Home » Not Many Cars Came In 4, 6, and 8 Passenger Options: Cold Start

Not Many Cars Came In 4, 6, and 8 Passenger Options: Cold Start

Cs Munga8
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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?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

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:

Cs Munga4 6

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.

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Look at all the top variations these things had, too:

Cs Munga Variants

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:

Cs Munga Front

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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.

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Scott
Scott
10 months ago

The simple Audi rings welded onto the very rudimentary grill are, by themselves, so appealing that I’d have to have a Munga just for parts-hauling duties were I trying to own an early TT or A4. 😉

Sundance
Sundance
10 months ago

They even tried to sell the car in the USA. It’s name was “Bronco”. At least Wikipedia tells this.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
10 months ago

I think about the Munga at least a couple times a year. Is that not enough?

Is Travis
Is Travis
10 months ago

“Hop in the Munga” sounds weird no matter how you splice it.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
10 months ago

And by the way: Aren’t one of the 8 the driver, so it’s really a 7 passenger car?

Looking forward to a long article discussing that subject 🙂

Gubbin
Gubbin
10 months ago

Per Wikipedia:

The Royal Netherlands Army had intended the Munga as a replacement for the 1956 M38A1 NEKAF Jeep, but the type caused so many problems that it was removed from front line service prematurely in 1970.

Just wondering how a fairly simple jeep could “cause so many problems” – did they forget to add 2T oil, or did they enable too many hijinks by bored Dutch soldiers?

Looks like a Brazilian one sold on BaT for $8,300 earlier this year, anyway.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

They aren’t powered by windmills, they don’t look like tulips, you can’t smoke them, they don’t look good in display windows with red lights, and there’re no leaking holes for sticking your fingers into. Probably just confused the Dutch.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
10 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

I have driven an M38A1. The driver’s seat cannot be adjusted and is really tight for anybody above 5’10”. The average Dutchman is about 7 feet tall so this may have been an issue.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
10 months ago

The 70 series is available still in many seating configurations and body styles. from 2 to 11 seats. Although I think they no longer sell all 11 seats in the troop carrier anymore.

Drad
Drad
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

I’m fairly certain for some African markets you can get it with 11, but yes, in Australia and New Zealand its either 2, 5 or BYO back seat in the troopie. Apparently facing inward with lap belts is not considered ‘safe’ anymore. Its outrageous I tells you!

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
10 months ago

When I was in the German Army; no really, VII (US) Corps Liasion to the II (GE) Korps, I drove these little devils on a regular basis. One thing not mentioned often, is that it had a “free wheeling” capability. Why I’m not sure. They always felt a bit tippy but were actually pretty well planted. And they could go virtually anywhere. If you got stuck four sturdy soldiers could lift it out and carry it away!

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
10 months ago
Reply to  Opa Carriker

They probably had free wheeling for the same reason as 2-stroke SAABs (and possibly other 2-stroke cars) – if you use engine braking, there’s little to no fuel flow, and the oil is in the fuel, so the engine has no lubrication.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
10 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

You’re right!

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
10 months ago

VW T3 Transporter/Vanagon came in 2/3/5/6/7/8/9 and 12 seater configurations all from the factory between 1979 and 1991 in Europe

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

They called these the Candango in Brazil. Munga versus Candango: a pocket lesson in why no one listens to German poetry.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
10 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Still better than Vogon poetry.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

Haha. True. Thanks for all the fish.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
10 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

Nerd alert

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
10 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

Loud and proud, buddy! 🙂

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
10 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

I’m going to wrap myself in my towel on that one.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
10 months ago

A couple people have mentioned vans so far – there were some years of the 1st gen Chrysler minivans you could get seating for 2 (cargo vans), 5, 6, 7, or 8 passengers, all on the same wheelbase. The 6 & 8 passenger options were achieved with a 3-person front bench which AFAIK was pretty unique among minivans. I don’t think you could get a cargo van with just the front bench though which would add yet another option.

