6-wheeled armoured cars






The endeavours of the Reichswehr by developing armoured multi-wheeled vehicles for reconnaissance units led to satisfactory results, but all these developments were too expensive to be procured in the postulated numbers. Around 1928, serial production of the new 6-wheeled cross-country lorries of the 1.5 ton payload class was started. So it was tested to use these lorry chassis for the production of armoured vehicles. In a meeting of the development committee on 14th February 1930 it was determined that the decision about the further development of the makeshift armoured superstructures for the 6-wheel chassis should be brought by the Heereswaffenamt - army ordnance office. The armoured superstructures were developed by the Deutsche Werke AG in Kiel in cooperation with the Heereswaffenamt. The armour should provide protection against splinters and small arms. This was finally reached by clever angular arrangement of the armour plates. So the thickness of the armour plates could be held very thin. The outer form of the armoured superstructure – which was similar to a coffin – became later typical for all German armoured cars. The first prototypes were made around 1931 based on one Mercedes-Benz G 3 chassis and two Büssing-NAG G 31 P (chassis number 40173 & 40231). Each three chassis Mercedes-Benz G 3 and Büssing-NAG G 31 P (chassis number 40325-40327) followed in 1932. The four Mercedes-Benz G 3 chassis were lengthened by 20 cm compared to the standard lorry chassis. Serial production was started in 1933 by Daimler-Benz and Büssing-NAG. According to the Bilderatlas der heeresüblichen Kraftfahrzeuge nebst Charakteristik with the date of the type sheet 15th March 1933, the base version was designated as gepanzerter Kraftwagen, neue Bauart (Kfz. 67). As of 1934, Magirus also started serial production. Because of missing documents and varying numbers in the available literature, the correct number of manufactured chassis could not ascertained exactly. In 1932, Daimler-Benz apparently had contracts of the Heereswaffenamt for further 37 chassis. Büssing-NAG delivered additional 43 chassis (chassis numbers 40325-40327, 50637-50646, 50705-50706, 51115-51124, 51386-51406) after the five earyl series chassis and Magirus manufactured in total 80 chassis.
The need for nine Kraftfahr-Abteilungen (1 to 9) with each two armoured reconnaissance companies together with the Kradschützen-Lehr- und Versuchs-Abteilung and the Aufkl. Abt. (mot.) 13 with each one armoured reconnaissance company was 120 Sd. Kfz. 231 and Sd. Kfz. 232 as well as 20 Sd. Kfz. 263 (two for each K. A. and each one for the Kradsch. L. u. Vers. Abt. and the A. A. (mot.) 13). There is contradictory information about the Sd. Kfz. 263 in the available literature. One time 12 exemplars are listed, the other time 28. Based on the number of known license numbers, most likely 20 vehicles were manufactured. All of them were based on Magirus M 206 a chassis. The need ratio of from Sd. Kfz. 231 to Sd. Kfz. 232 was 1 : 1. So most probably each 60 vehicles of both variants were manufactured. In total 60 Sd. Kfz. 231/232 were made based on the Magirus M 206 a chassis, 43 on Büssing-NAG G 31 P chassis and about 17 vehicles on Mercedes-Benz G 3 a/P chassis. Of the 20 remaining Mercedes-Benz G 3 a/P chassis, most probably 18 or 19 were given to Landsverk. The destination of the remaining chassis as well as the nine trial vehicles is unknown. Possibly they were given to units of the regular police forces or they were also exported.
According to the D 601+ from June 1934, the first two variants were designated gepanzerter Kraftwagen (Kfz. 67) mit Fahrgestell des l. gl. Lkw. (o) and as gepanzerter Kraftwagen (Fu) (Kfz. 67a) mit Fahrgestell des l. gl. Lkw. (o). If the designation gepanzerter Kraftwagen (Fu) (Kfz. 67b) mit Fahrgestell des l. gl. Lkw. (o) was ever officially used could not be clarified. Already in the D 601+ from 8th November 1935 the designations were changed into schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Sd. Kfz. 231) and schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 232). The change of name was officially announced in the Allgemeinen Heeresmitteilungen 1936, Blatt 10 from 20th April 1936 with date from the 3rd April 1936 (AHA/In 6 (I d)). In both documents neither the designation Kfz. 67b nor the designation Sd. Kfz. 263 appear. At the latest with the D 600 from 10th April 1940 the vehicles were designated as schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Sd. Kfz. 231) mit Fahrgestell des l. gl. Lkw. (o), schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 232) mit Fahrgestell des l. gl. Lkw. (o) and Panzerfunkwagen (Kfz. 263) mit Fahrgestell des l. gl. Lkw. (o). The indication of the chassis was again necessary because at that time the corresponding variants based on 8-wheel chassis got the same Sd. Kfz. numbers. With the Kraftfahrtechnischen Anhang zu den Allgemeinen Heeresmitteilungen 1940 Blatt 20, the designations schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Sd. Kfz. 231) 6 Rad and schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 232) 6 Rad were introduced (OKH (Ch H Rüst u. BdE), 7th August 1940 - 76 g - AHA/Ag K/In 6 I (Ib)).
In service these vehicles were underpowered, the chassis were overloaded and the cross-country mobility was insufficient. But they performed well by the development of tactical basics and the training of crewmen. Beginning in 1937/38, the 6-wheeled armoured cars were step by step replaced by the new 8-wheeled armoured cars of the type Büssing-NAG type GS. The last vehicles left the first line units after the campaign in the west. The 6-wheeled armoured radio vehicles Sd. Kfz. 263 were used until 1942 in some cases.
At this place also the 6-wheel armoured cars of the Svedish company Landsverk have to be mentioned because they were based on chassis of Büssing-NAG and Daimler-Benz. In total 18 exemplars of the Landsverk 181 were manufactured which were all based on Mercedes-Benz G 3 a/P chassis. Allegedly also the one Landsverk 182 for Finland was based on a Mercedes-Benz chassis. Apparently 23 Landsverk 180 were manufactured. These were based on 21 Büssing-NAG K L A chassis and most probably on two Büssing-NAG A 5 P chassis.






Production model:

Year of construction:


Capacity (ccm):


Power (HP):

Wheelbase (mm):




Mercedes-Benz G 3


Daimler-Benz M 09




3200 + 950




Mercedes-Benz G 3 a/P


Daimler-Benz M 09




3000 + 950




Büssing-NAG G 31 P


Büssing-NAG Type G




2700 + 950




Büssing-NAG A 5 P


Büssing-NAG Type 5L (?)

ca. 5000 (?)

6 (?)

75-80 (?)





Büssing-NAG K L A


Büssing-NAG Type L 8 V








Magirus M 206 a


Magirus S 88




2500 + 900








Abbreviated designation:




schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Sd. Kfz. 231) (6 Rad)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 231) (6 Rad)

ca. 60



schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 232) (6 Rad)

s. Pz. Sp. Wg. (Fu) (Sd. Kfz. 232) (6 Rad)

ca. 60



Panzerfunkwagen (Sd. Kfz. 263) (6 Rad)

Pz. Fu. Wg. (Sd. Kfz. 263) (6 Rad)

ca. 20






Foreign derivates:

Year of constr.:




Pantserwagen M 36 (Landsverk 181) bzw. Panzerspähwagen L 202 (h)





Pantserwagen M 38 (Landsverk 180) bzw. Panzerspähwagen L 202 (h)








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