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German Opel Blitzbus Ludewig “Aero” bus. 2nd G.M. Roden-823


Roden 1/35

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In the early 1930s, Germany gradually recovered from the prolonged economic depression caused by the aftermath of World War I and the turbulent political events of the 1920s. The rise of Adolf Hitler, who set out to renew the political and economic role that the country had played before World War I, and especially that of some key sectors of industry, such as the automobile industry.

In the mid-1930s, renowned designer Ferdinand Porsche proposed the concept of a “people’s car” to Hitler. He developed a small car that later became one of the classics of the automotive industry, the Volkswagen Beetle. The elegant lines of this car inspired a real boom among German car designers. Among these new designers seeking new aerodynamic lines for their vehicles were the Ludewig Brothers, who in the German city of Essen had been installing bodies of their own design on truck chassis of the major German automakers for some years. In the 1930s, the Ludewig firm collaborated with the Opel group of companies. After the appearance of the Opel Blitz three-ton truck, the Ludewigs’ workshop developed some new concept bodies for this vehicle.

One of these new bodywork was a bus with an aerodynamic and rounded shape. The style of the radiator grill was unusual: the designers of the Ludewig studio departed from the traditional shape of the radiator grill. OpelThey created a new rounded shape for the front part of the body, as usually seen on trucks and other buses. The engine hood blended quite elegantly with the rounded wings over the front wheels. At the rear of the bodywork, there was an aerodynamic ridge reminiscent of the fin of a giant fish.

This bus was manufactured by the Ludewig studio in single units, because mass production was quite expensive, even in those days. However, after the outbreak of World War II, at least one of these vehicles was mobilized in the ranks of the Wehrmacht, repainted in military color ‘panzergrau’, and took part in the fighting in the early years of the conflict as an officer’s transport.

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