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Old VWs at Hamburg Prototyp Museum
Posted On: 7/11/2011 9:18AM

We visited Hamburg, Germany this past weekend, and I had one destination in mind: the Automuseum Prototyp, a museum dedicated to the prototype cars that drove German dominance in early racing. The permanent exhibition focuses (not surprisingly) on VW and Porsche, with a few oddballs like Borgward thrown in for variety. Some of the coolest vehicles had nothing to do with racing at all though: check out the "Werkswagen":  a sort of home-built truck used to cart parts around the VW factory in Wolfsburg. Based on a hacked-up Beetle platform, it featured a cab-over driving position and a frontend load platform. It was Ben Pon's inspiration for the original T1 Transporter. Sadly, fewer than 5 examples remain; most were run into the ground in use at the factory. More pics and notes after the jump!

Other points of interest included a functioning Schwimmwagen--yes, this Beetle-based car not only floats, but is basically a boat. The front wheels are used for steering on land and at sea. Something like 15000 Schwimmwagens were built, nearly all going straight to the military. 

This small locomotive was used to power the train at the Berlin Zoo for many years.

This MicroBus was owned by Otto Mathe, a guy who finished his racing career driving with only one arm. Mathe was well-known for the oil additive he developed after his racing accident, allowing longer oil change intervals for Porsche's air-cooled cars. He returned to racing some years after the accident by building a car with all of the controls on the left, foreshadowing today's modifications for handicapped drivers.

Comments (2)
Avatar By: thrasher86
7/12/2011 8:11 AM

so f-ing cool. i want a Schwimmwagen sooooooo bad. !

Avatar By: thrasher86
7/12/2011 8:13 AM

oh and first!


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