Volkswagen Iltis
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Iltis
Volkswagen Iltis

The Volkswagen Type 183 is more commonly known as the Iltis, which is German for weasel. This is a military vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen for use by the German military and under license by Bombardier for the Canadian Forces and Belgian Army. The 183 was created as a replacement for the Type 181 the Thing which was outdated at the time. The German military joined a cooperative effort beginning in the late 1960s to generate a four wheel drive vehicle that could replace the small all-terrain transport vehicles that were previously being used. The development was taking longer than expected, so the German military requested something inexpensive to be built in small quantities for the time being. Volkswagen answered the request, and designed an updated version of their Kubelwagen. But by 1976 the previously mentioned Jeep project had dissipated as costs skyrocketed. They did still need a suitable four wheel drive vehicle though, so the German government issued requests to several manufacturers to design and build prototype vehicles to be considered for military use. The Iltis, as VW was calling it, passed the German government tests with ease, and was selected over the equally competent but more expensive Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon. Manufacturing of the model began in the summer of 1978 and the first 200 jeeps were delivered in November. Further, by late 1979 about 2,000 jeeps had been delivered. Although most of the units produced were four- door jeeps with open tops, there were a small number of ambulances, anti-tank, artillery survey and field communications units that were produced. A civilian model was also available in Germany, but because of the high price tag, very few people purchased the model which is too bad as they would be quite popular today. For specific reasons unknown, old classic jeeps are popular among collectors.

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