Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: “KDF Hanomag” – Alleged Volkswagen Beetle Prototype Is A Re-Bodied VW Kubelwagen

Peter Wilding uploaded this intriguing Volkswagen to the Cohort that showed up at local show in 2013. The owner claimed it to be an early Beetle prototype but he suspects it might be built using both Volkswagen and Hanomag components.

Here is his description:

This is an alleged VW prototype. IMHO probably built postwar using a mix of Hanomag and VW bits. The guy who owned it had a credible story to tell about its ‘development’, if I hadn’t read up on VW history and this sort of thing beforehand. Interesting all the same; thought you guys would like to see it! Turned up at a small-town car show in 2013.

Paul chimed in with the following:

This is absolutely not a “VW Prototype”. It’s a well known car, and just a 1943 VW Kubelwagen chassis (as the ID plate states very clearly) that was rebodied using an old Hanomag body. This kind of thing was pretty commonly done in Eastern Europe during the post war years. There was a dead old Hanomag and a running Kubelwagen, and someone wanted an enclosed body, so the two were married. The crude joints where the body was welded on are very clear.

The “Hanomag KdF” badges were made by a later owner to try to fool someone, or just for fun.

Regardless it is a fascinating vehicle of which he has provided us many photos.


While the front does not look too different from the classic Beetle shape, the side proportions are a little more off.

The Hanomag 1.3 seems like a likely donor for most of the body.

I am not an expert on Volkswagen engines but I can certainly tell this is an early one. (ED: it’s a Kubelwagen 1133 cc unit.)

The VIN tag identifying it as a 1943 VW Kubelwagen chassis. After the war not too many folks wanted to drive a stock Kubelwagen so many were re-bodied with whatever happened to be around and available.

There are lots of neat touches in the interior including the original VW VDO speedometer with Kdf Hanomag badging applied.

Wood slats on the floor, just like in the Kubelwagen.

Someone went to a bit of trouble to make all the fake badging.

The VW pedal box.

The rear window treatment is interesting.

Fuel tank.

The interesting touches continue on the outside.

Around the front, a three light combination is featured which is very reminiscent of the Tatras of the similar period.

Another KdF Hanomag badge at the rear.

While not a lost link in the Volkswagen Type 1 development, it is still an interesting car.


More on the Kubelwagen here

And an in-depth look at the origins of the Volkswagen here