NSU was a German manufacturer founded by two mechanics in 1873, Heinrich Stoll and Christian Schmidt. The company was called Neckarsulmer Strickmaschinen Union (NSU).
NSU started by manufacturing & repairing knitting machines and moved into manufacturing bicycles and then to motorbikes, 1901 being the first year of motorbike manufacturing which was the first motorcycle to be successfully marketed in Germany. In 1905 they produced their first motor vehicle. The company was a pioneering manufacturer in germany at that time.
NSU was sold to the VW/Audi Group in 1969 due to financial struggles and after being heavily involved in the VW K70. In 1984 NSU was discontinued within the Volkswagen Group.
There had been many connections between NSU and the Volkswagen Group over the years, and NSU were even heavily involved with the original KDF 'Peoples Car' designs and prototypes around 1936 - 37 but legal ties with Fiat of Italy sadly put an end to that, and the rest as they say is history!!
Today the modern Audi factory is located in Neckarsulm on NSU-Strasse!
Over a million Quicklys from 1953 to 1962, with varing different models, were manufactured by NSU. They were a success due to their low price and top quality.
Our NSU is a NSU Quickly-N manufactured in October 1959. Still in its original paint and original dealer sticker we sourced it from a motorcycle collector in Kent, just a few miles up the road from Bailey Motors Limited, Crayford, Kent, where it was originally purchased new. It came with its original registration book, insurance certificate from 1967 (the insurance premium cost £1.17 to insure for the year), receipt of the only repair it had had in 1976 which was a new exhaust, as well as the original bill of sale. It was purchased new on 22nd October 1959 for £70.12 (including number plates and a £5.00 delivery charge).
It has a two stroke air-cooled 50cc engine so hardly sporty but fun for a local trip or getting around a VW show.
The owner hand guide which came with the bike boasts of 180 miles to the gallon!
Why do with like NSU's? Well it is simple really, they have many component pieces that are very similar to the early Volkswagens. The bolts are by KAMAX and the lenses and lights are all early scripted Bosch. They had VDO gauges and speedometers, and of course simple German quality manufacturing. We were fortunate that when we bought the bike, the previous owner also gave us a manual because otherwise we would never have worked out how to start it. The pedals act as a kick start and once in motion they can be used to keep the momentum up on steep hills. You have got to love the NSU hand painting and the Quickly script as well as etching about the bike on the seat and even on the cables.