You know what’s a fascinating car I don’t think we think about enough? The DKW Munga. You can trace the Audi Quattro cars back to the wellspring of the Munga, for one thing, but this clever little two-stroke three-banger military/hunting/off-road/getting dirty vehicle generally isn’t discussed much, at least not in America. The name is pretty great, too, and sort of sounds like exactly what it is. Munga. It sounds like it was named by a hungry caveman, which feels right. The name actually is an acronym from the German phrase “Mehrzweck Universal Geländewagen mit Allradantrieb”, which I’m told means “multi-purpose universal off-road car with all-wheel drive.” Catchy!
Oh, but what I was especially taken by this morning at 3 am was that you could get these in four, six, or eight passenger versions, all with the same wheelbase, though the octo-Munga did have extended bodywork to the rear. It’s not a big car, either! What other cars came in passenger size variations like that, especially with the same wheelbase?
You can see the eight at the top there, with two rows of three facing each other in the rear, and then two seats up front. Here’s the other two, with the shorter bodywork:
It looks like the fuel filler – maybe the whole tank? Gets re-located when the rear face-to-face seats show up, along with the spare re-located to the side as well, to allow for a drop-down tailgate. I like how you can still see the curve of the original body line in the side section just aft of the fuel filler there.
Look at all the top variations these things had, too:
The canvas tops for these could configure these into enclosed cars or airy open vehicles or little pickup trucks or, in the case of the 8 at least, something like an old-school rich people’s town car, with the passengers in back covered but the driver exposed to the elements.
Oh and check out this little detail I just noticed:
Like many utility/military vehicles, the lighting here are all tacked-on units, with nothing integrated into the bodywork. But look at those little – I bet Hella – turn indicator lamps. Look how they’re angled 45°! I love that! It’s such a clever and useful little touch, and something I’ve almost never seen on a vehicle like this. It makes them so much more visible from oblique angles and costs nothing! It’s so clever!
Anyway, hope your day is mungastic.