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VW EA489 Basistransporter ( 1973 )

The well-meant Idea

The idea to develop a concept for a car that could be installed, repaired, and also mended with conventionally available materials as a totally simple modular solution all over the world, turned to reality at the beginning of the 1970s in the management of Volkswagen.

The development EA489 named “Basistransporter” went down in history of VW. A well-proven four-cylinder boxer engine from the VW Beetle was chosen, which already showed its performance for decades, which was technically advanced and could be also repaired with the simplest of means. The engine, sized at 1.584 cm³ and a performance of 50 hp, was now installed under the driver´s cab on the front axle and was also powered by it. The driver´s cab was constructed spartan and angular. The deeper meaning was that during repair works no especially produced parts were needed, and all parts could be produced and adjusted by means of simple tools. The parts should be simple as possible, as the idea behind this was that no dealer network or repair facility was needed for the service and repair. A payload of 1.000 kg (2205 lbs) and a maximum speed of 85 km/h should be enough for the planned operation in developing countries. In summer 1973, the job was completed for the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg and VW reached an agreement with the countries Finland, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey as buyers. The assembly was following in Mexico under the marketing name Hormiga – meaning ant in English – , in Turkey it was simply called EA 489, in Indonesia it was introduced under the name Mitra on the domestic market and from there it was also delivered to the Philippines, where it comes on the road as the so-called “Country Truck”. In Finland it was produced by the VW-importer Wihuri.

The executive floor of VW had hoped for much more of the produced quantities. The production ended after around 2.600 pieces in the own plant between 1977 and 1979 and worldwide around 6.000 copies were produced.



Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine ( 1935 )

With Aerodynamics to Sporting Success

With the takeover of the front-wheel drive, a striking feature of the mass-produced type Trumpf, in 1935, the Adler plant from Frankfurt was starting with the construction of streamlined vehicles after the patent of Paul Jaray.

Because of little experience in the field of aerodynamics, the Frankfurt plant engaged the experienced specialist Baron Reinhard von König-Fachsenfeld. The vehicle impressed with its flowing lines and elongated appearance. A 1.5 liter four-stroke engine, with a performance of 55 hp, was hidden under the long bonnet. The car body shaped by aluminum sheet was designed by the company Vetter in Bad Cannstatt. The dominant elements of the aluminum dress were smooth surface of the sideline, in which the doors were integrated nearly without visible contours, and the rear wheels covered with sheet metal.
Another eye catcher was the harmonious and gentle indication of the front fenders, which were featured by a slightly swung curve to the doors. The overall appearance conveyed a two-seater sports car on the first glace, which was also called as a “Rennlimousine” because of its closed driver´s cab.
The Frankfurt company was so convinced of the performance of its new car, that they also tried the highest discipline – the world record. In 1935 the company was booking the race track in the French Montlhéry, which was very popular for record drives at that time and was racing the Rennlimousine through the raised corners of the track.

After this presentation, the Adler cars were debuting in the racing scene at the 24-hours-racing of Spa-Franchorchamps on 12th/13th of July 1936. They were winning the title in the category for engines until 2.0 liters.During 1937 and 1939 the company from Frankfurt was expanding its racing participation, but with the world at war further development of the unique Adler-cars was stopped.

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Anadol A1 ( 1966 )

British-Turkish cooperation

The first passenger car from Turkey was called Anadol A1, and its origins date back to the year 1959.
Vehbi Koç, who was located in Istanbul, was founding the company Otosan Otomobil Sanayii in this year. Without own sufficient experience the plant was falling back to a license of Ford and was presenting the car under the logo Otosan from 1963. However, the wish of Vehbi Koç was to establish an own production and therefore we was asking Ford in Great Britain if an own and complete production was possible in Turkey. Ford was replying him that this was although possible, but however there are costs for the entire production plant in the value of 10 million British pounds and neither Otosan nor Ford would bear it. As an alternative Ford was referring to the company Reliant Motor Co Ltd., that made a name as a specialist for the planning of vehicles and was producing in small quantities. The company, Otosan, contacted the company Reliant Motor Co Ltd. and both envoys came very soon to an agreement. On the basis of the type FW5 a four-seater family car should be created, which looked similar to the model Consul or Cortiga of Ford. The British company D. Ogle Ltd. was involved as Designer for the independence of a new model offshoot. With the further use of the Forde engine and a number of components, both British companies were creating a car that never could deny its Ford roots and finally the serial production could start under the designation Anadol A1 on 7th of December 1966.

