As the Volkswagen 82 Kubelwagen proved very successful during the campaign in Poland, France and Africa, it was necessary to produce more this kind of small all terrian cross-country vehicle for the army. Hitler know Professor Ferdinand Porsche is a right engineering to designed and build prototype. That year 1941, had not been a good one for Hitlar, But his army had held on outside Moscow during the previous winter and was still making some headway against Russia. His army need a reliable all terrain small amphibious. The Type 128 base on a Typ86/87 4 wheel drive Typ86,4 wheel drive Kubelwagen and Typ287/877Kommandeurwagen (same as 82e off road staff car but with front drive axle ) 4wd chassis with a 1131CC new air cooled 4 cylinder engine, (before use a 985CC ) made for test at land and river, with a boat like body. Only 30 unit been made for Test. Professor Porsche and his son Ferry Porsche thought that the type 128 was too long for off road, Porsche start to make a small schwimmwagen, that is the project #166. It was 400mm short than Type 128, but also 4 wheel drive, the weight only got no more than 900kg,Max weight GVW at 1345kg. A very good ture cross-country vehicle with a crew of 4 soldiers and carrier MG34 and some anti-tank cannon. 4 wheel independent suspension with a new 1131cc air cool overhead-valve flat four cylinder engine at back, power through a 5 speed gear box. the boat like body make the car water proof and it was driven through water by the propeller, which was swung down by hand onto a dog clutch, connecting it to the engine's crankshaft, the steering used the front wheels as rudders, drive in water like drive on land. speed on land is 80km/h and on water is 10-12km/h. A machine gun MG34 can mounted next to the driver or at back. This 125 vehicle were designed and produced by the Porsche engineers made by hand at Zuffenhausen Stuttgart. This 166 chassis # 0166/115 is one of the phototype build by Porsche at 1942 most for Waffa SS divisions units to Moscow and few for the General. Since the Volkswagen Wolfsburg works engaged in manufacturing another 14276 unit of VW166 between 1942-1944.( body made by another Ambi Budd Co in Berlin). This was one of the most interesting useful vehicle of World War II made by German.
In the same time US build a GPA sea going jeep, Base on Ford GPW. This amphibious were near double weight as VW166, it was not a great vehicle for the job, also not easy climb out of river bank. unless use belt drive PTO capstan winch. Ford build 12785 GPA from 1942 until September 1943.
By the end of 1944 VW166 had been finished in Wolfsburg, some without rear propeller unit, because no more alloy parts, then production had to be halted because of heavy bombing of the factory. The building suffered heavy air raids between April 8th and May5th in 1944.A US. Strategic Bombing survey reported 20% of total floor area destroyed, 13.5% heavily damaged, near 21% lightly damaged, and 20% of machine destroyed. In the uneasy war situation, the considerable outlay of materials and man power for the complicated vehicle was no possible. The factory only making the simple 82 Kubelwagen until the spring of 1945. for Euro and Russia to cross the river and rough muddy area. Many Schwimmwagens were used by the German Army in Africa with Rommel's Afrika Korps and in the Eastern front, most service at SS divisions, as the Totenkopfs Third Panzer Division, also the SS Panzer Division in Normandy, Some service at Germany army engineer units. The difference between Porsch prototype and VW166, the round front tube bumper, the front wing angle, rear tow hook and side step handle, some early TYP166 have difference body for machine Gun MG34 etc. wheel & tire also not the same size as VW166 .After the War, British Army want to produce this 166, but it is not possible, because some off road parts maker at Red Army control area. Today only 3~~~~4 Porsche TYP166 have survived in the world, Because most use by SS officers and SS command late send to Easten front at Russia already. At the end of war, most TYP 166 destroyer by Russia army or captured by Russia Army. The Red Army use them until end of 50s and use their metal/alloy to build other modern machine at 60s. This lucky TYP 166/115 keep in Europe after the War. Until 2001 we bought this vehicle form a amphibious vehicle collector Mr. Jarren at Germany. Today you can see few Volkswagen made VW166 at Volkswagen museum, Porsche museums,auto museum and some at WWII German Vehicle collectors hand. The cost is up and up at past 10 year. If you like to know more about the amphibious, or German jeep like VW82, VW82e and VW87 please go to our another amphibious website. ( www.amphibious4wd.com )Today probably only 3 Porsches prototype complete vehicle survived in the world. One 0166/81 at France in poor condition. One 0166/91 in German, one 0166/115 in Hong Kong China and one very poor rust body no axle, no gear box, no motor chassis #0166/123 at Poland. This car now got a hand made nice new body. VW 166 got more than 100 unit survived. We also have two 1943 VW82e and two VW82,one 1943 made, one 1945 made and one very very rare 1941 Typ877/287 four wheel drive Comander car prototype.
A final note, sadly Mr. Jarren passed away in Feb 2008 at his home. He apparently really loved the car and I will maintain it and enjoy it with him in mind.
If you got any Kdf parts for War time VW60,VW82,VW82e,VW87,VW166, just email us. we will pay cash to buy them. Our email: firstname.lastname@example.org