1943 Volkswagen Type 166 Schwimmwagen vs 1943 Ford GPA Backward Glances… — Volkswagen 166

20 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1943 Volkswagen Type 166 Schwimmwagen vs 1943 Ford GPA Backward Glances… — Volkswagen 166 отключены
Volkswagen 166

1943 Volkswagen Type 166 vs. 1943 Ford GPA — Glances

Amphibious Axis and

The Ford GPA was originally designed as a vehicle but saw use with combat bridge-building units. Unlike its counterpart, it was designed to be capable in but wasn’t the safest rig in even heavy weather. Missing on GPA is the surf shield, a foldable to minimize the water rolling the bow.

Water barriers are the military problem. Crafty develop ways to cross in places the enemy least When motor vehicles the military scene in the early it didn’t take long for to figure out how to make them and use them in battle. By the onset of War II, amphibious vehicle technology was understood, but neither the German nor armies had amphibs in inventory. required each country to them according to their needs.

The two main amphibs for the American army were the American 2½-ton GMC DUKW “Duck,” probably the most amphibian of WWII, and the ¼-ton GPA. The Germans had little for large amphibians, but the Volkswagen 166 Schwimmwagen became their scout vehicle and had amphibious

Today, both the GPA and the Schwimmwagen are rare and valuable. Finding two of swimming together in one place, and at one is a once-in-a-lifetime event. We can all thank the of both vehicles, Richard and the Kübel Korps USA, for opportunity—Saft for bringing them for serious play and the KKUSA for that possible by having a annual members-only event.

Saft’s 1943 type 166 is set up as it have been used as a vehicle, complete with and plenty of drum magazines for and scooting.

1943 PKW Type 166 Schwimmwagen

Porsche began militarizing the VW for the war effort in 1938 and the Type 82 (see “Backward Glances,” ’12 issue) was in production by 1940. drive was developed for the Type 82, but nonessential for production models. smaller numbers of more 4×4 scout vehicles amphibious capability were

The first Porsche-designed amphibian was the 128 of 1940, but structural troubles the unitized body led to the shorter and Type 166. Large production began in the summer of and the 166 was issued primarily to armored as a scout vehicle. It utilized the system developed for the Type 82, superior cross-country ability and stopped at the waters edge.

The 166 was extensively used on all fronts, the in particular, where rough capabilities were valued as as floatability. The Type 166 was designed to four fully-equipped troops and mount the feared MG-34 gun.

Schwimm running is very familiar to air-cooled parts. The archetypical transverse bar front axle was augmented half-shafts and a differential driven by a from the transaxle in the rear. is no low range in the familiar sense. drive is engaged at any speed, but is a separate creeper gear takes the place of low range. ZF lockers were mounted in diffs. The Schwimm’s air-cooled made 25hp from

Saft’s ’43 Schwimm is one of over built between July of and November of 1944, plus assembled later from Many Schwimms were during and after the war. The had only limited usefulness to populations, so many more away before they a collectible in the ’70s. Remaining are reported to number under and a restored one will cost you $100,000.


1943 Ford GPA

The of a ¼-ton amphibian started in when marine architects Stephens designed a hull for the developed jeep. Marmon-Herrington got the job of a production-ready vehicle. In an apparent move, Ford Motor was also given a development some months later. starting last, Ford first and their prototypes superior to Marmon-Herrington’s. Ford was a large production contract in

The new vehicle soon acquired the “Seep,” presumably for “sea-jeep.” nomenclature was GPA: G for a government P for the ¼-ton platform, and A for amphibian. It many components from the Ford GPW land jeep, the engine and drivetrain. The transfer had a power take-off for the propeller and pump.

The departure angle of the was actually a little better the jeep. Besides the jerrycan and a Danforth anchor was normally and the operator’s manual showed you how to use it for on land as well as anchoring in

The GPA proved satisfactory in testing, but its became less clear it entered service. As a land vehicle it was limited by poor performance, and its amphibious capabilities seldom needed inland. The GPA generally unsuitable for beach where cargo capacity and in surf were key. it was handy in a few isolated moments the war, overall the Seep was an for the Americans in WWII. The most combat use of the GPA was made by the Soviets, who got via Lend-Lease and used them for assaults or reconnaissance in force. The liked them well to make a homebuilt clone, the MAV.

The GPA didn’t remain in American service long after As a surplus novelty, they civilian jobs as everything harbor tenders to ice cream When used in the water, were high-maintenance and tended to out quickly and most had gone to by the ’60s.

