The beginning of history of Zundapp company can be dated 1917. By merge of three firms, known for that time, the Zunderund Apparatebau company which was engaged in production of military production namely – shells and bombs that is quite explainable was formed. Upon termination of World War I Germany was demilitarized in this connection production completely stopped. It was necessary to look for new production and new sales markets. The problem was solved by Fritz Noymeyer who bought up the enterprise in 1919. He should be considered as the founder of the motorcycle Zundapp brand.
Release of the first motorcycle took place in 1921. The Z22 model equipped with the British Levis engine of 121 cubic centimeter appeared this bike. In a year about 1000 motorcycles of this model went on sale.
Motorcycle sport became one of the most important directions of development of the company. In the first year of the existence the Z22 motorcycle participated in the competitions in reliability check held in Northern Bavaria. The Zundapp team was supported by the racer most famous at that time having a champion title of Germany, mister Metch, subsequently more than once supporting Zundapp.
By 1924 models with the engines began to be issued. Also cooperation with the Levis company which presented the modified and received volume to 249 cubic centimeters the unit by then proceeded. The same year the first assembly conveyor which considerably accelerated production became operational. So in 1924 10 000 cars were released already. It coincided with peak of popularity of motorcycles in Germany. Demand increased several times. In this regard, the Zundapp company got huge profits, and became even more popular.
The success needed to be developed. Branches and assembly shops across all Germany began to open. There was a uniform dealer and service network. In 1928 the new record was set up. Annual release of the company made unimaginable 50 000 copies hitherto. One more plant in Shvaynau near Nuremberg recognized as the best in the world was constructed. So less than in a decade the Zundapp company became the world leader of sales, having started almost from scratch.
But everything was destroyed by the Great Depression which didn't spare any company those years. Sales fell with 4 000 to 300 copies a month. With huge work, but the company managed to survive. In many respects it was promoted by the right decisions of the head of the enterprise in the most critical situations. Besides, Zundapp became family firm – Hans Friedrich Neumejer joined management.
The complete recovery of the company came in 1933. Release of new models began. All of them had four-cycle two-cylinder engines with horizontally located cylinders, but with different volumes – most often 398, 498 and 598 cubic centimeters. They were designed by Richard Kukhen loving unusual models which also these treated. Only a year later in the company the system of a threefold purge of cylinders new the then was developed, and for the first time used in the Derby car with the small, but powerful engine of 174 cubic centimeters and 5,5 horsepowers. After the end of crisis the company quickly restored the lost positions. Demand increased so that eventually exceeded the offer, having caused deficiency of motorcycles – rather unusual occurrence. It was necessary to increase production even more.
Soon Hitler then there came the new wave of militarization of the industry came to the power. But, despite it, the Zundapp company continued to let out new models of motorcycles. Among them there was KS600 bike with the two-cylinder engine of 597 cubic centimeters and the DS350 motorcycle in which the foot lever of switching of speeds was for the first time used.
By 1940 in Germany civil production was almost completely stopped, after all from plants forcibly cleaned the equipment which isn't intended for military needs. Inexplicably this trouble bypassed Zundapp. Production proceeded even in the middle of war, and on March 13, 1942 workers celebrated peculiar anniversary – release of the 250-thousand motorcycle of the KS750 model. This bike was intended for the military purposes, had a carriage, the drive through the blocked differential, the engine with air cooling and two cylinders. This motorcycle could be compared to model of even more influential producer – BMW R75.
New recession that isn't surprising, came after war. When the companies from other countries gained steam, Germany was in occupation, and the main office of Zundapp was controlled by the Americans using service stations and workshops in the purposes. Only in 1947 the situation was normalized. Release of the modernized pre-war models began. I went on sale and the first post-war DB201 motorcycle with a two-stroke engine. Other new models appeared a little later. It were KS600 baizes, very reminding pre-war cars, and KS601 – the West German road motorcycle, best in the class, the nicknamed "Green elephant" 27 horsepowers. It could gather the speed of 141 kilometer per hour.
In 1951 the headquarters of the company and the main production moved to Munich. There gradually release of old models proceeded, but new baizes weren't created yet. In 1959 the last copy of KS601 descended from the conveyor. Production of Bella motor scooter which became very popular began. More than 130 000 copies were sold for all the time of release. Also the new Elastic motorcycles called so because of flexible system of suspension brackets were very interesting. But this model was quickly replaced by another, more perfect – 200S.
A series S existed until the end of the 60th years. A latest model I became 250 Trophy S, acting in races. The middle of the 60th was very successful for the enterprise. Then the Zundapp company finally switched to small-capacity vehicles – motor scooters and mopeds.
Production of the Zundapp company got many awards on races and exhibitions. So the KS350 motorcycle with air cooling became opening of the Cologne exhibition. There was those years one more very similar bike of the KS125 model, but already with liquid cooling. XS175 appeared the last motorcycle with the engine of large volume. This unit was delivered as well the abroad – the Laverda companies.
In 1981 sales reached record 115 000 cars in a year. It seemed, the company is waited by new boom. But that's put that only it seemed. At the beginning of the 80th level sale began to fall steadily in spite of the fact that Zundapp baizes nevertheless continued to enjoy popularity.
Release of the racing RSM model which showed excellent results was attempt of restoration. It reached 219 kilometers per hour, record on that time, at the engine capacity of 30 horsepowers. But the situation became worse. By the beginning of the Cologne exhibition of 1984 of sale made only 41% of last year's sales.
Soon the Zundapp company was declared by bankrupt and sold to the businessman from China. All production and documents went to the east, and the brand itself glorified which name was born by more than three million cars, stopped the existence.1 - 32
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