Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: What was the most unique construction feature of the 1949 Lloyd LP300, nicknamed the Leukoplastbomber (Band-aid Bomber)?
If you think you know the answer make the jump and see if you are right.
Like most industrialized nations, Germany’s past is littered with failed car brands, names that at one time held promise, but now are consigned to history. One of those is Borgward, named for its founder Carl C.F. Borgward, who would amass over time a plethora of other brand names making his company something like the German version of General Motors.
Founded in 1920 as Bremen Kühlerfabrik Borgward & Co in Bemen Germany, the company’s products were mainly 3-wheel commercial vehicles, notabley the Blitzkarren. Around this same time Hansa-Lloyd-Werke A.G., another local car maker, found their financial situation to be in dire straights. Borgward took advantage of the situation, merging Hansa-Lloyd-Werke A.G. with his existing Goliath-Werke Borgward & Co.
The Borgward name would go on to betoken a car line competitive with Mercedes’ products until the company’s own financial difficulties caught up with it in the early sixties. The sub-brand Lloyd would be positioned even cheaper than the Volkswagen Type 1 which was gaining stature as a sales success once production restarted following WWII. The LP300, introduced in 1949 shared a lot of features with the pre-war Lloyds and Borgwards, one of which was its cost-effective but seemingly old-fashioned, even for 1949, construction technique.
In 1949, the first Lloyd LP 300 had been designed and produced. In Germany this car was nicknamed the Leukoplastbomber (Band-aid Bomber). The small car with a plywood body on a wooden chassis had a two-stroke engine and was in the market segment under the Volkswagen Beetle, and kept this position for more than a decade.
Not only did the LP 300 have a wooden chassis and body frame, but that was covered with a fabric rather than metal or plastic. This led to the car’s infamous nickname Leukoplastbomber as tears in the body were readily repaired with a common type of medical tape. The marque as a whole also gained the even more derisive tag: “he who is not afraid of death drives a Lloyd.” The fabric body was replaced by steel in later models, and Lloyd built a number of other interesting vehicles over the course of the Fifties, including a cool frog-like 600-cc 6-passenger van, and a car called the Arabella that looked all the world like a half-scale ’56 Ford Crown Vic.
The marque would sadly follow the same path as its parent Borgward, as they all went into bankruptcy in the first-half of the sixties. That Arabella contributed to the financial downfall, its development, which included a small water-cooled flat four engine and FWD, costing the company dearly just as its U.S. sales – which had been the company’s sugar daddy – dried up.