Zimmermann Eigenbau

Daniel Zimmermann opened his engine machine shop in Luckenwalde, East Germany just after the end of the war. In 1949, a customer asked him to fettle his Zundapp engine in time for the Wittenberg races at the end of July 1949, as the organisers were planning to include kleinstrennwagens as well as motorcycles. Daniel attended one of these races and was disappointed to find them dominated by western engine technology so he set about building his own eigenbau.

In most departments there was little to distinguish the car, except for the very significant developments that Daniel made to the engine. Loosely based on a pre war DKW, two stroke, twin, he used aluminium extensively, made his own design crankshaft and, most importantly, developed a system of disk valves which radically improved the breathing and power. Zimmermann's disk valve, when combined with Walter Kaaden's expansion exhaust pipe technology would go on to revolutionise motorcycle racing, especially when Daniel's friend and talented rider, Ernst Degner defected and sold the secrets to Suzuki in 1961.


Werner Lehmann


Daniel in the cockpit



Zimmermann asked a local driver from Luckenwalde, Werner Lehmann to drive the car in the East German Formula 3 Championship for 1951. By mid season, Lehmann was in a good position to win the Championship and Zimmermann drove the car for the last two events so the same car finished first and third in the Championship!

Sadly, the cost almost broke Daniel Zimmermann who was forced to sell the car at the end of the season to a driver believed to be Karl-Georg Reinhardt. He appears at Rostock in April 1952 in an eigenbau, which may be the Zimmermann, and at Halle Saale in July and we have no further information.

Known results:

Leipzig 20th May 1951, Werner Lehmann, 2nd

Dresden 17th June 1951, Werner Lehmann, 2nd


Avus 1st July 1951, Daniel Zimmermann, 11th in heat, 11th in final

Sachsenring 29th September 1951, Daniel Zimmermann, 5th

If you have any more information or pictures, please let us know.