The year was 1962, and Kurt Ketzner, an intelligent Viennese Volkswagen mechanic, decided that no vehicle should be designed to suit his country’s special, mountainous terrain. So, he tried to create his own, which would eventually be called “half-track fox”.
The mechanic determined that the perfect foundation for his project was a Volkswagen T1 microbus but decided that it would need a tank track to handle the snow.
“At first, I looked around, but couldn’t find the car I was dreaming of. So, I decided to make it myself, ”writes Ketzner in Yuga Marketing Content.
Read more: Citroen Golden Scarab recreates 120-year-old automotive legend
Then, thinking of adding a pair of Excel to the van, he landed. At the back, the microbus will get two axle driving tank tracks of Ketzner’s own design. Mounted on 13-inch wheels, the tracks were made of aluminum and rubber so that they are safe for use both on and off the road.
The front axles, meanwhile, have got ordinary wheels with 14-inch rough-tread tires and each wheel has its own brakes. It also had a limited-slip differential that helped ensure power distribution to the wheels even in deep snow.
However, there was not an abundance of energy to distribute. The Ketzner VW didn’t see the need to replace the 1,192 cc flat-four, so the car made only 33 hp (25 kW / 34 PS). That was enough to reach a top speed of 35 km / h (21 mph), making it a little slower than a real, four-legged fox.
Ketzner made only two of these extensive contraceptions by 1968, and was working on a third when he was forced to finish production. It was finally purchased in 1990 by the Porsche Museum in Gumund, Austria, before being purchased by the Bulicartel EV, a Volkswagen microbus enthusiastic society.
In 2005 they tried to start the car recovery but got into trouble, forcing them to stop. In 2018, Volkswagen took ownership of the commercial vehicle Half-Track Fox and handed it over to its Classic Vehicle division, giving it a massive recovery, which was completed in February.
This allows the team to plow the car once more through the ice. They report that, despite the lack of power, half-track foxes are incredibly good at climbing snowy mountains.