Sixty years ago, the classic Volkswagen Type 2 T1 van left the company’s factory in Hanover in the hands of a buyer in Austria. It didn’t spend much time driving around the country like a “normal” van, until it came into the hands of an Austrian mechanic, Kurt Kretzner. He turned her into something completely different.
Kurt Kretzner built an all-terrain monster after four years of designing and building what would become known as the Half-track Fox.
Volkswagen Half-Track Fox, the Pão de Forma with a tough attitude
The team that worked on this Pão de Forma produced a fantastic modified Volkswagen van, sporty type with four axles. The two at the front, with 14-inch tires, drive the vehicle, while the pair at the rear have a chain-action mechanism that turns the 13-inch wheels into tracks.
The configuration allows the van to have a turning circle of about 10 meters.
The Austrian's idea was to adapt the iconic German vehicle into "an ideal helper for everyone: mountain hut guards, hunters, foresters, doctors, maintenance engineers for ski lifts, television and radio masts, conduits and the like".
This is what Kretzner wrote to describe his product. According to the mechanic, the idea of producing something along these lines came about because he "couldn't find the vehicle he dreamed of. So I decided to build it myself".
Kretzner equipped each tire with a brake and installed an automatic limited-slip differential to help manage the power, which isn't much, by the way. The modified Type 2 T1 received its power of a 1.2 liter engine, achieving just 33 horsepower (25 kilowatts). he had a maximum speed of only 90 km per hour (35 kilowatts per hour).
Although only one Half-Track Fox is still "alive", Kretzner is believed to have built a second. However, only this van was found. After Kretzner built it, it disappeared for several years before ending up in the Porsche Museum in Gmünd, Austria. It then ended up in the hands of Bullikartei eV, a society of bulli first generation.
The group began rehabilitating the van in 2005, but the effort failed.
The Half-Track Fox fell into the possession of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at the end of 2018. The team began a complete restoration process at Pão de Forma, the exterior bodywork was repaired and painted in matt orange.
THE VWCV gave its designers creative freedom over the interior. Nothing beats going back to the origins and beech and pine wood was used throughout the cabin. The Half-Track Fox made an official tour in February of this year, traversing the snow with ease.