The Volkswagen Beetle was never intentionally designed with conflict in mind, but that didn’t stop the military taking an interest. Early 1938 saw the bellicose German Chancellor commission Ferdinand Porsche to produce a Beetle for the battlefield, with results appearing within a month. Given the Type 62 moniker, this version was essentially a Beetle chassis with rudimentary body, along with 19” wheels for improved ground clearance.
The German army stipulated a vehicle weighing no more than 950 Kg, laden with four infantrymen. Unladen, the vehicle was required to weigh 550 Kg and with its practically flat floor was intended to slide easily over almost any surface. Porsche sub-contracted the bodywork to Trutz, a long established coachbuilder, based in Coburg.
These hastily prepared vehicles were pressed into action with creditable results but such urgency soon exposed the inevitable shortcomings — the most serious being of all things, too much speed. Seen as a ubiquitous support vehicle, devoid of armour or weapons, the four speed manual Type 62 was deemed too fast for supporting infantry. Porsche returned to the workshop to Continue reading “The Bucket Seats, 82nd Variety”
A 1951 art exhibition would change the way we viewed the automobile forever.
Since the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) was founded in 1929, it has been a leading proponent of contemporary and modernist art, encompassing not only what is commonly known as fine arts, but architecture, product design, photography, film, installations and electronic media.
Perhaps the most influential host to the conversation around latter-day aesthetics, its current location, designed by architects, Philip Goodwin and Edward Stone in 1939 on New York’s West 53rd street has staged some of the most celebrated and controversial art exhibitions of the 20th century.
Of course, this is no obscurity to most of our American Readers (both North and South) but we in the UK do tend to imagine that we elevated the 4WD from the farm to the polo fields with the first Range Rover. Actually, the first Rangie was admirably austere and, if it’s social climbing you’re looking for, designer/showman Brooke Stevens’s 1946 Willys Jeep Station Wagon gave new life to the ubiquitous wartime military vehicle. Continue reading “Theme : Evolution – The Missing Links 5”