1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen

1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen

Well here’s one you don’t see every day, a 1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen. Loosely based off of its 4X4 predecessor the Kübelwagen the chassis was shortened and a steel tub was welded on to make a buoyant hull. Top that off with a drop down lower unit that connects directly to an extended crankshaft! However cool that may be, that also means that it only works in a single direction, forward. For reverse you either had to use the paddle supplied with your Schwimmwagen or put it in reverse and hope for a miracle. Finally there is no rudder so you are at the mercy of your front wheels to steer you both on land and water!

So there might be some minor technical let downs of Volkswagens one and only amphibious vehicle, but I cant be one to judge. They took a beefed up Beetle and turned it into a boat! It’s also interesting to know that production numbers were over 15,000 making it the largest run of amphibious vehicles ever!

The price of this Schwimmwagen can’t be based off of the production numbers though. After their years in service and most likely lots of mishaps there are now only 189 in the Schwimmwagen registry! Of those left only 13 are un-restored.

The Scwimmwagen for sale on Ebay for $130,000 talks about an older restoration that now needs some light work. However given its rarity and unique style I don’t see this losing money anytime soon. Regardless its worth a look at such a cool part of history.

1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen lower unit
Check out that propulsion set up!
1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen Interior
A sealed tub and some wood slat floor boards and your beetle can be amphibious too.
1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen engine bay
The engine of choice for WWII era Volkswagen, a 1200 cc air cooled boxer.

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