Minichamps MIN100052001 German VW-82 Kubelwagen - Oberleutnant Hans-Joachim Marseille, I./Jagdgeschwader 27, Tripoli, Lybia, 1942 (1:18 Scale)
"I do not doubt that the outstanding ability of the designer and at a later date the economic acumen of manufacturers, will make it possible to make available to the German people a car which is low priced and cheap in operation, similar to what American people have enjoyed for a long time..."
- German Chancellor Adolf Hitler at the 26th International Berlin Automobile Show, 1936
Built by Volkswagen, the simple yet reliable Kubelwagen ("bucket car") was the German equivalent of the American Jeep. This nimble four-seater, based on Ferdinand Porsche's original "People's Car" design of the 1930's, used the same rear-mounted, aircooled engine to drive the rear wheels. Some models mounted an MG 42 machine gun behind the front passenger seat, giving the Kubelwagen a nasty bite. Other variants included an amphibious vehicle, called the Schwimmwagen, as well as radio communications, maintenance, ambulance, and survey variants.
Minichamps does the Kubelwagen justice with its own 1:18 scale diecast rendition of Hitler's "bucket car". This extraordinary replica features hinged doors, rubber tires, a highly detailed passenger compartment, and working driveshaft. This particular vehicle, which is painted in a tropical camouflage pattern and nicknamed "Otto," was used by Luftwaffe ace Hans-Joachim Marseille of I./JG 27 when he was based at Tripoli in 1942. Sold Out!
Length: 8.25 inches
Height: 3.5 inches
Width: 3.5 inches
Release Date: November 2005
Historical Account: "Uncle Otto" - After claiming his 100th kill on June 17th, 1942, Marseille returned to Germany for two months leave. On August 6th, he began his journey back to North Africa accompanied by his fiance Hanne-Lies Kpper. On August 13th, he met Benito Mussolini in Rome and was presented with the highest Italian military award for bravery, the Medaglia d'Oro al Valor Militare.
Leaving his fiance in Rome, Marseille returned to combat duties on August 23rd. On September 1st, 1942, was Marseille's most successful day, destroying 17 enemy aircraft, and September would see him score 54 kills, his most productive month. The 17 enemy aircraft shot down included eight in 10 minutes, as a result of this feat he was presented with a type 82 Volkswagen Kubelwagen by an Italian Regia Aeronautica squadron, on which his Italian comrades had painted "Otto" (Italian language: Otto = eight). This was the most aircraft from Western Allied air forces shot down by a single pilot in one day. Only one pilot, Emil "Bully" Lang on November 4th, 1943, would better this score, against the Soviet Air Force on the Eastern Front.