1942 Volkswagen Beetle 4WD

1942 Volkswagen 4 Wheel Drive Beetle Type 87

1942 Volkswagen Beetle 4WD

1942 Volkswagen Beetle 4WD

During World War II civil production was restricted, but for military supplies more than 667 cars were produced. The Type 87: 'Kommandeurwagen' Type 86 4x4 Kübelwagen chassis with Beetle command car body. Fitted with running boards, under-hood-mounted spare tire (accompanied by a gas can, a jack, a small tool kit, and a shovel), and widened fenders for its larger-diameter Kronprinz (Crown Prince) off-road tires, some were provided to preferred officers, who could push through virtually any kind of terrain with them.

Kommandeurswagen - German: Commander's Car. The VW Type 87. A closed, liaison-type geländelimousin, built at the Volkswagenwerk during World War II. It was created by mating the KdF-Wagen sedan body, the Kübelwagen chassis, and the Schwimmwagen part-time (first gear only) four-wheel-drive system. This hybrid wound up looking like a muscular Beetle, and was delivered to the Wehrmacht in two versions: as a solid-roofed sedan, and a Cabrio-Limousine with a large sliding cloth sunroof.

History: the Volkswagen sedan was developed in the 1930’s to try and provide a cheap vehicle for German citizens to own. This never became the case, and most of the vehicles were used by the Wehrmacht (German army). During WWII, the German armed forces used the car in various roles: sedan, ambulance, and one even had a gas generator mounted in it to use various fuels. Due to it’s great reliability and simple maintenance, this vehicle (later named “Beetle”) had good results on all fronts. From the basic vehicle there was developed the full military versions, known as the Kübelwagen and the amphibious Schwimmwagen, the so-called German “Jeep”.

Purposeful cross-country vehicle. It is not generally know that by 1942 the Beetle was given four wheel drive and extra big track grip tires. The roller at the front was to help lift it over obstacles, and in this for it worked with the German Army up to 1945. Called the Type 87 Leichte Kavallerie model, the low gearing proved effective but limited top speed to under 40 mph.