Schwerer Panzerspähwagen Sd.Kfz.232

In Detail

Many collections have an ultimate goal. Ours is the restoration of a Sd.Kfz.232 Büssing Nag eight wheeled armoured car. What makes this vehicle so interesting is not only how it looks, but the technical challenge faced by the team in the original assembly programme all those years ago. We have to revisit the very same process but only after a detailed information gathering process to gather all surviving information on this vehicle and the parts required for an authentic rebuild. Two transfer boxes, two driver’s positions and the extremely complex eight wheeled independent suspension to highlight just a few of the features. Given how few of these vehicles were assembled it is remarkable that we have managed, very laboriously over a long time, to secure one part after another, keeping a faint glimmer of hope alive.

The glimmer has gradually glowed stronger as each piece of the puzzle has arrived. The stamina required, however, to locate the remaining key parts of the vehicle is enormous.

What makes the project even more challenging is that there were multiple series of vehicles and numerous modifications and additions during the production history. These small modifications are not well documented. According to research done by Tom Jentz and Hilary Doyle, Büssing Nag’s eight wheeled armoured car series were not batched by chassis number groups. Unlike the Horch Sd.Kfz. 221, Sd.Kfz.222, Sd.Kfz.223 and Sd.Kfz.260 four wheeled armoured car range, the chassis numbers used in the assembly of the Sd.Kfz.231, Sd.Kfz.232 and Sd.Kfz.233 did not provide a clear break between the different versions. The Sd.Kfz.231 chassis number was indistinguishable from the Sd.Kfz.232 and so on. The surviving documentation is very thin leading Tom Jentz to advise us to focus on the two survivors.

Which version do we do? We have one of the few surviving engines. We have a front and rear steering wheel and shafts, side chassis armour, the complete rear armoured body, a turret, the KwK 38, driver’s armoured visor, front armoured round deflector and more. All the excitement does not hide the fact that this is not even a project yet. We have a long way to go. Collecting for this vehicle began over 20 years ago. Over this time numerous other vehicles or the sum of their parts were gathered and complete vehicles emerged. The eight wheeler has stubbornly not followed the same path.

Our intention is to locate all key remaining parts and ultimately assemble, an Sd.Kfz.232. Although information and photos are few and far between we are well on course. The key ingredients are time and a favourable wind.

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