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T-825 Replica

I 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 Kooblewagen
Reproductions, etc.) and they were excited at the chance to build a T-825 - as long as I was understandably financing the prototype!

Utilized: (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 at this).
(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get-go conforming to all the factual information we were able to glean from a multitude of sources, both published and unpublished.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"!

Note 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. There 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 Corps. MP 40 machine pistol rack is "factory equipment". Grenades are an option. 1600 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 this project.

Questions? You can email the owner at the link below.

N. R. Boutin, Sr.
Tallahassee, FL

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