Kubelwagen sale underlines hike in values

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A Volkswagen Type 82 that went for £26,950 at Brightwells’ 26 September sale has confirmed a recent rush in demand for VW’s answer to the Willys Jeep.

The sale comes shortly after an amphibious version of the all-terrain vehicle (known as the Schwimmwagen) sold for £118,000 – double its estimate.

Meanwhile, a quick browse through the online classifieds confirms these cars’ popularity, particularly WW2-era machines, with the two examples we found – of ’43 and ’44 vintage – commanding prices close to £30k.

Of course, for significantly less and minus the military history you could have this Thing. It may lack battlefield kudos, but these charismatic wheels could be yours for less than £4000.

Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, the Kubelwagen’s name comes from a shortening of the phrase “bucket seat car”.

The utility vehicle was geared to run comfortably over any terrain at infantry-pace (about 2.5mph), something it handled with aplomb despite being only rear-wheel drive.

The price for the Brightwells example was boosted by its history. First registered in 1944, it was restored in the ’90s, imported from Czechoslovakia in ’02 and displayed at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, before being bought by a private owner.

It came complete with a 1943 Wehrmacht jerry can, correct Wehrmacht spade, MG34 machine-gun mounting, original battery warmer, starting handle, wheel-changing kit, original tool-kit case, wartime tow rope, a leather map case and had been treated to a new 1969 VW air-cooled engine, hydraulic brakes and a 12v electrical system.

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