Seeps made headlines in civilian hands. Ben Carlin modified a GPA to cross the and, after some attempts, got Half-Safe across the in 1950. Over the next years, Carlin circumnavigated the in his GPA. In the ’50s and ’60s, and Frank Schreider used modified GPA, La Tortuga, to South America and the Pacific as for National Geographic. One GPA even the pages of the February 1964 of Four Wheeler. In the story, Duck,” Paul Warren about wheeling the Four area, including a dip into the formed Lake Powell.

The GPA is highly collectable, with remaining of the 12,774 built October 1942 and May of 1943. the Schwimm, only a small are water-worthy or have owners enough to risk them way. A fully-restored and floatable GPA cost you upwards of $60,000.

A Seep versus Schwimm drag race was held. they are at full speed the GPA ahead by a length and rapidly distance.

Seep or Schwimm

So was better? The GPA is the winner in ergonomics, if one use that term with a vehicle. It’s far more than the Schwimm. Climbing the tall GPA requires some but once inside, it’s far roomy than the Schwimm, for the backseaters. The Schwimm driving is nice, but getting there some contortions. The seats of deliver military numbutt, but the GPA has more padding on the seats.

The GPA is at its worst on land. The 134ci, (gross, 54hp net) is overwhelmed by the 3,500-pound curb not to mention the 4,300-pound gross as are the brakes. You can get to about 50 mph with a of a mile to accelerate and it takes about as long to stop. is akin to driving a motorhome power steering. The GPA was rated to tow pounds from its military enough for the American 37mm gun. The GPA could also a light machine gun on the M31 pedestal but this was almost never in American service.

Off-highway, the GPA is an hippo. Rated gradeability was 45 percent versus 60 percent for the jeep, and it had worse approach and breakover angles than the jeep, plus about an less minimum ground It wasn’t economical. The 15-gallon could take you about 200 on good roads for about 13 The GPA has a 3,500-pound PTO capstan winch, was very useful for helping it out of the water.

The Seep has a fair bit of with a light load. The lid on the forward deck allows air to go to the and the air exits thru side just under the canvas curtains. In surf or rough the deck intake and side can be closed. Air is then drawn in under the dash and exits a vent that opens above the dash, but airflow is and overheating can result. Spinning the at the same time as the prop a little speed, but puts a load on the engine. Spinning the alone can deliver a speed of 1.5 mph.

In terms of land performance, the is the winner by leaps and bounds. At a curb weight, and with a ratio of 6.2:1, even the tiny 1131cc, 25hp has the oomph for brisk acceleration. Top is only 50 mph, but light wide tires, locking in both axles, and good gave the Schwimm excellent ability. Better, in fact, the non-amphibious American jeep. economy is great as well, and on a day, the twin 6.5 gallon tanks can take it 275-300 In many other military duties, the Type 166 is inferior to the Cargo capacity is minimal, more limited by volume weight. Towing capacity is since the Type 166 has no hitch. The can mount 7.92mm MG34 or machine guns on a dash with a tripod on the rear for dismounted use.

Volkswagen 166

The shoreline is the fun begins and the tables turn. a hippo, the ungainly GPA changes in the water. It isn’t a great but it will outrun, outmaneuver and the Schwimm. You have 25-35 of cruising fun ahead of you before the is dry and a rated max speed of about 5.5 The GPA has a reversible propeller and a rudder, as as manual and PTO-driven bilge

The Schwimm’s water performance is than stellar. You soon why the paddle is included because is no reverse in the water. The manually propeller is driven by the engine and in only one direction. There is no the front wheels do the steering. is no factory fitted bilge either, so water playtime is by how much water leaks they all leak. Perhaps is why we could find no listed range, since it wasn’t for long-term immersion. Top speed in the was listed at 6 mph in still water, but a drag race between the two showed the GPA is faster.

So, how does the owner evaluate his two Richard Saft sums it up “The Schwimwagen is a car that in the water, while the GPA is a boat goes on land.”

Owner: Saft

Vehicle: Schwimm.

Estimated value: $120,000.

Engine: 1131cc flat-four. L-head four

Power(hp): rpm (net). 54@4000 rpm (net)

(lb-ft): 46.7@2000 rpm. rpm

Bore stroke (in): 3.13×3.38

Comp. ratio: 6.48:1

Transmission: 5-spd 3-spd manual

Transfer 1-spd, VW. 2-spd, Spicer 18

axle: VW, independent. Spicer 25

axle: VW, transaxle. full-float, 23

Axle ratios: 6.2:1.

Volkswagen 166

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