Author Topic: Eigenbau of the month  (Read 18275 times)

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Offline Wendax

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Eigenbau of the month
« on: March 10, 2016, 01:43:36 PM »
As you might have noticed over the years, one of my main interests in old cars belongs to the very rare ones. Especially the home built cars of the late 1940s and early 1950s caught my attention. Unfortunately there is hardly any information available anymore. So they can't be used as puzzles, if you don't want them to end up as eternal guests in the Black Hole. In the last years I gathered some of them in my Enigma Variations puzzles, even though I was quite sure most of them will remain a mystery. Unhappy with that situation I want to try a new approach to present some of these jewels to you: the Eigenbau of the Month. I chose that word, because it is one of the rare situations where a German word seems to have found its way into this community and, furthermore, most of the cars presented here will be from Germany or Austria. I will supply any information I have about the pictured cars, so don't ask for more. But feel free to add information you might have about them. I hope you will enjoy this feature.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 08:54:00 AM by Wendax »

Offline Ultra

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2016, 01:48:51 PM »
This sounds fantastic!!!  Thanks very much for coming up with it and I really look forward to reading the material. 
“Honi soit qui mal y pense”


Click the pic....... Name the car

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2016, 01:54:28 PM »
Eigenbau of the Month: March 2016

Two happy girls standing by resp. sitting on a sports car that - on first impression - looks like a Veritas. Its builder surely must have been influenced by the Veritas Nürburgring, as you can see by comparing this Eigenbau to the Veritas drawing below. There are some differences though where the craftsmanship of a single person meets his limits compared to a professional workshop. But it must have been a well-skilled panelbeater who created this piece of metalwork and fitted it on a (probably) prewar BMW chassis. And by looking at the license plate you might notice that this car was created in Eastern Germany, in the Bezirk Dresden, in the town of Tharandt, to be precise. At least that was the (only) information that came with the picture. It must have been a dream car in socialist Eastern Germany back then.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 12:53:04 PM by Wendax »

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 12:56:54 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: April 2016

Last month I started this feature with an East German sports car that owed much of its appearance to the postwar dream car Veritas. This month continues where we stopped last. This time I am delighted to present you a West German sports car registered in Frankfurt am Main. You might have guessed it: another wannabe Veritas. A long hood, a front end like a Veritas Scorpion, two seats and a convertible roof. Its builder knew what he was doing and he did it quite well. The track is a bit small for the body, resulting in the need of small wheelarches. But at first sight I wasn't sure it was not a Veritas. It must have been used for quite some years, as this kind of license plate was not offered before 1956. Too bad, no other pictures of this nice car are known. For comparison reasons I've added a picture of the real Veritas Scorpion Cabriolet.

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 01:04:47 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: May 2016

This month I want to continue the sports car theme. The picture is a contribution from Pal. Thanks for that!
The car presented here was shown in a 1949 magazine and comes from Stuttgart, Germany. Undoubtedly it is based on a Volkswagen chassis. Its low rounded body makes it look even more like a beetle than the Beetle does. Some chrome bars at the front serve as a substitution for the missing grille, a single high beam light corresponds with the horn on the other side. The rear ends of the front wings seem to be part of the doors, so these must have been quite heavy and voluminous. The lack of a fabric hood, the low windshield and the rear wheel spats create a general impression which remind me of the Vollmer-VW by Hebmüller, of which I added a picture below.

October 2020: Two more views of the Stuttgart Eigenbau added.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 01:49:22 AM by Wendax »

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2016, 01:18:37 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: June 2016

This month's Eigenbau was also built onto a VW chassis. That was rather popular, because quite a few Kübelwagen survived the Second World War, but they were not the ideal everyday car. Even more I've read that at some time Kübelwagen owners in the Eastern part of Germany were forced to rebody these cars for political reasons. While some were turned into lookalike Porsches or lookalike VW buses or racecars, here is something special: a homebuilt camping car. The pictures were made in Zwickau, which corresponds to the car's license plate TV 52-65 (T standing for Bezirk Karl-Marx-Stadt). Even some pictures made during the construction in July 1951 survived.

