Wednesday, March 8, 2023

1934 Bungartz Butz

Bungartz and Co of Munich was established on 1 April 1934 to build agricultural machinery. To put the company on the map, they planned to exploit the popular clamour for a 'people's car' or 'volkswagen' by showcasing a small car at the Berlin Motor Show. Not being an actual automobile company, they simply purchased a design license from Josef Ganz, the engineer responsible for the 1933 Standard Superior. The Standard Superior Mark I had not proven to be a success so Standard had redesigned the body to make the tiny vehicle larger and improve some of its technical features. Ganz was engaged to make further improvements to the Bungartz design, adding a fan to the cooling system and calling it 'turbo-ventilation'. In terms of body styling, the Butz was a replica of the original 1932 Standard Superior prototype with slab sides and sharp edges, which made it cheaper to construct. One notable cost saving measure was the decision to ofter the car as a cabriolet, something that 'Das Motorrad' magazine had suggested to Standard in their original review of the Superior in 1933.

In preparation for the 1934 Berlin Motor Show, Motor-Kritik reviewed all the new vehicles that would be showcased, including the Butz.

English translation:
"On the same line, just a shade more robust, is a vehicle that a newly founded company, Bungartz and Co. in Munich, wants to put into production and will be showing at the exhibition for the first time. The chassis comes from Dipl.Ing. Ganz and shows the combination [of features] known to the readers of this magazine from many discussions - central tube frame, independent wheel suspension through transverse spring parallelograms, rack and pinion steering, transverse mounted rear drive engine, with differential-free, narrow-gauge spring-loaded swing axle, transverse swinging axles, hermetically sealed front end and remote-control rear ventilation. The car is fitted with the original Ganz drive block and will be shown at the Berlin Motor Show with a 400cc two-stroke engine, whose water cooling is intensified by turbo ventilation. The three forward gears all have the same degree of efficiency, and all the parallel shafts of the transmission are mounted in an undivided cast block, which makes any adjustment work superfluous.

The multi-disc clutch can be adjusted from the outside and is compressed by just a single coil spring. At the same time, it forms the vibration isolator between the engine and the floor. All of this results in a remarkable threat-free running of the entire drive axle. The Bungartz company, which is backed by well-funded and reputable circles previously unfamiliar with the industry, intends to include this cheap yet high-quality Volkswagen in its program, as well as the high-performance type that is already being shown at the exhibition, which has all the most important characteristics that this type will also have."

Cabriolet or no-cabriolet, the Bungartz Butz did not find a market only a handful of these little cars were ever made. A roadster sports model was proposed, but this was probably just a fantasy of the marketing department. Interestingly, the Motor-Kritik review mentions that Bungartz also presented a full-sized car at the Berlin Motor Show, but I have never seen any details or photos. Bungartz abandoned car manufacture later in 1934, going on to specialise in trailers and walk-behind rotary plows, which they continued to build right into the 1960s.

1957 Bungartz rotary tiller prospect.

Standard Superior:

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