Kfz 17/1 restoration part 1: The chassis


It must have been around 2005 that I first encountered the Kfz.17 chassis in a friend's vehicle collection. Small details such as the extra fusebox for the internal lighting told it apart from a "normal" Kfz.15 chassis. Being an avid collector of radio equipment I could only dream of German radio vehicles and I implored my friend to restore it with a radio body. Since he was more interested in a open bodied Kfz.15 body the chassis remained unrestored for a couple more years. Around that same time I toyed with the idea of building a radio car mockup indoors to exhibit some of my radio equipment when another friend offered me an original radio table from a Kfz.17 radio vehicle. I started to research and collect more interior details of the vehicle when my friend (who had the Kfz.17 chassis) found a more complete Kfz.15 and rather jockingly suggested I might want to buy his Kfz.17 chassis and rebuild a radio car myself. That is when I decided to take the plunge and I found myself with a project!

A tentative start was made with stripping and cleaning the chassis and I found myself with an ever growing pile of rusty bits. The wooden body remained a problem, as the original wood had largely rotted away. I was able to find enough orignal body parts to understand how the body sized and constructed. Detailed photographs of an original surviving body in Norway also helped with the re-engineering of the body. Together with another interested restorer we found a woodworker in Germany who took on the task of rebuilding the ash and beech frame (as we had found in the original parts).

In the mean time a second more complete Kfz.17 came my way, the restoration of which was given priority of my time and resources, but about 7 years had past since I first set eye on the Kfz.17 chassis the restoration finally started to accellerate with the chassis and mechanicals coming back together. In the summer of 2013 I finally had the completed chassis in my garage so I could start the work on the Kfz17/1 body...

 

How it all started in 2005... How it all started in 2005...
Gutting and repairing the chassis Gutting and repairing the chassis
Old engine... Old engine...
... and new engine. ... and new engine.
Original table... Original table...
... and more bits ... and more bits
...rear lid... ...rear lid...
Chassis coming together in 2012... Chassis coming together in 2012...
2013 Chassis finished! 2013 Chassis finished!