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Zundapp Janus : 1958

1731 were built.
Filed under:  Classic
Comment(s): 5
MSRP Engine HP Manufactured
n/a 1 Cylinder 14.0 n/a

Search for Zundapp Janus : 1958 on: eBay

In the first decade after WWII, the long established firm of Zundapp in Nurnberg offered a large palette of two wheelers ranging from motor-assisted bicycles to heavy motorcycles. In late 1954 it became shockingly evident that the recovering population was ready for more refined weatherproof vehicles, and the entire motorcycle industry was in a tailspin.

zundapp logo 1

Zundapp Janus 750 logo. (source: Boogerballs).

Zundapp realized wisely that they could not afford a lengthy development process, and would look at outside help. The efforts of Kroboth and Brutsch were deemed too primitive, and Fuldamobil's lukewarm.

Dornier's front/rear-facing prototype was settled for and named Janus for the Roman god who faced both ways. It was promptly redesigned with Isetta-style doors and with the 250cc Bella scooter motor centrally located between the front/rear facing, fold-flat seats. Much attention was devoted to the advanced, very comfortable Mac Pherson strut suspension.

Glass sliding side windows and robust construction contributed to an overall weight that was too much for the 14 hp motor and the first examples barely reached 80 kph. Production began in June 1957 - much too late - after yet another redesign to lighten the car by substituting Plexiglas side windows. 15,000 cars per year were necessary to break even but a mere 1731 were built in the first six months. Watching the retreating landscape from rear-facing seats in the rain was not as thrilling to customers as first thought. By summer 1958 it was obvious that the situation was not viable and the factory was sold to Bosch. Few examples remain.

(source: Micro Car Museum).

zundapp zandus 750 logo

Zundapp Zandus 750 logo. (source: John Lloyd)

janus 1

Zundapp Janus 750. (source: Micro Car Museum).

janus 2

Zundapp Janus 750. (source: Micro Car Museum).

zundapp janus 250 57

1957 Zundapp Janus 250.

charlie sandelin3308 days ago

i owned one in 1961. had it for a year, fun car. charlie

connie3067 days ago

Are there any of these in he US? My dad has one in Utah. Would like to talk to anyone who has one.

Brucey Maglby2873 days ago

My dad was a director at KTVT Channel 4 in Utah in the 1950's. He was given a Janus 50 to drive during a promotion. I remember what an incredibly fun car it was, but I'd always get car sick ridding backwards and it seems you could always smell gas in the car. It was light blue and was the talk of the neighborhood. All my friends wanted a ride and Dad was alway kind and accommodating. What a wonderful time of life in America it was especially when that patriot, McCarthy, was running bums like Obama out of the country.

CT2873 days ago

WOW!.... "What a wonderful time of life in America it was especially when that patriot, McCarthy, was running bums like Obama out of the country." Really?!

David Copeland2618 days ago

I own a 1958 Zundapp Janus. I live in Tennessee. the car was sold new in Louisana. There were very few sold in the U.S. in those good ole days. I have parts from 3 other cars.

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