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1951 Hoffmann

In the period immediately after the Second World War, many talented people wanted to "have a go" at producing their own vehicle.

One such was a certain M. Hoffmann from Munich who, from 1949 to 1951 came up with this extraordinary vehicle.

Its enormous width derives from its most interesting mechanical feature: its rear-wheel steering. A large triangular frame structure supporting the entire motor (ex Goliath Pionier) is pivoted at its forward end on a massive kingpin. A complex system of levers provides the steering, which moves the entire cradle from side to side in a wide arc.

The result is a lethal cocktail of automotive engineering "don't's"- extreme front track width combined with an ultra-short wheelbase giving major straight line instability, and rear-wheel steering which can easily bring loss of control at any except very slow speeds, to which any fork-truck driver can attest.

The central position of the steering kingpin in the car means there is little room for the driver and passenger up front, and the original bench seat has been substituted for two smaller separate ones, allowing slightly better access to the cramped cabin over the wide sills.

According to the restorer, a German panel-beater, the car's original asymmetric roof/windshield line was original and kept that way deliberately.

Perhaps this interesting and eccentric vehicle can be used to illustrate the reason why in this modern day one has a myriad of rules to contend with when building a vehicle.

Manufacturer: Hoffmann, Munich, Germany

Model: Hoffmann Motor: Ilo Body:Aluminum
Years Built: 1951 No. Cylinders: 1 Chassis:Steel
No. Produced: 1 Displacement: 200cc Suspension Fr. Leaf
No. Surviving: 1 Horsepower: 6.5 Suspension R. Coil
Length: 3302 mm Gearbox: 3 +rev Steering:Rear Whl
Width: 1828 mm Starter: Electric Brakes: Cable
Weight: 340 kg Electrics: 6v 3 Wheels: 3.00x16
Interior: Bench Ignition: Coil Top Speed: 45 kph

© 2002