Classic Sports Car

Wankel seeks keen restorer


In 1967, Bevis Billingham was working in Germany and travelling all over the country in his new BMW 1600 company car. “I decided to get a fun car for weekend use,” he recalls, “and after some considerat­ion I bought a one-yearold Wankel Spider from the NSU subsidiary in Düsseldorf. Like most of them, it had just had a replacemen­t engine and it was in as-new condition, with only 15,000km on the clock.”

When he returned to England at the end of 1969 to live in Worthing, he brought the car with him and used it extensivel­y for the following three years, clocking up some 15,000 miles per year. “During that period I had to rebuild the engine twice, with new apex seals,” he says. “The work required extreme cleanlines­s and was carried out on the kitchen table.”

In 1972 he offered the NSU to the Hull Street Life Museum on loan, but it was never put on display so 10 years later he brought it back home and put it into storage to await his retirement. In 2003 he finally started work, including fitting yet more seals, but ran out of enthusiasm. He would like to see the car preserved, but motor museums do not seem to have room for it so it could be for sale. Email

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