|Hanns Trippel - all his Amphibians|
After long illness Hanns Trippel, well known as “the father of the Schwimmwagens” died only a few days ahead of his birthday at the age of nearly 93.
Obviously he was the worlds expert in amphibious cars, an automobile
pioneer who spent all his lifetime and energy to make the amphibious dream
come true for all of us. Without him the Amphicar certainly would have
never been built.
We all mourn and will miss him, but while restoring and driving our Amphicars, we will always remember him and keep his ideas and dreams alive.
Thank you Hanns Trippel
Starting at the age of 26, Trippel raced cars. Later, he
added a propeller to his racing car and entered the world of amphibious
cars. His little two-seater really swam, not too good, but it was an attractive
show. The racing car was based on a DKW-F2 chassis with front wheel drive.
The first water demonstration was in September 1934!
His second car, built in 1935 was not amphibious! It was based on a 2 litre Adler Kompressor and designed only for racing.
Trippel was not that good racer and gave that up to built another Adler chassis with a better amphibious vehicle. It was called "Land-Wasser-Zepp, Versuchswagen 3", because it was his 3rd car, but remember his 2nd amphibian.
This was the car shown to A. Hitler in Dec.1935. After that meeting, Trippel was sponsored by the German Wehrmacht. Their money increased the progress of developing, several prototypes until the Trippel SG6 was launched (schwimmfähiger Geländewagen, 6th car). It was first produced in Homburg/Saar. Later, Trippel moved to Molsheim in 1940 to take over production line from Ettore Bugatti, for faster production of the redesigned SG6/41. Hitler's Army used more and more torpedos,which were produced later at the Trippel factory instead of amphibious vehicles. Primary reason was the Army prefered the smaller VW-Schwimmwagen from Porsche over the Trippel Schwimwagens. Only about 800 cars were actually built until 1944.
To no avail, Trippel designed several special versions of his Amphibian
- for private or military use. Despite driving to Capri through the
Mediterrian sea, the number of Trippel Schwimwagens produced compared to
the 15.000 VW-Schwimmwagen was very small.
After war, the French kept Trippel into prison for three years.
After his release in 1949, a new Trippel car saw daylight. It was a
small two seater, which could go into water, but had no extra water propulsion.
The Allied forces did not support Trippel's amphibious ambitions.
Later, Trippel was forced to give up the effort. He took the car and developed it to an ordinary tiny coupé with gullwing doors (no more amphibious), called SK 10. This car concept was in production at several places under license but only few hundred cars were actually built. Disappointed, Trippel went 1957 back to design another amphibious car. This new car was called the Alligator and was the start of the Amphicar story.
Actually, the later produced Amphicar had little in common with Trippel's prototype. Somehow, Trippel was out of the project before production started.
In the late 60's, Trippel worked as an adviser and amphibian tester
at several Europa-Jeep projects. Seeing the problems others were having,
Trippel thought of building something himself that was better. With this
came the Trippel T-74 in 1974.
On his search for a company to build his vehicles, Trippel really found several that were interested and left them all bankrupt. Sometimes the companies ran out of money, or they took his wallet and were never seen again. This odysse seemed to find an end in 1982 when Trippel was asked to design the Amphi-Ranger at RMA. Again, the partnership ended very early even before the first Ranger was produced.
It is most impressive that Trippel did never give up!!! At the age of
81(!), Trippel designed his new Aqua-Terra with Opel components. His very
last prototype was designed in 1990.
Check out the new video about Trippel and his cars!
Complete list of Trippel cars:
|1934||Land-Wasser-Zepp||racing car, front wheel drive, DKW-F2 chassis|
|1935||no picture||Rennwagen No.2||racing car, front wheel drive, streamlined body, two seater, Adler 2 litre Kompressor base|
|1935||Land-Wasser-Zepp Versuchswagen 3||front wheel drive, Adler|
|1936||Versuchswagen 4||4WD, Adler|
|1936||Versuchswagen 5||mid engine, based on Stoewer chassis, 4WD and four wheel-steering|
|1937-1939||SG 6||4WD, production car, Adler, two doors|
|1938||SK8||2WD, Adler, three seater|
|1938-1943||SG 6 Pionier||big version of SG 6 to carry up to 16 pioneers, Opel|
|1941-1944||SG 6/41||new designed SG 6, Opel; minor versions: civil two door version was named "Kolonialpionier", Coupe called SG-P|
|1943||SG 7||4WD, Tatra|
|1949||SK9||two seater, floatable but no extra water propulsion|
two seater, coupé, gullwing door only on right side. Later cars have ordinary two doors.
two seater, coupé or cabrio, produced by different manufacturer but without commercial success
two seater, coupé, about 200 produced cars alltogether by different manufactorer
click smiley to get to a nice Weidner Condor website
|1957||Alligator||2WD back, Austin|
|1958-1959||Eurocar||2WD back, Austin|
|1960||IWK, Amphicar prototype||2WD back, Austin, license by Trippel|
|1974||T74-Universal||2WD back, Opel|
= Mayer prototyp No 1
|2WD back, Opel|
|1977||Jeep||2WD, Ford, no extra water propulsion|
|1979||Amphiranger Universal||4WD, Ford, no extra water propulsion|
|1980||Amphiranger Military||4WD, Ford|
|1982||RMA, Amphi-Ranger prototype||4WD, Ford|
|1989||Aqua-Terra||2WD front, Opel
|1990||Aqua-Terra II||4WD, Peugeot|
Check out the new video about Trippel and his cars!