Austro Daimler

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About Austro Daimler

The story of the original company and the Austro Daimler brand has been marked by changes.  The "Oesterreichische Daimler-Motoren-Commanditgesellschaft Bierenz Fischer u. Co"was founded on August 11, 1899 in Wiener Neustadt and the first vehicle built there was completed on May 14, 1900. At the time the product range also included trucks, buses, motorboats, marine engines, and rail vehicles. In 1902 Paul Daimler came to Wiener Neustadt, took over the company management, and became a personally liable partner. On July 27, 1906, the company was renamed "Österreichische Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft – Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung". In the same year, Ferdinand Porsche was appointed as the technical director of the company as the successor to Paul Daimler. The company was also at this time manufacturing vehicle, medical and fire trucks, as well as trolleybuses and military vehicles. On October 7 1910 the company was again renamed "Oesterreichische Daimler-Motoren-Aktiengesellschaft". The telegram or "wire" word Austro Daimler became common usage thereafter. Meanwhile, engines for vehicles, ships, airships, and automobiles with gasoline or electric drive were being built.

Between 1910 and 1920 the company experienced a series of major upheavals. In 1911 Emperor Franz Josef granted the company the right to use the double eagle in its emblem and, following previous cooperation, a business merger with Skoda took place in 1913. Due to the outbreak of the First World War, the production of the company underwent a change in 1914, and in the following years' vehicles were also made for the war effort, before the shares in Skoda were transferred to the "Wiener Bank und Kreditverein für Handel und Gewerbe" in 1918.

The AD 617, which was built from 1920, was followed in 1922 by the production of the racing car ADS R, which was named "Sascha" after Count Alexander Kolowrat, a manufacturer and founder of the Austrian film industry and which enjoyed 43 race victories and 8 second place finishes. In 1925, the majority shareholding was transferred to Creditanstalt, Wiener Bankverein, Anglobank and Depositenbank. The ADM model, which had been developed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1922 and then further developed over several generations, went into production in 1926 as the ADM 3 Liter Sport. This car was the basis for the vehicle with which Hans Stuck won countless spectacular victories in races from 1927 to 1930, the Austro Daimler ADR. Other variants included the ADR Sport and the ADR 8, an absolute luxury sports car.

In 1928, the Graz-based Puchwerke AG, OeFFAG and Austro Daimler merged to form "Austro Daimler Puchwerke Aktiengesellschaft". In the same year, Hans Stuck was hired as a works driver and, thanks to his multiple successes in popular mountain races, the ADR Sport was further developed into the ADR Bergmeister.

The decline of the company became visible from 1931 largely due to external influences The global economic crisis, the imposed luxury car strategy, high protection tariffs abroad, and a very small remaining domestic market meant that demand for vehicles by the company was almost non-existent and the last vehicles were manufactured in Wiener Neustadt in that year. Railcars and rail vehicles continued to be built for several years until the Austro Daimler Puchwerke Aktiengesellschaft was removed from the commercial register on May 10, 1935. That date marked the temporary end of the Austro Daimler brand.

This is, of course, a very brief summary of the eventful history of the historic brand Austro Daimler. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the  Sektion Austro Daimler Association for the Maintenance and Preservation of Austrian Daimler vehicles, for its help in compiling the information on the turbulent history of Austro Daimler.




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