On the Tail-Lights of the KdF Typ82 Kübelwagen
All owners of KdF Kübelwagen and other war-time German military vehicles know the Nova Technik "Notek" black-out headlight, and the convoy tail light, officially known as "Tarnscheinwerfer or "Black-out Headlight", and "Abstand Rückgerät" or "Distance Rear Light", nomenclature Nova 1-1.01 and Nova 1-2A, which are proudly fiitted on the front and back of our restored cars and lorries.
Lesser known is the other type of tail light, which was mounted only on the late model pre-series Typ62, and on the very early Typ82, which was also made by Nova Technik, the "Zusatz Rückgerät" or "Additional Rear Light", nomenclature Nova 1-3A.
Both 1-2A and 1-3A were fiitted on the 1940 Typ62 latest pre-series models, right and left on the engine compartment lid, and on the RH and LH corners of the body on the very early production Typ82.
shown in the spare parts catalogue
a pre-series Typ62 prototype
the early Typ82 production models
The 1-3A was eliminated from the Typ82 early in the war, I believe in late 1940 or early 1941, and was only used in the German military as a motorcycle tail-light from then on as far as I know.
While both 1-2A, 1-3A, and their supports are shown in the 1941 Ersatzteilliste, 1-3A and its support no longer appear in the 1943 edition where there is no mention either of a "civilian" type tail light for the RH side.
1-3A was, like the 1-2A, a black-out light, in this case turning the
central knob one quarter turn moved an internal screen that occulted
both brake and tail light lenses, as well as the license-plate
illumination window underneath, leaving only a smal triangular dot of
red light for the brake-light.
Many restored Kübelwagen today sport on the RH rear corner, or even on both corners (sometimes in addition to a 1-2A on the engine lid !) the kind of round tail-light which was common on on civilian cars, lorries and vans both before and after the war in Europe and the US.
They were probably incited to do this by the illustrations in the "TM E9-803-German Volkswagen" manual produced by the US Army for the use of captured enemy vehicles, which shows a car fitted with similar-looking tail-lights, but which turn out to be US military convoy / black-out lights.
One wonders why since the car, obviously a very early model as shown by the short rear wings which implies a Chassis N° < 5001, should carry at least a 1-2A if not also a 1-3A; and even more considering that both Notek 1-2A and 1-3A are described in detail on pages 96-97 of said TM E9-803.
views of a Notek 1-3A, published here with the kind permission of
the Notek 1-1.01 black-out headlight, the 1-2A tail-light was produced after the
war in the German Democratic Republic, and used on military vehicles by
several East-European countries.
post-war models differ from the war-time ones in that they lack the
round "Notek" stamping on the rear face of the light, between the red and stop lights lenses, and that the mobile flap
is held in position by central spring clips that catch a square hole in
the middle of the shutter, instead of four lateral clips that catch the
sides of the shutter.
Just like the 1-1.01 black-out headlight, the early model 1-2A tail-lights had a
cast-alloy body at the beginning of the war, replaced later in the war, and in the postwar model, by a steel sheet pressing.
Four clips on the sides
Clips in the middle
I would be grateful to hear from anyone who knows the date, and chassis number, when KdF stopped installing the 1-3A, as well as any more information on the above.
R.Olgiati Last update