Saturday, October 31, 2009

Volkswagen Concept: Schwimmer

During WWII, the Type 166 Schwimmwagen boasted a four-wheel drive system that not only improved cross-country ability but offered better weather protection than the motorcycle/sidecar combination that was used for reconnaissance at the time. Harsh conditions, especially at the eastern front, proved the Schwimmwagen's simple mechanicals and light weight to traverse difficult terrain with ease and reliability. Initially planned as a reconnaissance vehicle, better weather protection, and outstanding amphibious capabilities were much appreciated by the soldiers who used them.

This Volkswagen Concept Schwimmer pays homage to both the sturdy Schwimmwagen and the iconic Meyers Manx dune buggy, made popular during the sixties. Made out of durable fibreglass, the Schwimmer uses dune buggy manufacturing techniques while remaining faithful to the the design of the original war-time original. Both the top and the windshield were chopped 8 inches to give a more purposeful profile.

Using a standard Type1 Beetle chassis, the Schwimmer forgoes four-wheel drive capabilities, allowing for a much lowered stance complete with Porsche "Gas Burner" rims and performance radials for the street. It's aquatic acrobatics are not compromised with a near duplicate of the Schwimmwagens propeller and shaft connected to the VW motor.

The engine itself is a much modified Type1 displacing 1800cc with dual Weber 44 carbs sealed water tight for soujourns into flooded areas. The exhaust is routed up above the body to make it as amphibious as possible.

A perfect vehicle for typhoon season.

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