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2016, 03:02:26 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: July 2016

This time the Eigenbau of the month is a car already puzzled here at AP (http://www.autopuzzles.com/forum/2015-44/solved-neh-4353-german-eigenbau-with-dkw-engine-from-1953). But when it has been puzzled a few months ago, it was just a nameless homebuilt microcar. Now a letter to the editor in a German veteran car magazine has shed some more light on this little vehicle. In 1952, the German automotive engineer Heinrich Stannebein started building this cute little car, powered by a 200 cc DKW engine of 5.5 hp. In 1953, the car has been road registered as the Stannebein 200. Mr. Stannebein dreamed of a series production and had talks with several potential companies, even with Messerschmitt, but to no avail. Frustrated he soon sold his creation and kept his job as chief engineer at the Deutsche Orthopädische Werke Berlin (DOW), manufacturer of invalid carriages. The second owner was a Berlin garage owner and kept the Stannebein 200 for more than 60 years. Unfortunately it spent the last 25 years in a garden, before it reappeared up for sale at the end of last year. The new owner has started to restore it and is looking for some more information. Below two pictures from when the car was new:

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 05:18:32 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: August 2016

Staying with the microcar theme, this month's eigenbau has the looks and finish of a production car. The bodywork was surely inspired by American car design, but miniaturized in a stylish way. All I know about it is that the picture was taken in Sweden in 1952. There have been less elegant microcars of similar layout that reached (small scale) production, like the Kroboth Allwetterroller pictured below. I know which one I'd prefer...
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 05:22:57 PM by Wendax »

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 05:10:39 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: September 2016

At first sight this one doesn't look like an eigenbau, but seems to be a regular Mercedes-Benz of the 1950s known as the Ponton. But then again, doesn't it appear to be slightly narrower? Those bumpers don't look right, and the windshield wipers, and and and ...
In fact, it is an East German attempt to modernize a prewar Mercedes-Benz chassis. The picture was taken in Görlitz, nowadays the most eastern town in Germany. Below you can see a Mercedes-Benz 219 for comparison.

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2016, 01:11:43 AM »
Great Idea! and made it better with the comparison to factory built cars.

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2016, 08:03:01 AM »
Eigenbau of the month: October 2016

This month I'm presenting a car some of you might know from Paul Simsa's book "Dies alles fuhr auf unseren Straßen", a source for many an eigenbau puzzle in the past. When I came across the pictures of this particular car again recently, I remembered another eigenbau puzzled here not too long ago, which certainly must be its successor. Both cars are not only based on VW Beetle chassis and have Stuttgart license plates, but share so many design details that I'm sure they were both built by the same (unknown) man. But see for yourself:

Offline grobmotorix

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2016, 04:58:39 PM »
Wow - those two are really interesting!

Offline Carnut

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 05:10:07 AM »
Yes, they are so similar they could even be the same car, before and after he had a better idea...
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Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2016, 02:12:28 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: November 2016

This month's featured car - is it an eigenbau, a replica or a recreation? A bit of all, I think. It is a quite recent creation, built in 2002, but looking much older. And there is a reason for that, because its builder, Dr. Jürgen Messer, a retired veterinarian, wanted to bring back to life the only car ever built in his home town of Gettorf in Northern Germany. We had that original car before, the 1949 WUG: http://www.autopuzzles.com/forum/2012-41/solved-wendax-450-wug-(werner-uttermohlen-gettorf)/msg194803/#msg194803

The WUG was built by Werner Utermöhlen, a toy manufacturer from Gettorf. His wooden toy cars may have served as a styling model for the WUG, as can be seen on the second picture, showing a surviving Utermöhlen toy. Only two WUGs were ever built. Recently I came across some rare pictures of both cars, showing the black and white car already featured in the former puzzle, and the slightly differing dark car in the second last picture. Both cars were powered by a single-cylinder ILO 250 cc two-stroke engine. The WUG's bodywork was made of wood. The complete car weighed only 175 kg. The top speed was 60 km/h and 4.5 litres of gasoline brought you 100 km far.

