Some vehicles just scream “functional”.
And that seems to sum up the Kubelwagen quite nicely. After the jump, a brief look at an Axis workhorse.
Every industrial nation made light utility vehicles during World War II. I find it ironic that several of those vehicles became so well known. Obviously the American Jeep is the most famous of these small trucks. But the German Kubelwagen may be a not so distant second place.
It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche 1938. During the war years it pretty much replaced the Beetle in production. It also borrowed heavily from the Beetle; using the engine, drive train and chassis in only slightly ruggedized form. In fact, war time Beetles included most of the Kubelwagen improvements (indicated by the Type 82E designation, as opposed to the civilian Type 1).
Post war, after considering using Jeeps, Germany put a refined Kubelwagen back into production as the Type 181. This derivative was also sold in the civilian market as the Volkswagen Thing. So arguably, the light utility model had come full circle.
This is the Tamiya kit.
Up Next: Spitfire VB trop
The modern cousin of this vehicle was the VW Thing.