Simson-AWO 425 – 450 – 750
The origins of the company Simson go back to the year 1854 when the brothers Löb and Moses Simson bought one-third of a steelhammer works in Suhl, Germany. The production of carbon steel began and the firm Simson & Co. in 1856. Initially, weapons and bicycles were built. From 1908, vehicles were built including the Simson Supra racing car.
After World War I, Simson Suhl was the only German company that was allowed to produce machine guns. This explains why the company was forcibly removed shortly after the seizure of power by the Nazis. Hitler’s government forced the Jewish family Simson to flee the country in 1936. The company name was now Berlin-Suhler Waffen- und Fahrzeugwerke Simson & Co. (BSW).
After the Second World War, the works were largely dismantled and spent as a reparation payment in the Soviet Union. The production of hunting weapons, strollers and bicycles was started again.
In 1946 Simson & Co. Suhl, was incorporated into the Soviet joint stock company SAG Awtowelo (AWO). As of March 5, 1947, the company was named State Corporation “Awtowelo” Werk vorm. Simson & Co, Suhl.
Автовело or Avtovelo is a Russian portmanteau word (a blending of words) derived from автомобиль (avtomobil = car) and велосипед (velociped = bicycle). It was adopted because initially all production was for export to the USSR.
In 1948, the Soviet Army Administration (SMAD) ordered the plant to build a 250cc, four-stroke, sidecar motorcycle. It was the overhead-valve AWO 425. Between 1949 and 1962 the Suhl factory produced more than 209,000 motorcycles designated Type 425 (4 meaning 4-stroke and 25 its capacity, 250cc).
On May 1, 1952, the plant as a VEB vehicle and equipment made Simson Suhl a state-owned enterprise. In addition to the AWO 425 (from then on referred to as Simson type 425) were produced. A sports version was also developed.
In 1964, the production of the Simson 425 Sport was discontinued in favor of moped production. After the reunification of Germany, Simson was handled by the Treuhandanstalt and re-founded as Suhler Fahrzeugwerk GmbH. The Mokickba series have been modernized. After several near-bankruptcies, the company had to file for bankruptcy on June 28, 2002. The company was auctioned in 2003.
Several interesting prototypes were considered:
Simson AWO 450
Beautiful DDR (former East Germany) 1952 Simson AWO 450 touring motorcycle, featuring some Soviet motoprom, exhibited at Berlin IFA (“Europe’s biggest tech show”).
AWO 750 Prototype
Another prototype produced in 1952, again with some Soviet motoprom. Note the sidecar with 3-point mounting.
Die Motorrad- und PKW-Produktion der DDR — AWO • MZ • Simson • Trabant • Wartburg (in German)
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