Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cars of the German Miracle

In May the temporary exhibition at the Prototyp Museum was the Cars of the German Miracle. The exhibition covered a selection of German vehicles from the early 1950s. This period covered the rise and fall of scooters and microcars and the evolution of many of the prestige German cars we know today.

1937s Goliath F400 triporter van. Triporters like these were the backbone of German industrialisation. The choice of the Goliath however was a little odd, given that Tempo tricycles were actually manufactured in Hamburg, while Goliaths were built in nearby Bremen.

Borgward Isabella cabriolet.


Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Opel Rekord


Volkswagen T2 Transporter

Zundapp Janus

Heinkel Kabine and Messerschmitt Tiger

Messerschmitt Tiger cabriolet


Vespa 125 and Lloyd LT 600 van. Lloyd vans, manufactured by the Borgward group, are extremely rare.

Kleinschnitter leading the microcar row.

NSU Super-Max motorcycle with a Vespa 125

1949 IFA RT125. A very early East German version of the prewar DKW RT125. This example was probably built using prewar surplus parts as it has old style girder forks.

Bubbling rivals - the BMW Isetta and Heinkel Kabine

Volkswagen transport. The VW drive train was very versatile and could be adapted to many uses.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Prototyp Museum, Hamburg

Here is the first in our series of photo presentations of a selection of auto museums in Europe in 2013. The Prototyp Museum in Hamburg is located in the revitalized warehouse district near the old harbour. The collection is primarily focused on Volkswagen's and vehicles built by Ferdinand Porsche. The museum collection is relatively small but the museum also hosts temporary exhibits. Here is their website -

The museum is located at Shanghaiallee 7, 20457 Hamburg.

Otto Mathis racer, VW Transporter and assorted vehicles.

The Porsche Type 64 Berlin to Rome racer. Built in 1939 for the Berlin to Rome endurance race, the Type 64 was effectively a highly modified Volkswagen with a supercharged engine and streamlined, custom-built aluminum body. Three cars were built but unfortunately the War intervened and they were never used as intended. One car was destroyed during the War but two cars remained in the possession of the Porsche family. One was commandeered by American soldiers and trashed. The other example was used by Ferry Porsche until sold in 1949 to Otto Mathis. It then had a fairly successful racing career before being restored in 1998s.  The trashed car was long thought to have been lost, but had in fact been recovered by Mathis, stripped for usable spares, which were then put in storage. When Mathis passed away, the Prototyp Museum purchased his entire stock of vehicles and spares. Over many years the museum cataloged the vast stock of parts and realized they had the Type 64 engine and parts in their possession. They decided to build a replica of the car using as many original parts as possible. The car was painstakingly reconstructed over ten years and is now on display at the museum.  The Samba website has a good write up on the car and the restoration.

1954 Denzel 1500. This was a coach-built 1500cc racer built by Wolfgang Denzel using a Kubelwagen chassis.

1946 Cisitalia D46 racer used by Hans Stuck. The contract Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche secured with Cisitalia in 1946 was the lifeline that allowed the Porsche company to struggle on after the war.

1950 Polensky Monopoletta formula 3 cyclecar class racer. The car was self-built using a BMW motorcycle engine and VW Kubelwagen transmission.

1950s VW Hebmuller Type 18A kubelwagen. During the Second World War Volkswagen had built the ubiquitous kubelwagen for the German army. It was such a good performing vehicle that both the British and German armies looked to Volkswagen to manufacture them after the war. Unfortunately the body builder, Ambi-Budd Presswerke's factory had been destroyed during the war, and Volkswagen's Wolfsburg factory was only set up to manufacture the standard beetle bodies. Volkswagen therefore contracted Hebmuller Karosserie to build a modified, four door version of the beetle for the German army. After fulfilling the army contract, Hebmuller also sold civilian versions

1943 Volkswagen Type 82. The military version of the Volkswagen featured a standard beetle body mounted on a higher clearance kubelwagen chassis.

Hansa 1500 sportster.

Beautiful and rare. The 195 Dannenhauer and Stauss cabriolet. During the early 1950s Dannenhauer and Stauss Karosserie of Stuttgart built these beautiful, custom cabriolets on a standard Volkswagen engine and chassis. Approximately 80 to 100 were built, of which 16 are known to have survived.

1951 NSU Kompressor racer.

1949 Petermax Müller World Record Car. In this car Petermax Muller broke 22 national and 8 international records.

Rometsch Porsche racer.

1950 Porsche 356 Pre-A. The body was manufactured by Karosserie Reutter.

1958 Porsche Type 597 Jagdwagen. Porsche wasn't all about sports cars. In 1958 Porsche responded to a German army contract for a new all purpose military vehicle. The contract was won by DKW with their Munga jeep. Porsche briefly sold the jagdwagen as a civilian vehicle but it was competing against both the DKW Munga and VW Type 181 Kubel "Thing."

1928 Hanomag Komissbrot.

1922 Austro-Daimler. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche when he was Austro-Daimler's chief designer and managing director.

Auto-Union Silver Arrow body template.  Ferdinand Porsche was the technical director of the Auto Union racing department and responsible for the design of the Silver Arrows.

Original DKW water-colour artwork. Here is a link to the final product -

KDF saving game and memorabilia. The Nazi's put a lot of effort into KDF promotional activities.