Is it a half-track, or is it a motorcycle? It’s a bit hard to say, but you can buy a Kettenkrad for yourself this weekend, and make up your mind. Bonhams will auction this one off on Sunday, if you’ve got the money.
Built for the German military in World War II, the Kettenkrad was designed to be ferried around in cargo planes, towing artillery pieces once it landed, or hauling soldiers around through the wilderness.
About 8,000 were made for the war, and a few hundred more were made afterwards, according to Tanks Encyclopedia; head over there for more details on the machine and its capabilities (powered by an Opel car engine, capable of roughly 80 km/h).
The Kettenkrad is a very interesting vehicle from a time when the world’s militaries were still exploring how to wage practical mechanical warfare (although it looks like something GI Joe would have driven in the 1980s). The Ural sidecar rig has its roots in the same age. However, Urals are considerably more affordable than a Kettenkrad.
The restored machine Bonhams is selling is expected to bring $98,000-$130,000 CAD (and that’s a lower-priced specimen, seeing as it was made after World War II). That’s a lot of coin, but think of all the winter riding you’d get in.