Type 7 designed by Porsche, the Auto Union Company later asked him and his team to design a new Grand Prix car. Adolf Hitler had announced two new programs: the People’s Car, which would later become the Volkswagen Beetle, and a state-sponsored motor racing program, which required a German firm to develop cars in the new 1653-lb formula. They created the 16-cylinder 1653-lb Auto Union P racing car, which set three world records in 1934 and was one of the most successful racing cars of the inter-war era. The mid-engined configuration pioneered the trend for modern racing cars and is
still used in Formula One to the present day. Porsche also designed a sleek- looking coupe named the Type 8: it boasted an eight-cylinder 3.25-liter engine and Ferdinand Porsche used it for many years for his own personal use. The Auto Union project provided Porsche with an exciting opportunity, but since money was required to keep the company afloat they became heavily involved in the design of military vehicles during the lead up to the Second World War, resulting in the creation of the Kübelwagen and the Schwimmwagen. Translated as “bucket car,” the Volkswagen
Kübelwagen was an inexpensive lightweight military transport vehicle based on the Beetle that was first created in 1938. Experienced military coachbuilder, Trutz, constructed the bodywork, and by November 1938 developmental testing of the first vehicle, known as the Type 62, commenced. The Kübelwagen handled rough terrain surprisingly well, despite its lack of four-wheel drive capabilities, and overall it was well received by military commanders who requested only two changes: to reduce its lowest speed from 5 mph to 2.5 mph to adjust to the pace of marching soldiers, and to further improve its off-road performance.
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