Volkswagen Schwimmwagen
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Schwimmwagen
Volkswagen Schwimmwagen

Think of this model as somewhere between fish and land animal. It is the strangest model described to date. The VW Schwimmwagen was an all wheel drive off-road vehicle that was used extensively by the Germans during the Second World War. This was the most mass-produced land/water/multi-use car in history, and was arguably the most capable light military vehicle in World War II. Volkswagen Schwimmwagens were based on the chassis of the Type 86 four-wheel drive prototype. However, Erwin Komenda who was Porsche's first car body designer, was forced to create an all-new tub structure, as the flat platform of the existing VW vehicle was ill suited for smooth movement over water. This was more or less a swimming car. The earliest Type 128 prototype had a 7.9 ft wheelbase and a pre-production quantity of 128 units. It was fitted with custom welded tubs which turned out to be too weak for tough off-roading. Further, it had insufficient rigidity, and easily suffered hull-ruptures at the front cross-member as well as in the wheel-wells. This model was going to fall apart in a time of war and that was obviously unacceptable for the vehicle. Thus, the large-scale production models were therefore made smaller, stronger and had a wheelbase of only 6.6 feet. The VW Schwimmwagen was produced by the Volkswagen factory at Fallersleben, as well as by Porsche's facilities in Stuttgart. Further, the bodies and hulls were produced by Ambi Budd in Berlin. In total, from 1941 until 1944 a total of 15,584 Schwimmwagen cars were produced. Of those, 14,276 were manufactured at Fallersleben and 1,308 units were manufactured by Porsche. Given the conditions in which they were used, no more than a few hundred remain today. This is a prime candidate for collectors who are looking for something rare and unique.

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