After the series of wins by the DKW 3=6 Sonderklasse in European touring car racing and rallying in 1954 and 1955, two racing drivers started to develop a sporty body for the successful model.
Günther Ahrens and Albrecht W. Mantzel designed a record-breaking car on the basis of the 3=6, incorporating an extremely lightweight plastic body built at Dannenhauer & Stauss in Stuttgart.
The first prototype was presented in 1955 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The DKW Monza went on sale after its world record runs in 1956. Surprisingly enough, a large number of this small-volume model were exported to the USA, where the lightweight sports coupé with its new plastic body proved to be extremely popular.
Despite a modest 44 horsepower, its straight-three, two-stroke engine propelled it to a considerable top speed of 140 kilometres per hour. The DKW Monza cost 10,500 marks in 1956.
The fact that only 230 of it were built can be attributed to Auto Union GmbH already having another exciting new sports car project up its sleeve: the Auto Union 1000 Sp which was launched in 1957.