We've got so many features and amenities in modern cars that would prove absolutely mind-blasting to people from the past. Screens that display real-time maps, heads-up displays, A/C that works, and on and on. But we've never beaten this 1939 Horch 930S that has a freaking sink in the fender.
I find this car absolutely fascinating. It's essentially a Horch 930V, a powerful (well, for the era — 82 HP), luxurious, high-end automobile, but the S version had a fairly advanced streamlined body. And a bunch of other luxury touches, one of which was this flip-out sink on the passenger's side fender.
Let's just think this through, a little bit, and try to get inside the head of the person who decided what a luxury car really needs is a sink. An external sink.
Now, don't get me wrong — this sink is deeply, profoundly cool, but I'm a bit stumped figuring out why anyone would really want an external sink on a car like this. Inside a camper, sure. Outside a camper, even. Inside a luxury sedan? Maybe? If there's a bar? Outside a luxury sedan? I still don't quite get it.
Is this for a person who's both a compulsive hand-washer, but is also afraid of doing to much moving when traveling in a car? Is it for someone who likes to drive around, then pull over for some clandestine roadside gardening, and doesn't want their lovely dove-leather interior messed up? A sink-vomiting fetishist who also doesn't want to ruin floor mats?
Horch was founded by the August Horch (the name roughly means the same as the English word "hark") who later went on to found Audi. And, interestingly, "Audi" is basically the Latin translation of "Horch" — it means "listen." You know, like the root word for audio. Neat, right?
Here's a Popular Mechanix little clipping about the car with the sink from February 1940. The body design is a little different, and it appears to be using the same Hella headlights that VW and DKW used as well, but, even unnamed, we're looking at the same Horch model here.
Horch was an innovative company, making one of the first cars in serial production with a 6-cylinder engine (1902) . This particular car was introduced in 1939, and would have likely been one of Horch's flagship cars, but WWII had other plans. As a result, only 3 cars were built in 1939, and another 5-7 in 1948-1949 from remaining parts. This means we can add the loss of external-sink-equipped cars to the list of horrors perpetrated by WWII.
There's a lot to like about the car even if you can somehow ignore (you can't) the flip-down, hot-and-cold-running water, laurel wreath-decorated sink. It's a suicide rear-door design without a B pillar, so opening the pair of doors provides incredible access to the inside of the car. Maybe the car was designed for picnics? Those open doors and that sink could be handy for that.
I haven't been able to find any information that would suggest why the sink was chosen for this lovely Art Deco streamliner. It seems such a strangely specific feature that it has to be the result of one designer's personal fetishes or idiosyncratic vision of what ideal motoring is. Which, I can only guess must mean a fast, comfortable car, eight cylinders, and damp hands.