The first thing you learn about the German Museum of Technology is that there's a US Air Force Douglas C-47B "Raisin Bomber" on top of it. The second is that while not all the cars inside are German, they are all very rare.
This is an OSI Ford TS Coupé from 1967, packing a 2.0 V-6 with a whopping 108 horsepower.
Based on the Ford M20 (Taunus) and built by Officine Stampaggi Industriali, the TS was designed by the same Sergio Sartorelli who came up with the second generation VW Type 34 Karmann Ghia.
OSI built around 2200 before it went bankrupt in 1968.
According to the OSI club, only 220 have survived.
In 1962, Berliner Lutz “Luigi” Colani came up with a fiberglass roadster based on the VW Beetle. He sold 261 self-assembly kits at a cost of 1000 German Marks each.
Many buyers went for tuned VW engines, including the 2.0-liter with a hundred horses. As demonstrated here, these Colani GTs are light enough to be mounted on a wall.
That's quite a badge. But what's a Grade? Well, the Grade Type 2 parked next to the Saab on the next slide is a pre-war two-seater with a front-mounted air-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke engine displacing 808cc and making 14 horsepower.
Talking of two-strokes, the Saab 92 has to be the most desirable of them all.
This battered 92A is just as aerodynamic today as when it left Trollhättan in 1951. It's green because Saab had a sur of this paint, which had been used on its aircraft during the war.
The golden ratio is 1:25. But gas some oil will also do, in case it's freezing out there and you can't be bothered to measure.
Talking of mixing gasoline, Michèle Mouton's 1983 Audi Quattro A1 was often running rich. And talk about a wider front track!
The Merak SS, the last model launched before Alejandro de Tomaso took over Maserati from Citroën. A classic of Italdesign by Giorgetto Giugiaro.
The Mercedes-Benz Typ Nürburg 460 from 1929.
What makes this Benz special is that it was a project of Ferdinand Porsche, who had to build a straight-eight speed machine good enough to beat Paul Daimler's Horch 8. The result was 79 horsepower from 4.6 liters.
Say hi to the Gudbrod Atlas 800, the cutest van on the market in 1950.
Quite the logo, and quite the brand! Gutbrod experimented with fuel injection years before Mercedes-Benz would put it into production.
The Atlas was available as a flatbed truck, a van, and of course, as a bus.
Gutbrod was forced to stop making cars and trucks in 1954.
Being an all-steel chassis, the Atlas 800 could take loads of up to 1650 lbs.
Despite packing only a 576cc two-stroke and 16 horsepower, the Atlas 1000 was even beefier.
This particular Atlas 800 was found abandoned on the Autobahn outside Tegel airport in 1985. When the police put it up for auction, Das Deutsche Technikmuseum was there to make a deal.
The micro van brings us to this wonderful Zündapp Janus from 1957.
Zündapp was well known for its motorcycles, but the Janus was the most controversial car of its time.
That's because this bubble car was a whole new kind of a two-door.
Think Isetta, but dialed up a notch. Of course if you have kids, you're already familiar with the looks. In Pixar's Cars 2, Professor Zündapp is based on this German treasure.
Six-thousand nine-hundred two were built before 1958, when Zündapp sold its car factory to Bosch.
The museum picked this one up from Zündapp's bankruptcy assets in 1984, with only 520 original miles.
Okay, hear me out on this! We know retrofitting classic cars with modern electric drivetrains will be a huge business. Used Tesla motors in Beetles? It's already happening.
But how about using vintage electric motors as well? The technology has been around forever, as this 1939 Bergmann unit demonstrates. Get your EV steampunk on!
When was the last time you saw a 2009 BMW 530D cut in half? Exactly. Museums are fun, get out there!