BMW’s prototype military vehicle was found abandoned on a farm in Germany by a farmer looking for old farm equipment. The farmer, Klaus-Peter Schmid, said he had been looking to buy a combine harvester and found the vehicle instead. He said he had been looking around the area when he came across the vehicle: “At first I thought it was an old car, but then I saw all these buttons and things”.
The farmer, Hans-Jörg Schmitz, said he had noticed something unusual about the vehicle when he first found it. It was covered in dust and rust, but it looked like it had been well cared for at some point.
BMW’s prototype World War II military vehicle, the Type 82, was developed by the company’s aviation engine division and was intended to replace existing trucks and cars used to transport soldiers in combat zones.
The vehicle had four wheels and a square shape that made it ideal for transporting large amounts of cargo or personnel. It was lightweight and could reach 90 km/h (56 mph) on the road. The vehicle was built in 1939 and was used as a test model for future models of military vehicles.
However, in 1939, BMW engineers came up with an innovative solution: the BMW Einheits-Pkw (Universal Automobile). This vehicle was designed to be used in all types of terrain, even off-road. It could carry up to six soldiers and their equipment and had a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). The vehicle was also equipped with a radio system that allowed communication between vehicles within range, even if they were moving at high speeds.
The first prototype was completed in 1940 and was used by the Wehrmacht (German army) in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia.