Mobility of all types has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. Consider the Volkswagen Powered ATV from about fifty years ago.
To be clear, it came along after a string of all-terrain creations. But when it did, it was a man amongst boys in the rest of its field.
⇒ California’s Volkswagen Headquarters – Ontario VW
The Beginning of ATVs
So, the very first documented all-terrain vehicle was created in 1959 by a Canadian. And that was powered by a couple of chainsaw engines with six wheels.
For better traction, the tires were filled with low pressure. But those tires were big enough to provide buoyancy in water.
Fast-forward a number of years, crazy contraptions and even a US-based ATV racetrack known as the Pine Lake Raceway.
In August of 1970 more than 60 different all-terrain vehicles were being made and developed. And that includes one with ‘The Peoples’ power.
Busse All-Terrain Wagon: Volkswagen Powered ATV
Specifically called the Busse All-Terrain Wagon. This particular car-boat-off-roader was considered rather herculean. And, for a couple of reasons.
First, because most of the other ATVs being made were powered by tiny two-stroke engines. Comparatively, the Busse’s powerplant was a 1.6-liter flat-four engine used in the current VW Beetle. It was air-cooled, of course. But it put out a whopping 55 horsepower!
And the performance states for the Busse Volkswagen Powered ATV delivered bragging rights for the category. Because it had a payload rating of 1,500 lbs. Plus it topped out at 28 mph on land and a blistering 10 mph in the water! What’s more, is that the VW-powered ATV could climb 45-degree angles and it could even be equipped with snow tracks.
Considering the small town of Randolph, Wisconsin was the ATV’s home and assembly locale – the snow tracks were probably quite handy.
But the second primary reason the Busse was considered herculean was the price. Because it was listed at $4,875 new. And by comparison, that’s about $1,000 more than the average new car in the 1970s.
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