This is the second in a 4 part series highlighting my visit to the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum. You can read part 1, which discusses the history of the Museum and its great Czech car collection by clicking here.
Today's post features the Museum's interesting assortment of cars from Germany (Deutschland). Much of the information herein is abstracted from the Museum's displays website (which like the museum is worth exploring and the link to it found above). The German cars included in the collection are by no means exhaustive but nicely represent those you saw produced in the 1920s and 1930s. These cars include:
Car 9. 1928 Hanomag Kommisbrot (Germany)
Produced 1925-28. 16,000 cars
“Kommisbrot” is a German nickname for a loaf of military bread. This car was designed by two young Engineers lacking any automobile experience. They sold their prototype and drawings to Hanomag, a German company specializing in locomotive and large engine manufacturing. It was the first "people's car" with a rear engine, and I thought it very cute. One of my favorite cars in this collection!
Car 10. 1928 Detra (Germany)
1925-1931. Production number unknown
The Detra is a Tatra T12 (a Czech design) that was assembled in Germany by Detra. It introduced an air cooled engine and a simplified chassis composed of a central tube and an independent suspension. Detras were produced from 1925-1931 and have a 2 cylinder engine.
Car 11: 1931 DKW Meisterklass (Germany)
Produced 1931-1942. 100,038 cars
The Meisterklasse F8 was available as a sedan (such as the car in the museum's collection) or as a cabriolet limousine. Cars with steel bodies (as opposed to wooden chassis) were for export only. The CV joints were no longer made by Tracta; DKW began manufacturing them to avoid paying licensing fees. Some DKWs had a unique, classy body, and they were nicknamed the "small Horch" after the expensive cars made by another branch of the Auto Union Group. The museum's car is very close to original condition.
Car 12: 1933 Adler Trumpf (Germany)
Produced 1933-1939. 50,000 cars
This Adler was purchased in the United States in very poor condition and has been extensively restored with the help of the Adler Club of Germany. The Adler Club maintains a large inventory of parts, including original fabric designs, and was instrumental in making this a historically accurate restoration. It is a Cabriolet Limousine featuring the German technology of the time.
Car 13: 1934 Mercedes 130H (Germany)
Produced 1934-1935. 4,298 cars
After WWI, Mercedes and Daimler-Benz focused on the concept of a “people’s car” or “Volkswagen”. Designer Hans Nibel’s 130H was presented at the 1934 Berlin Auto Show and featured a rear-mounted, water-cooled 1.3 liter engine. Though the engine was small, it created an “oversteer” condition. While not a commercial success, its ideas evolved into other cars, notably the VW Beetle, of which thirty prototypes were built in 1937.
Car 14: 1935 Mercedes 170H (Germany)
1935-1939. 1507 cars
A product of Germany's search for the "people's car.” In 1933, the 130H rear engine was a first approach to this, but that car was small, lacked power and was said to handle poorly. In 1935, the 170H was introduced which resembles a Volkswagen deluxe with a good engine (4 cylinder 1697cc). The engine is rear mounted and water-cooled. The cabriolet limousine body of the museum's car, with its open top, was popular in pre-war Germany.
Car 15: 1934 Stower V8 Greif (Germany)
1934. 19 cars
One of the rarest cars in the collection and a beautiful machine! There were about 20 Stowers built with aluminum engine blocks, this being the only one know to still exist with the aluminum engine (3 other 1934s are around but not with this engine type). It is a front wheel drive, V8, 2.5L
Car 16: 1943 Kubelwagen Type 82 (Germany)
1939-1945. 49,464 produced
Basically the Kubelwagen was the equivalent of the American Jeep during WWII. It was first designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferry as a "buggy" for fun, but was adapted for the military. Only the rear wheels are driven, but the car is light and behaves well in rough conditions. The museum's Kubelwagen was manufactured in 1943 and was carefully restored in France. A small but important detail is Rommel's emblem - the palm trees - for the Afrika Korps.
Car 17: NSU RO 80 (Germany)
1967-1977. 37,204 produced
A technologically advanced, large sedan produced by the German firm NSU. Most notable was the powertrain: 113 bhp, 995 cc twin rotor Wankel engine driving the front wheels through a semi-automatic transmission. Voted Car of the Year in 1968 by European automotive writers.
Car 18: 1935 Audi by AutoSU RO 80 (Germany)
By Autounion. A recent acquisition. Sitting 50 years in a Florida field, the museum was very happy to obtain this vehicle. Where some see a rusted piece of junk, others see a beautiful machine waiting to be restored. Restoration is expected to take about 18 months. I'll be curious to see what this looks like when it's restoration is completed, but seeing the quality of the other cars in the collection, I imagine it will be beautiful! If someone reading this in the future has a photo, please post it in the comment section or email it to me (see contact us, above)
Next post in this series. Part 3. Cars from the USA and UK
Coming soon: Part 4 (cars from France)