The last picture shows a handbuilt model of the WUG, so it finally ended where its design started.   :)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 02:14:45 PM by Wendax »

Offline pnegyesi

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 03:04:50 PM »
Eventually an Eigenbau ebook is not a far-fetched idea
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Offline grobmotorix

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2016, 02:55:53 PM »
Thank you very much for the WUG story - amazing photos...

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2016, 01:42:51 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: December  2016

This month's featured eigenbau could have been posted in the Cars and Dogs  thread as well. I don't have any information about this car at all, not even a front view. It was registered in Celle, Lower Saxony, a ducal residence town between Hamburg and Hanover. The picture must have been taken after 1956. The car looks like it was based on a prewar chassis. So its days were probably almost over when the photo was taken. The bodywork reminds me of a mixture between a Kleinschnittger and the Wendax Aero.

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2017, 01:17:21 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: January 2017

To be precise, we have more than one eigenbau featured this month. In the middle of the picture we see a ponton bodied coupe. I don't know the chassis it is based on, maybe a DKW. The license plate tells us that it was registered in East Berlin. The general appearance fits in the sports car design of the early Fifties, a little bit of Porsche, but with a large front grille, so we can rule out a VW chassis beneath that slick body. The front reminds me, for example, of the Autenrieth bodies on BMW 502 chassis (see picture below). Very interesting is the small visible part of the car on the left of the picture. It must be another eigenbau of which I haven't seen a full picture yet. So the hunt goes on.  :D
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 02:54:25 PM by Wendax »

Offline pnegyesi

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2017, 01:32:34 PM »
Apparently, according to British scientists, it's year 2017 now. Otherwise a great post again
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Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2017, 02:55:54 PM »

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2017, 07:28:58 AM »
Eigenbau of the month: February 2017

"I'd just love to have an Alfa Romeo sports car, and all I've got is this old VW chassis." May be those were the thoughts of the builder of this month's eigenbau. Going by the looks, the car must have been built in the late 1950s, early 1960s. The wheels tell us about the Volkswagen base. This roadster was registered in Niederösterreich, the Northeastern part of Austria. The lines are quite pleasing. The goal of having a low sports car body on a Beetle chassis was met. And the added Alfa Romeo-like front grille might have fooled some spectators. I recall that those fake grilles were seen sometimes on VW Karmann-Ghias.

November 2020: By looking through my Unknown files I came across a very small rear view of what should be this car, see below.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 09:00:55 AM by Wendax »

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2017, 11:18:49 AM »
Not a bad little effort!
He should have left the hubcaps off though...
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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2017, 11:23:05 AM »
Suggestion: a book about Eigenbaus

Offline Allemano

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2017, 12:34:16 PM »
Great topic! :thumbsup:

Offline Wendax

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Re: Eigenbau of the month
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2017, 12:57:26 PM »
Eigenbau of the month: March 2017

Italy , the land of dreams for postwar Germans. Working hard to save some money for a vacation in Rimini, that was what the generation of my parents was longing for in the 1950s. How much more desirable it must have been for those in Eastern Germany. Perhaps an attempt to have at least an Italian looking car is this month's Eigenbau of the month from the Dresden district. I don't know anything about the chassis or the technical details, but we might assume that a prewar chassis of an Adler, Hanomag or something else served as base for this homebuilt car. And the goal was reached: there are more than just slight similarities to Fiat's modern 1400, as you can see when you compare the two pictures. The two-tone paintwork on its sides was up to date. It must have been a headturner back then.