Meet the Half-track Fox, a Volkswagen Bus that’s been converted into an 8-wheeler tank on tracks.
Most men-in-shed projects fall apart pretty quickly but the Half-track Fox looks like it was built yesterday.
And there’s a very good reason for that.
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Half-track Fox: the original build
The Half-track Fox is based on a Volkswagen T1 Bully Bus from the 1960s.
A German inventor named Kurt Kretzner came up with the idea for this tank because he wanted to build the “ideal helper for mountain hut keepers, doctors, maintenance personnel, and the like”.
The first thing he did was paint it orange to make it more visible on snow.
The tricky bit: building the tracks
After that, he started working on the unique tire layout.
The Fox has eight wheels, four on each side, with an unorthodox design.
You’ve got two at the front, two in the middle and four at the rear, wrapped in aluminium and rubber tracks designed by Kretzner himself.
The VW ‘Tank’ can go anywhere but it’ll take its sweet time to get there.
Firstly, the power is sent to the rear tires only, which means this isn’t an all-wheel drive vehicle.
Secondly, and more importantly, nothing was done to the engine.
The VW Tank is still powered by the original 1.2-liter flat-4, delivering an underwhelming 33 horsepower.
The top speed? It’s 22 mph (35 km/h).
Half-track Fox restoration by Volkswagen
Back to the original question: how come a one-off project based on a 60-year-old bus looks so good?
It’s because Volkswagen liked the build so much they decided to acquire it and restore it to its former glory.
The German giant acquired the Half-track Fox and told its Classic Vehicles department to overhaul the Fox and make it look as if it had just come out of the factory.
The result is outstanding.
In fact, the VW Bus looks so good Volkswagen decided to showcase it at this year’s Amelia Concours d`Elegance. And also Volkswagen wants to build an ‘XTREME’ off-road EV with 3D printed parts.