fifties, also covering the races leading to the championship, more or less lap by lap. Several racing bikes were actually disassembled to take the pictures for the book.

Of course there must be hundreds of articles in bike mags and those “most famous/beautiful/fast/dangerous… bikes in world history” horrors. Representing the better ones of those, here´s two issues of a motorbike yearbook series which incorporate great and lengthy NSU articles.

Lastly, a biography of Austrian Champion Rupert Hollaus who was a member of the famous NSU team of riders during those few years in the mid fifties when Rennmax and Rennfox were all conquering on the tracks of Europe. Hollaus actually was killed on an NSU, largely because he was suffering from an unknown issue with his skull.

Next month I hope to extract info on NSU bicycles from these books as well as from some old brochures and mags in my collection.

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