Bracq P
Bracq P
10 months ago

I remember them having quite the body roll (free rides during festivals at the military base!).
As VW Iltis it went on to win the 2nd Paris-Dakar!

Acrimonious Mofo
Acrimonious Mofo
10 months ago

And now, suddenly, I have vague memories of Captain Caveman bouncing around my head. Unga Munga!

MrLM002
MrLM002
10 months ago

I’ll say it again: The ‘Troop Carrier’ seating layout is the best seating layout.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
10 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Unless something hits the front or back of your vehicle….

MrLM002
MrLM002
10 months ago
Reply to  Ecsta C3PO

Same argument could be made of getting T-Boned with normal seating.

Jim Zavist
Jim Zavist
10 months ago

Passenger vans (and Suburbans) used to be able to be ordered with various seat configurations, starting with just the driver on up through 15 passengers, with 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 12, in between, depending on the manufacturer or aftermarket upfitter.

Jbavi
Jbavi
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Zavist

How did the “just the driver” option work? Was it just open space in that passenger spot for cargo (or empty fast food bags and cups)?

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
10 months ago
Reply to  Jbavi

Exactly. Here’s a page from the 1967 Chevrolet “Suburbans and Panels” brochure showing a C-series Panel Delivery with just a driver’s seat.

http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/GM%20Trucks%20and%20Vans/1967_Trucks_and_Vans/1967_Chevrolet_Suburbans_and_Panels_Brochure/1967%20Chevrolet%20Suburbans%20and%20Panels-04.html

It was really useful for carrying 10′ sticks of lumber, pipe, conduit, etc.

Last edited 10 months ago by Eggsalad
Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
10 months ago
Reply to  Jbavi

So to add an example of this. Parts delivery vehicle for dealership. The Ford Transit Connect comes out a while ago, and remember just how small the 1st generation North American Transit Connect was. Someone figured out that if you take the front passenger seat out of them, and 8ft bed side panel fits perfectly inside. They became the sweetheart of parts delivery.

Jbavi
Jbavi
10 months ago

Did they Simpson rolling luggage and strap it to the front right fender?

Martin Ibert
Martin Ibert
10 months ago

You are right, that is exactly what “Mehrzweck-Universal-Geländewagen mit Allradantrieb” means. And these things were pretty tiny, at the very least to today’s standards.

Forbestheweirdo
Forbestheweirdo
10 months ago

I was expecting this to be saying there are not many cars with 4 seats, or with 6, or with 8, not that one car had all three as an option haha. That would be a fun Jeep/LR alternative to have.

Harris K Telemacher
Harris K Telemacher
10 months ago

That top picture really looks…comfortable. It’s like Delta Airlines in there. No one over 5’6″ allowed. Go hunt your ducks, you gloriously short, white males. Waitaminute…where is their gear?!

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
10 months ago

All those dudes look cold.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
10 months ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

I was going to say that too! Their body language just screams “unhappy carpool to their underpaying job on a cold Tuesday morning.”

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
10 months ago

I want one like the guy in the last photo: complete with cowboy hat and a popped collar adventure jacket. I’d have a big smile on my face too, just like him.

Last edited 10 months ago by PaysOutAllNight
Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
10 months ago

It’s rival, the Land Rover came in many configurations like that too.
Or how about the VW T1 bus?

James Davidson
James Davidson
10 months ago

That’s true about Series Land Rovers. Short wheelbase 88″ could have three across in the front, if someone did not mind the shift lever in a very uncomfortable spot, and four more in side seats in the back. Only long wheelbase 109″ could hold more passengers with two rows of three and then another four on the side seats in the back. Very versatile, but with different wheelbases. We’ve had a few, 88″, 109″ ex-MOD pickup and 109″ RHD Dormobile camper. The camper was the most fun, by far!

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
10 months ago

Apples vs Oranges

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