This may be a cartoony creation, but the German military really did drive/ride about in these. It’s a Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101, or SdKfz 2 for short (our name for it is way better), a kind of half-tank-half-motorbike configuration designed to fit inside the hold of a Junkers JU 52 transport plane.
The SdKfz 2 was the only gun tractor capable of being transported by air in this way and it therefore became one of the most versatile vehicles of the German military, being used for everything from troop transport over deep mud to pulling heavy loads, aircraft tug work, and even cable-laying.
The Kettenkraftrad HK 101 was designed and built by NSU (who later became Audi), using the Schachtellaufwerk overlapped and interleaved road wheel mechanism found on almost all of Germany’s tracked military vehicles.
A four-cylinder Opel motor gave the SdKfz 2 a top speed of around 40mph, and it could climb slopes of over 24°, even in sand. A skid-steer system operated in addition to the somewhat superfluous-looking front wheel, allowing the SdKfz 2 to nimbly (for a 1.5 ton vehicle) traverse the most impassible terrains.
This magnificent recreation of the Kettenkraftrad HK 101 comes from previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Redfern1950s, who has built his SdKfZ in Afrika Korps specification, complete with two cartoonish German military officers, a removable engine-cover, and a good shot at the fantastically complicated Schachtellaufwerk track system.
There’s much more to see of Redfern’s delightful Kettenkraftrad HK 101 model as well as his other vehicles from the Nazis’ short-lived Afrika Korps campaign on Flickr – click these words to make the jump!