DKW Racing Legends in South Africa Coenraad Spamer & Sarel van der Merwe


Coenraad Spamer racing his 1957 DKW 1000
With this 40 year old DKW  Coenraad
was the Class Winner of the 1998 Season



Few people realise how successful
DKW is in winning races in South Africa,
since the thirties to this day

DKW's already made a name for themselves during the mid thirties.
One of these occasions was when a Mr V. Short in 1936 established
a new record at an average speed of 46 mph, taking 4 hours and
33 Minutes from Johannesburg to Pietersburg.


Coenraad Spamer's
First DKW Racing Car in 1964


 DKW simply was the best racing car!

A young car enthusiast, Coenraad Spamer, travelled to Switzerland
and Germany in 1958. While in Europe, Coenraad was determined
to see some of the big car races at Zandvoort in Holland. He grabbed
the first opportunity to experience "first hand" one of these great
spectacles. What impressed him the most was that wherever he
looked there were DKW's racing. Not only were they racing, but they
were forever in front. He could not believe his eyes, whatever
opposition, from Porsche's to Jaguar's, they mostly fought a loosing
battle against the much smaller DKW's.

Coenraad decided that he was going to race DKW's in South Africa
and would try to repeat what these chaps were doing to their illustrious
opposition in Germany. While in Germany Coenraad tried to learn as
much as possible on how these drivers managed make the DKW's go
so fast.



Coenraad Spamer's
First DKW Racing Car in 1964

Back in South Africa it didn't take Coenraad long to have his first
DKW ready to race. Initially everybody smiled when he arrived at
the race track with his DKW. The other drivers were convinced that
with such a small two stroke engine he had no chance of keeping up
with them. But in no time at all his DKW's started to win race after
race, even beating the factory teams.


Krugersdorp Hill Climb - News Report
Car Magazine - May 1966
"DKW Faster than The Best"


Star of the day was Coenraad Spamer in a DKW

The star of the day was undoubtedly Coenraad Spamer in a DKW
F-12 in the Production car category. After his exhaust system had
disintegrated and been replaced by a standard one from the local
agents, he roared up in 57 - 4 seconds.



DKW F-12
"Faster than the Best"
Note the Air-Scoop


This not only won him his class, but was faster than the best in any of
the other four production car classes, the three classes for modified
saloons, two out of three sports car classes, one of the special classes,
and the formula Vee's. It also put him among the 10 fastest of the day
who qualified to run for the Lucky Strike championship.


Part of Coenraad Spamer's
DKW Racing Career



DKW 3=6 in 1965 at Kyalamy
Leader of the Pack - Just like Conraad had seen it in Germany



Day of the Grand Prix
1968 at Kyalamy
"You just can't catch me!"



Krugersdorp Hill Climb
The DKW Special Coenraad inherited from Sarel Senior



Roof of Africa Rally Class Winner
who beat all the factory teams
on top of Sani Pass



Conraad Spamer's DKW F-12
is slipstreamed by a hopeful
Mini Cooper at Kyalami



Conraad Spamer
Racing his DKW F-102



Travelling to a Race Meeting in
Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), which was hard work in those early days


Coenraad Spamer's
Recent DKW Racing Achievements



1957 DKW 1000 - F-Class Winner
of the 1998 Racing Season
(1000cc to 1600cc cars)



1964 DKW F-12 in the pit lane
preparing for the 2000 Racing Season in December 1999
at Kilarney in Cape Town



1964 DKW F-12
in December 1999 preparing
for the 2000 Racing Season
at Kilarney in Cape Town


 Sarel van der Merwe Senior -
Accomplished DKW Racing Driver!
"Like Father Like Son!"


Sarel Junior's Birthday!

Sarel van der Merwe was an accomplished DKW racing driver. Like
everybody else, at the time, he had to modify and build the cars himself.
He had retired from active racing by now and his favourite DKW
racing car was parked behind his house (see picture below).

However, as Sarel junior's 18th birthday was approaching and Sarel
junior could hardly wait to obtain his drivers licence, father was
concerned that his son may have aspirations on his racing car.



DKW Special
Built and Raced by
Sarel van der Merwe Senior


This he planned to prevent at all cost, so the day before Sarel junior's
18th birthday he phoned Coenraad Spamer to offer him his beloved
DKW, provided he came to fetch it immediately and would return the
engine to him the next day, so he could mount it in a glass case. He
was not prepared to part with his DKW engine, which had won him
so many races.


Highlights of the DKW Racing Team
Coenraad Spamer &
Sarel van der Merwe Junior



Sarel's first National Race
in the DKW F12 at the Roy Hesketh circuit in April 1968



Coenraad in the DKW F-12 & Sarel in the DKW Junior -
both won their class - Kyalamy 1968



The Coenraad & Sarel DKW F-12 in the December 1968
3-hour race at Kilarney in Cape Town