Exposed Engine: 1949 Volkswagen
Horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine, overhead valves, 69 cubic inches displacement, 30 horsepower
By American standards, almost everything about the Volkswagen was unconventional. That included the rear-mounted engine. Instead of a V-8 or an Inline-6, VW used a flat-4 “boxer” engine with horizontally opposed pistons and rods that looked a bit like prizefighters going at each other. The air-cooled motor was simple, efficient and highly adaptable, eventually powering everything from dune buggies to light airplanes.
Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.
Europe, 1940s, 20th century, Henry Ford Museum, Engines Exposed, engines, Driving America, cars, by Matt Anderson