Tuesday, August 16, 2016
It's Not A Tank, Dummy: 1939 Volkswagen Kübelwagen Type 82/3 Panzerattrape
Maybe this is why the Germans lost WWII. While the USA was tooling up M4 Sherman, the British were making the Matilda, and the Russians were building the IS-1, some guys in Germany took the time to build a metal exoskeleton on a Volkswagen Kubelwagon to make it look like a tank. Looks can be deceiving, and it might make a skittish enemy flee, or fool the advanced guard into thinking you are a bigger force, but a fake tank is not something that will be much fun in place like Stalingrad. Find this 1939 Volkswagen Kubelwagen Type 82/3 here on eBay bidding for $21,200 in Anaheim, CA with 2 days to go.
The Kübelwagen Type 82 looks a lot like the much later Volkswagen Type 181 Thing, but it was developed by Ferdinand Porsche and build by Volkswagen using parts from the Type 1 Beetle at the request of Adolf Hilter way back in 1938. The 82/3 version added a crazy faux armored vehicle look and a light machine gun turret with swively chair.
The Type 82/3 might have looked like a tank, but with a curb weight of somewhere around 1200 lbs dry it didn't have much for armor protection and was probably vulnerable from .177 caliber pellet gun rounds.
Out back was a big part of the reason for the low armor/curb weight -- a 1.1 liter aircooled flat-4 that pushed out 25 horsepower on a good day. However, the little bucket-seat car proved to be a surprisingly good off-roader. With a limited slip rear differential, gear reduction hubs, and decent ground clearance, the Kübelwagen could go just about anywhere a US Jeep could go.