German Kübelwagen Model 82 – lot 241

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The Volkswagen Type 82 Kübelwagen is a light military vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche. The Volkswagen is a four-wheeled, rubber-tired rear axle drive personnel carrier and reconnaissance car. The engine is an air-cooled, four-cylinder horizontally opposed type. Intake and exhaust valves are located in the cylinder head and are operated by conventional rocker arms and push rods. The Transmission is the selective, sliding-gear type. Four speeds froward and one reserve are available. It was built by Volkswagen during World War II for use by the Nazi German military (both Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS). Based heavily on the future Volkswagen Beetle,

Kübelwagen is a contraction of Kübelsitzwagen, meaning ‘bucket-seat car’. Before the war, this term became popular in Germany, for light open-topped, cross-country and military field-cars without doors, because these were typically equipped with bucket seats, to help keep occupants on board. Although it has only two driving wheels, it is very comfortable on bad terrain because of its high ground clearance, the distribution of its weight mainly on the driving wheels at the rear, but especially thanks to its self-locking axle and its system of reduction of the transmission ratios which gives it an important torque. A very clever design and it only weight 750 kgs (gross weight 1,150 kg).

The Kübelwagen’s rolling chassis and mechanics were built at what was then the Stadt des KdF-Wagens, renamed “Wolfsburg” after 1945 and its body was built by U.S. owned firm Ambi Budd Presswerke in Berlin. The Kübelwagen’s role as a light, multi-purpose military vehicle made it the German equivalent to the Allied Willys MB / Ford GPW “jeep” and the GAZ-67.

This Volkswagen Type 82 Kübelwagen:

This 1945 Volkswagen Type 82 is built in Stadt des KdF-Wagens in the Volkswagenwerk GmbH Factory in Germany in January 1945. To be used by the German military during World War II. After the war the history is currently unknown, but the car has been restored to running condition with a United Kingdom Road registration. This Kübelwagen has an original body and chassis from January 1945. The Fahrgestell Number is -2-048478 and the body is a late 1944 model number. The -2- prefix on the Fahrgestell number indicates it’s built between 1942-1945. When no prefix is applied this is for 1940-41 and prefix -1-1 is from 1946 (postwar).

The engine of this Volkswagen is postwar built model (prefix -1-) which could mean that after the war it has had seen some civilian use and to keep it on the road the original engine was replaced.  Currently no German markings on the vehicle only British marking of the 2nd armored regiment of the 10th Armoured Division. This marking means it was captured by the British forces, during World War 2. This marking is added as a tribute and has no actual historical reference. Has the look of a timeless car, designed and manufactured by a brand whose success will be worldwide, the type 82 is now a rare collector’s item.


Very nice and complete, this Volkswagen Type 82 Kübelwagen was found in France in an old barn where it seems it was also used by the US forces after capturing. It had some US Press markings on the vehicle. A French owner restored the vehicle to running condition and later was sold to a private collector in the United Kingdom after a longtime it was purchased by Stuart Garner Director of Armourgeddon in Leicester United Kingdom. Mr. Garner serviced and repainted the vehicle and used it to participate several events and eventually sold it in 2020 to the current Dutch owner. It still has its UK road registration and is in running condition.


Development of the Type 82 began after the German military reached out to Ferdinand Porsche to create a lightweight transport vehicle capable of use on and off road. After the release of the Type 62 prototype in 1938, full-scale production of the Type 82 began in 1940 and continued throughout the war, with widespread use of the vehicles on a range of fronts across Europe, Northern Africa, and Russia. The Kübelwagen, or “bucket-seat car,” was based on the KdF-Wagen’s underpinnings and featured bodywork by Ambi Budd Presswerke in Berlin.

The Full-scale production of the Type 82 Kübelwagen started in February 1940, as soon as the VW factories had become operational. No major changes took place before production ended in 1945, only small modifications were implemented, mostly eliminating unnecessary parts and reinforcing others which had proved unequal to the task. Prototype versions were assembled with four-wheel-drive (Type 86) and different engines, but none offered a significant increase in performance or capability over the existing Type 82, so these designs went nowhere. As of March 1943, the car received a revised dash and the bigger 1,131 cc engine, developed for the Schwimmwagen, that produced more torque and power than the original 985 cc unit. When Volkswagen production ceased at the end of the war, 50,435 Kübelwagen vehicles had been produced, and the vehicle had proven to be surprisingly useful, reliable, and durable.

When the German military took delivery of the first vehicles, it immediately put them to the test on- and off-road in snow and ice to test their capability at handling European winters. Several four-wheel-drive vehicles were used as reference points. The two-wheel-drive Kübelwagen surprised even those who had been a part of its development, as it easily out-performed the other vehicles in nearly every test. Most notably, thanks to its smooth, flat underbody, the Kübelwagen would propel itself much like a motorized sled when the wheels sank into sand, snow, or mud, allowing it to follow tracked vehicles with remarkable tenacity.

