1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen

Schwimmwagen owners seem to be an enthusiastic crowd, often seen in the company of drastically less hip Amphicars

Porsche’s Type 60 (the Volkswagen prototype), with its strong backbone chassis and air-cooled engine, had been recognized as an ideal basis for the German army’s proposed Kübelwagen (“bucket car”)-a lightweight, open utility vehicle.

A small number of Type 62 Kübelwagens were in service by the time war broke out. Experience with these early vehicles soon led to a number of modifications, the result being the definitive Type 82 that would see service on virtually every front.

A variant of the Type 82 was the Type 166 Schwimmwagen, an amphibious vehicle that represented almost total re-engineering rather than mere further development. The Schwimmwagen featured a watertight, doorless hull-designed by Porsche’s colleague Erwin Komenda-four-wheel drive, and a power take-off from the engine that drove a retractable propeller.

This example of the most mass-produced amphibious car ever was first registered in Italy on August 25, 1947, by the current owner’s father. Completely restored in 1994, this Schwimmwagen has been fitted with a more modern 1,300-cc engine, while the mechanicals and propeller system work very well. Described as in very good condition, the vehicle is offered with restoration invoices and Italian registration papers.

Rob Sass

Rob Sass - SCM Contributor

Rob was pre-ordained to accumulate strange collector cars after early exposure to his dad’s 1959 Hillman Minx. Sass served as Assistant Attorney General for the state of Missouri and then as a partner in a St. Louis law firm before deciding his billable hours requirement terminally interfered with his old car affliction. His stable of affordable classics has included a TVR 280i, a Triumph TR 250, an early Porsche 911S, and a Daimler SP250. He currently owns a 1965 E-type coupe and a 1981 Porsche 911SC.

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