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About What is it Quiz #450: SHW-Wagen
Well done, prewarcar.com-readers. Of the five answers, five answers had the correct solution. The car is of course the SHW-Wagen, built by the "Schwäbische Hüttenwerke GmbH", located in Baden-Württemberg.
It was presented to the public at the Automobilausstellung-Berlin in 1925. This company was founded just four years before, but the company proudly states, that its origins go back to the year 1365. Due to financial problems, caused by the effects of inflation, the company was in search for new business segments and after a lot of discussion, SHW decided to buy the Böblinger Werft A.G. and hired Wunibald Kamm, later one of the leading automotive aerodynamicists, as factory manager. And Kamm, a type of an all-around talent, created a truly advanced car for the "Volk", an early "Volkswagen". He started his project during his time at Mercedes and built the first prototype roadster in his spare time, before approaching SHW. The weight was just 880 pounds and the car was powerd by a 250cc two stroke engine. At SHW, the three prototypes, the "real" SHW-Wagen were built. And as Herman van Oldeneel knew, those were the closed car "IIIC-2201" (some sources tell us, that the car had a removable hardtop) and the two phaetons "IIIC-2200" and "IIIC-2203". And the cars were really as revolutionary, as John Krabbendam writes: " Aluminium monocoque bodies, frontwheel drive, independent wheel suspension, four wheel brakes, 4 gearbox from Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen , boxer side valve engine". And he adds: " The third car; open car without fabric hood was Kamm’s personal car with the original numberplate "III C 2003", but now carrying "III A 8836". Kamm used it a lot till 1932. Since 1937 it resides in the Deutsche Museum in Munich". But what about the engines? Two-stroke? Four-stroke? Air cooled? Water cooled? OK, we have a two cylinder-boxer and it´s said to have had about 1000cc. But the sole survivor has a bit more bore, but nearly twice the stroke, giving the engine 2096cc. We believe, that many different engines were tried. First air-cooled, but as Kamm also wanted to interest the Behr-radiator factory for production, the air-cooled version was banned. The riveted alloy-body was designed by Wunibalt Kamm and was built in Friedrichshafen at "Luftschiffbau Zeppelin". Also mentioned two times is the comment of Ferdinand Porsche, regarding the little car: " Ferdinand Porsche recommended his employer Mercedes-Benz to buy SHW, if the car would be made ready for production", and that also BMW was interested. BMW preferred to buy DIXI and built a much more conventional and well known Austin Seven-licensed car. SHW sadly feared the immense investments and stopped the project. Kamm himself drove his personal SHW untill he donated it to the "Deutsches Museum" in Munich, where it was transformed to a cutaway. But in the early 1980s, the car was restored/recreated by BMW and since it was completed again, we can salute this fantastic little car in the "Deutsches Museum" again. OK, but who is the winner of this weeks Quiz? The answers (all very good) were by Robbie Marenzi, LEY Fredy, Gerd Klioba, John Krabbendam and Herman van Oldeneel and I think, the other four participiants will agree, that Hermans answer included the best facts. Especially, as he was the only one, who mentioned the Rumpler-type fwd and Wunibald Kamms silver-medal at the 24h-Eifelrennen! Congratiulations Herman!
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Words and pictures by Hubertus Hansmann
Published: Friday August 4th, 2017