1951 Tempo Matador Truck
One of the most interesting things about the history of the Tempo is that it was well on it's way to being
a very successful delivery vehicle throughout Europe, but controversy got in the way.
Since VW supplied the powerplants and they also had their own small truck in the works,
eventually the leaders at VW realized that they were helping the competition.
So in 1951 they pulled the plug on Tempo and refused to supply them with the engines
so that they would have a clearer path to market the new VW Transporter.
Tempo was forced to re-design their truck and then chose to go with a British Austin water cooled 4 cylinder
for thier later models.
The owner of this truck has done exhaustive research on the vehicle and has unearthed an amazing array
of original documents and literature, like the original sales brochure seen above the illustrates
the mechanical layout of the truck. Pretty wild stuff indeed.
Truly a face only a mother could love...making even the VW Transporter look fashionable!
Kind of a bulldog face to it, or perhaps train inspired...regardless of the design influence, the Tempo
was purpose-built. Built to haul stuff...a work truck through and through.
This bit of paperwork is the German title for the truck showing a photo of it in the mid 1960's.
The truck was located in Europe by Belgium based BBT and became a part of their collection in un-restored form
as seen above. The current owner negotiated to buy the truck from BBT and then imported it to California where the extensive restoration
was to take place.
And extensive was the key word here. Despite being a pretty complete truck upon arrival, everything needed attention
and the owner, being a very passionate restorer, simply left no nut or bolt unturned.
Stripped down to the base frame, every single part of this truck was carefully restored.
Every part finished to the highest quality.
The bed was re-crafted by a very skilled master wood-worker.
The body restored with an amazing attention to detail...attending to even the spots you cant see.
Phenomenal workmanship went into the restoration as you will see in the photos below.
I must say in all honesty, that this is true Concours level work inside and out at levels
not seen by the VW crowd to date...this is Pebble Beach quality stuff here.
The end result is simply something that photos can not accurately represent, but I will do my best just the same.
It really is a great looking truck...kinda cute, very funky and just plain beautiful.
From many angles it takes on quite the wild character.
During the restoration, the owner stumbled on to a theme to take with the truck
after discovering an amazing stash of vintage German beer bottles in their original wood cases...
So the company logo was researched and reproduced in amazing hand painted lettering on the doors.
No stickers here...this sort of work is a dying art these days...
The bed of the truck filled from end to end with beer bottles!
Carefully positioned on wod rub strips and tied down to keep them from shifting and
potentially damaging the flawless paint finish.
Company logos on the wood cases.
Each bottle with the company name as well...fun stuff.
Detail of the tie downs and wood strips.
Look at the finish to the fender well in the bed...simply gorgeous.
One of the coolest design features to me is the stamping in the rear of the cab...very VW-like.
Since we are lloking at the window...all Sekurit stuff, just like VW.
Dealer badge on the bed. Check out the hardware on the latch here...everything lined up perfectly.
Really amazing level of detail...needless to say, the restorer was obsessed with the project.
Awesome triangle reflector.
Running lights on.
Underside of the truck is every bit as clean as the top
Phenomenal detail level. This has got to be the very nicest Tempo in the world
amd Im sure it is far nicer than they ever rolled off the assembly line.
Underside of the engine and drivetrain.
Tempo logo mudflaps!
the controls from below.
All showroom fresh.
Here's a photo of the engine in the frame during restoration with the cab off...
Very utilitarian mirrors and top mounted wipers.
Another view of the nose.
Fuel tank is located under the door on the nose.
All German parts just like VW.
Very unique door handles.
Air intakes on the sides of the cab.
Great color combo too.
Semaphore turn signals.
These are box mounted semaphores like on the war era VWs.
Gotta love it.
The dashboard is great, a fair bit of style for being such a utilitarian vehicle.
Much classier than the brandoor era VWs.
A bit of a closer shot.
Three spoke steering wheel.
Great dash pod with VDO speedometer and minimal lights and switches.
Slick accessory cigarette holder and ashtray.
Simple bench seat up front.
Behind the seat is the access to the engine.
Seat and panels removed you can get to it all.
Front suspension center on the frame with the transmission below.
Split window era air cleaner sits atop the fully detailed and restored 25 horse engine.
Another shot of the engine.
Nice shape to the inner door.
Looking upwards at the headliner and front windows.
Map pocket on the back cab wall is filled with period goodies.
Shifter and handbrake detail.
Shift pattern plate on the center hump.
Suicide doors are very cool.
The restoration took 16 months and was completed just in time for it's debut at the 2007 VW Classic in Irvine
where it truly had a crowd around it all day long.
Its a beauty inside and out, phenomenally well done and rarer than most anything on four wheels.
An absolute museum quality job, none finer anywhere I can assure you.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to aquire a very rare bit of VW history, a vehicle that in some way
may have been an inspiration for the VW transporter we know and love today.
Production wise it is also one of the very last Tempos to be built with the air cooled VW drivetrain.
A restoration to mind-blowing detail makes it an even more attractive addition to your collection.
The best of the best for the discriminating collector.
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