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Porsche Schwimmwagen.jpg
Porsche Type 128/166
Porsche
aka Porsche Schwimmwagen
Production Type 128 - September 1940 to April 1941
Type 166 - January 1942 to December 1944
Class Military Troop Transporter
Body Style Four or five-seater soft-top
Length c. 3000 mm
Width c. 1700 mm
Height c. 2000 mm
Wheelbase Type 128 - 2400 mm
Type 166 - 2000 mm
Weight 910 kg
Transmission Four-speed manual
Engine 1,131 cc flat-four, air cooled
Power 25bhp
Similar Volkswagen Kubelwagen
Designer Erwin Komenda

The Type 128 and Type 166 were designed by Erwin Komenda and built under Ferdinand Porsche's consultation.

The Type 128

Designed for military use, the Type 128 was completed first, in September 1940. The vehicle was essentially a highly modified Volkswagen Kubelwagen, designed for off-road work and for amphibious driving.

The Type 128 was based upon the Volkswagen KdF Beetle chassis, and driven by the 1,131 cc four-cylinder, air cooled engine. The diminutive engine produced only 25bhp, but speeds of up to 50mph were possible due to a curb weight of 900kg.

To allow off-road capability, ZF differentials were fitted to both axles. The power was delivered to the road via a four-speed manual gearbox. In normal conditions, only the rear wheels were driven.

As the car was designed for amphibious purposes, a rear-mounted three-blade propellor was fitted, which was stored in the upright position, but could be swung down when needed. Drive was sent directly from the transmission to the propellor. With five fully-laden soldiers on board, the Type 128 could sail at 6mph.

The Type 128 was deemed a success by the German military, and in late 1941, a successor was ordered. This was to be named the Type 166.

The Type 166

The Type 166 was based upon the Type 128, but was more compact, carrying only four soldiers. However, a larger fuel tank allowed a larger range (up to 325 miles was now possible), which the German military specified of the new car.

Despite these minor changes, the abilities of the Type 166 were identical to those of the 128. Overall, 14,263 examples were built.


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