About us

Nikolaus Otto has been well known as the inventor of the first four stroke combustion engine in 1876 although a Mr. Christian Reithmann has tested a similar machine already in 1873.

In addition to a lot of other auxiliary equipment a reliable and strong ignition spark is necessary to operate such an engine.It initiates the third stroke and is so finally responsible for moving the crankshaft.

Mr. Arnold Zähringer a mechanic at the Robert Bosch Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering,founded in 1886 managed the development of the first high voltage magneto ( DRP 99399 ) . A serial production and successful worldwide sales have been introduced from 1898 onwards.It was the ultimate ignition spark device for cars and motor bikes until the thirties.Bosch has started then to introduce the modern battery ignition systems from the middle of the twenties.

We understand our collection similarily as an initial spark for the interests in the development and the history of cars and motor bikes.

Not many of other inventions have influenced the life of all the people that much and have given them a new style of freedom by offering individual travel opportunities.

We want to be something like a magnet for all of our visitors who are keen to get more detailed information about this development process.

– We simply want to be a magneto – in German „Zündmagnet“ !

The collection

It is almost impossible to explain all the facets of this extensive development process.

This is the reason that we concentrate on the following special subjects:

  • German,especially Saxonian Motor bikes
  • During the time of the World Ecomomy Crisis and the Inflation period motor bikes were the more affordable individual transport opportunity in the twenties.We exhibit as well some motor bikes of interesting but odd design which never have been commercially successful.
  • The Auto Union as the second largest car manufacturer in Germany and their DKW brand as the number one motor bike factory in the world
  • Liquid energy is important to make a combustion engine working.We illuminate the history of „LEUNA“ .They have been manufacturing petrol from German coal ( acc. to German patents ) in the state of Saxony – Anhalt,not far from us.
  • Last but not least we provide some information connected to our home town WURZEN and show the first car driven here in its original condition bought by a Wurzen business man in 1904.

New exhibits at Zuendmagnet

We have always investigated into the export activities of the German car industry in their early days with great respect.

Travelling,looking for agents and maintaining the relationship with them have been a great challenge about 80 years ago.It was a completely different dimension at a time without fax,mail and travelling without fast airplanes.

Nevertheless documents show cars and motor bikes for example of Wanderer, Chemnitz originally supplied to Japan,South America and Australia in the early years of the last century.

We are very proud to be able to present some very interesting cars which were exported to Australia in the Twenties.The agent for Wanderer responsible for Victoria and Tasmania has ordered a number of 5/15 hp chassis for a final body assembly in Australia in 1923.Not all of these chassis have been fully assembled or sold.

We can show

  • one 5/15 hp chassis,never assembled or sold,the engine has never been running – it was exhibited in a New Zealand Motor Museum in the previous years
  • one 5/15 hp Wanderer four seater with less than 2000 miles on the meter
  • one 5/15 hp Wanderer two seater with less than 1000 miles on the clock
  • an original untouched spare part collection what came originally with the cars to Australia
  • the original documentation and conversation between Wanderer and their agent in Melbourne
  • To be believed one of the last untouched Grand Prix race car of the world.It is a Wanderer based on a 5/15 hp chassis,modified by the Melbourne based agent in closed exchange with Wanderer/Germany,raced in various Australian competitions and entered in the 1928 Australian Grand Prix.

The following movie shows the arrival of the cars and parts in Wurzen and the first presentation to a group of well known oldtimer car specialists.