Among the design features that contributed to the Kübelwagen’s performance were:

Light weight. While it was some 41 cm (16 in) longer than the Willys MB, it weighed more than 300 kg (660 lb.) less.

Very flat and smooth underbody that allowed the car to slide without snags over the surface it was traversing.

Considerable ground clearance, roughly 28 cm (11 in), in part thanks to:

The use of portal gear hub reduction, providing more torque and ride height simultaneously.

Independent suspension on all four wheels.

Self-locking differential, limiting slippage and retaining traction.

In addition, the air-cooled engine proved highly tolerant of hot and cold climates alike and was less vulnerable to bullets due to the absence of a radiator. For starting under winter conditions, a special, highly volatile starting fuel was supplied from a small auxiliary tank.

Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Haaksbergen, the Netherlands.
Local collection is available for this lot.

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Model Volkswagen Type 82 Kübelwagen (V.W. 82)
Platform VW Type 1 Kdf-Wagen
Manufacturer Volkswagenwerk GmbH, Germany
Production figures Around 53.000
Color Beige
Net Weight 725 kg (1,598 lb.)
Gross Weight 1,160 kg (2,560 lb.)
Crew 4
Engine Four-cycle, horizontally opposed, air-cooled 4 cylinders
Transmission 4-speed manual; self-locking differential portal gear reduction by 1.4:1
Suspension Independent wheel springing on all wheels.
Speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
Winch Length: 374 cm (12 ft 3 in)
Width: 160 cm (5 ft 3 in)
Height: 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) (top up); 111 cm (3 ft 8 in) collapsible
Dimensions Normal static condition 239 cm
Tire size 6 Volt
Electrical installation Uk road registration:
Date of Delivery 01/1945
Chassis / VIN Nr. -2-048478 (January 1945)
Body Number 47392 (late 1944)
Engine number -1-0209978 (postwar 1946)
Registration Currently no German markings only British marking of the 2nd armored regiment of the 10th Armoured Division, meaning it was captured by the British forces, during WW2. This marking is added as a tribute.
Road Licence KXS 394 (United Kingdom)
Condition / Remarks In running condition

Christian Grundmann GE 

Demanding Collector and Restoration Specialist of unique Volkswagen Beetles and their derivatives in the world.

Christian Grundmann and his father Traugott Grundmann are known as the most exacting and demanding collectors of unique Volkswagen Beetles and their derivatives in the world. Their collection even outshines the official Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg to some extent. They restore vehicles in their own workshops to completely authentic and better-than-new standards and have won several prizes with their work. Their interest in Beetles also covers the military vehicles built by the Volkswagen factory in World War II; i.e. the Kübelwagen and the Schwimmwagen.

Christian is our leading light on all things Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen. He has access to unique records, knows the vehicles and the market like the back of his hand, and his opinion is accepted as gospel by collectors and museums all over the world.

With regard to this Kübelwagen Christian comes to the following conclusions / recommendation;

This is a typical restoration from the 1980s.
Body and frame are definitely period correct (1945). In themselves Kübels from 1945 are fairly rare because the war was going to an end and production was therefore sometimes very problematic.
All Kübels are, unlike its American counterpart the Jeep, still deployed in the German army in these days so it saw for sure active service!

Regarding the restoration:

As part of the restoration, various sheet metal parts have been replaced. This was not done in all cases with the (period) correct sheet metal parts. This concerns, among others, the front (Frontbench; this panel is missing the characteristic ‘Auspressung’ for the license plate), rear traverse (Hecktraverse), the cover of the engine, the fuel tank including valve and some other small parts. However, doors etc. are according to my opinion still original

Front seats are period correct and original, but the rear seat is a reproduction. With respect to the details the 4 rifle holders are missing, and the steering wheel, speedometer and some instruments are dated from the wrong period (Armaturenbrett; Modell 1943).

The engine has been replaced by a post-war model (however with more hp!) and the engine room lacks the storage space for the typical toolbox. For the UK MOT acceptance the brake system has been converted to a fully hydraulically operated variant (was introduced by VW in 1949), other windscreen wipers and mirrors and lighting. Comes with Schwimmwagen rims and tires. Canvas top need some repair.

Despite all this, it still makes this vehicle an interesting purchase because it is basically correct, it drives and brakes excellently and is therefore an ideal vehicle to participate in tours, shows and events or just to drive on a Sunday afternoon.

If buying, it gives you the opportunity to look for the currently not correct parts and replace them in the coming years, while you can still enjoy a nice ride in this ingenious vehicle on a regular basis!
I like to mention that if all deviations are corrected, the value of this vehicle will increase to an amount somewhere between Euro 70 and 80k (Q1 2023) as 1945 are far more rare than for instance the 1943 model!

Finally, the price of this vehicle will only increase further in the coming years.

Experts estimated value:  between  € 55.000,- and € 65.000,- (February 2023)