I looked through my books and found detailed info on this very car.
The actual car is the very first 1938 Typ 62. It was designed by Franz Xaver Reimpiess while its body was designed by Reutter. Chassis was a VW 38 one. It was criticized by the military authorities for its two-wheel drive, limited ground clearance and inability to tow a gun. Military personnel thought it to pretty, the reason why the final Kuebelwagen got more aggressive looks. The car was pensioned off but Herbert Kaes (The man sitting in the Kuebelwagen on the photo), was allowed to use it. Kaes was with Porsche since 1936. He assisted Porsche in his garage and drove and tested all prototypes. He repainted the prototype Kuebelwagen in a two-tone livery with dark blue wings. It was donated to Hitler and therefore was registered at Berchtesgaden with a Upper Bavarian IIB registration. The fate of the car is unknown.
Thanks for the great info, though-
- you spoiled my spoof that it was Adolph himself nightcruzing in empty wartime Bavarian Alp roads - i guess Adolph dismissed that Kubel and stick to his Merc as you can't hang out elbow while cruising in that because there were no doors
- in addition to poor low down torque of that boxer versus big Merc engine he was used to.
And the standard cabriolet Beetle with doors was not any better...
Look at the picture murx posted. Adolph trying desparately find an comfy place for his elbow in that tincan, obviously not enjoying the ride.
I guess everyone knows from where Nazi salute originated ?
It was when Adolph cruised in Beetle prototype, sedan this time, around Berlin in freezing cold weather - raising his right hand over to ventilation slots feeling the air coming out from them, as he was freezing, and the cabin heater was at max setting. Like anyone who have owned VW Beetle knows, it is not the warmest car in the winter...
...the Berliners saw their leader driving an rare prototype of the long awaited "peoples car" and returned the salute he was giving to them... rest is history.