By the end of 1914 the OHL (Imperial army ordnance bureau) emitted a specification for a new model of a 4WD armoured car. Bussing experienced with heavy duty trucks, proposed a behemoth. Although their bid was not high enough, the vehicle remains one of the largest armoured vehicles of WWI, and the biggest armoured vehicle to date.
About the armoured Bussing
The original company was founded by Heinrich Bussing, in Braunschweig in 1903. The first model for this vehicle was a truck. The company was renown for its reliable worm drive models, which was massively exported and built under license abroad. They later introduced heavy duty vehicles with another innovation – a rigid three-axle chassis. This led to their contract based upon an army specification for artillery tractors and supply trailers. By 1914 Bussing was the leading manufacturer for these type of vehicles as their trucks were usable for all kinds of heavy duty.
After the war, Bussing diversified its activities towards the automobile industry, acquiring the Automobile Fabrik Kornnick AG at Elbing, and later Neue Automobil Gesellschaft (NAG), in 1934, thus becoming the Bussing-NAG company.
The Bussing car design
To respond to the November 1914 specification, the three chosen companies designed 4WD armoured vehicle prototypes for evaluation. Having more experience with trucks than cars, Bussing designed a massive vehicle, sporting as requested a 4WD drive, and propelled its own heavy duty six-cylinder developing 90 hp. The dimensions of the prototype stretched nearly 9.5m long, 2.1m wide and 3.5m tall.
The dimensions were dictated by two fully operating driver compartments and redundant steering, rear and front, allowing an instant reversal of direction, a solution also rendered mandatory because of its more than generous wheelbase and immense turning radius. The fighting compartment of the vehicle sported no less than eleven hatches for light machine guns.