have owned (still own some) VW's vintage
1957, 1967, 1969, 1974 "Thing",
so it was with some knowledge of "Bugs"
that I began researching their history
from day one (October 1936) to the end
of production (Mexico). The most interesting
period was 1940 through 1945 when 13
types were built to serve the Wehrmacht's
needs, one of which was Type-825, a
pickup truck version. Having always
desired a "weekend warrior"
small truck, I began my search.
To say the least, finding a 65 year
old German military truck of which only
a handful were ever built, proved to
be a challenge. Volkswagenwerk's of
Wolfsburg referred me to a known survivor
in a museum and partial plans and specs
were unearthed. The internet proved
to be helpful, as well as various published
texts on the Bug's history. However,
only bits and pieces were reported with
no way of verifying authenticity, and
involving a nightmare of shipping, customs,
etc. Analysis of what we did have, indicated
a 1941 VW sedan was cut just aft of
the "B" pillar and a truck
bed framework, sheet metal and box created
on the rear half. Simple - yes? Actually
- no! I contacted www.KoobleKar.com
of Albuquerque, New Mexico (maker of
Reproductions, etc.) and they were excited
at the chance to build a T-825 - as
long as I was understandably financing
(1) 1970 pan (IRS with jacked suspension,
better brakes, steering).
(2) An old body shell, cut, modified
in retro to 1941 m/l (some will cringe
(3) 1600 D.P. engine
(4) Rebuilt trans with off road gearing
(5) Five (5) lug "smoothies"
as original wheels, etc.
After some months of head scratching
and hand wringing, the T-825 came to
life. This is not a kit car. It was
custom built from the get-go conforming
to all the factual information we were
able to glean from a multitude of sources,
both published and unpublished. Some
folks even thought we were "nuts"!
the "Notec" night driving
convoy light on left front fender. Yellow
"park" lights in headlight
buckets serve as turn signals from a
non-canceling dash flip switch.
is another "Notec" night convoy
light above license plate ("WL"
is "Wehrmacht Luftwaffe" or
armed forces - Air Force). Hitch, pintel,
tow hooks all functional. No rear window
on original. Sharp
eyes will note air entry louvers run
horizontal on the starboard side and
vertical on port side. (Was the way
they were! Must have had air circulation
problems.) Also is a trap door in bed
to assist access to engine. Seats
are a compromise. Originals were nothing
more than a tubular metal straight chair
bolted to floor with 2"-3"
of pig or horsehair canvas covered cushions
on them. Instrument panel is '40's copy.
Duck boards on floor were more practical
than carpet for hobnail boots. Arms
rests and speedometer in miles (with
odometer) are compromises. Truck color
is Dunkelgeld (Dark Yellow) - Afrika
40 machine pistol rack is "factory
equipment". Grenades are an option.
dual port engine, transporter ('50's)
oil bath air cleaner. Between double
metal rear doors and box bed trap door,
engine access is very good. The 1938
metal "VW Gear" hub caps you
see are collector's items today, origin
of which was a "VW" symbol
outlined by a rotating swastika. This
was replaced in 1940 by a "gear"
reflecting the Deutsche Arbeitsfront
(German Labor Front) contribution to
the "People's Car".
All in all this was a challenging undertaking
that provided a unique vehicle, born
of war time necessity, that retains
practical utility to this day in time.
Kudos to KoobleKarWerkes in completing
You can email the owner at the link
R. Boutin, Sr.