The two-door notchback saloon was powered by a four-cylinder Kent-engine, sized at 1.198 cm³, and had 50 hp, which was also installed in the Ford Cortina. The blocked 4-speed transmission came also from the Ford production. The maximum speed of exactly 127 km/h (79 mph) was indicated by the Turkish manufacturer.

The weight of 874 kilograms (1927 lbs) was quite easy, which was primarily the result of the fact that the total car body was made of GFK (fiberglass).


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06013 Leichtbau Maier (1935 )

Tragedy of an Idealist

The graduate engineer Friedrich Eugen Maier already made a good name in the aircraft industry as he switched into the car industry at the beginning of the 1930´s. The 32-old man founded a car workshop in the Sömmeringstraße 31/32 in Charlottenburg, a district of Berlin.

On 2nd of April 1930, he applied for a patent at the Reichspatentamt, in which we would like to protect his self-supporting car body. This idea was showing that his thoughts and designs were one step ahead of a lot of the other producers at the time. In the course of the proclaimed motorization of the nation in the form of a “national car” by the government in 1933, he benefited from a chemical plant near Munich, which provided him 300.000 gold marks to produce a “national car”. He put a car on its wheels with this money that could quite meet the requirements given by the government. Primarily this was the installation of the engine in the rear, the suitability of the newly built highway, a complete closed car body and an interior that offered space for four persons. Friedrich Eugen Maier was using for the drive a two-stroke engine of a DKW automobile and was realizing innovations, which until than had not existed in a passenger car. Apart from the self-supporting car body, especially a centrally located headlight at the front was significant, whose technology was hidden behind a swivel mechanism, which adjusted the steering angle. The engineer also applied for a patent for this solution at the Deutsches Reichspatent as well as height-adjustable driver´s seat and also a changeable chassis. He was completing his drivable prototype in January 1935 under the designation Leichtbau Maier. Unfortunately his prototype found no approval among government circles, and he and his far-sighted ideas were forgotten.

It remained in a single produced car by himself. Friedrich Eugen Maier finally died in poverty and regardless at the age of 78 in Berlin. After his death his prototype was brought in to life by Jörg Jansen in 2008.



Borgward B1500 Lloyd ( 1953 )

The Alligator from Bremen

In 1950, Hanomag was introducing the American form of the driver´s cab in Germany with its truck L28 (a diesel engine with 45 hp, later 50 hp and a payload of 1.7 tons). Two years later Opel was overtaking it for the Blitz (58 hp, petrol engine and a payload of 1.8 tons) and was selling this transporter like “hotcakes”. Borgward was forced to adapt its 1.5 tons vehicle with its traditional driver´s cab.

In spring 1953, the prototype was ready with the new cab and was presented to the public at the International Motor Show in 1953 (from 19th to 29th of March) in Frankfurt am Main. The new driver´s cab could not deny its US-origin and “relationship” to Hanomag und Opel, but it met the taste of the customers. Only from April 1954 the “new” B 1500 was rolling off the assembly line (payload 1.6 tons). Because of its form, it was called later by historic vehicle lovers “alligator”. Both engine versions, 1.8 liters diesel (42 hp) and Otto engine (60 hp) came from the passenger car Borgward Hansa 1800. But by September of this year, the Bremen plant equipped the petrol version with a short-stroke 1.5 litre engine of the new passenger car Isabella (60 hp). The petrol engine made the name of the sales description “fast truck” which Borgward fully justified. The maximum speed was at surprising 95 km/h.

In May 1959 all truck types of Borgward received new designations: the B1500 became the B 511.
Almost 20.000 of this versatile commercial vehicle were produced by the Bremen plant between 1954 and the production end in 1960.