Rumpler drop wagon

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Rumpler Teardrop Car in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin
Rumpler Teardrop Car in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin
Drop wagon
Production period: 1921-1924
Class : upper middle class
Body versions : limousine
Petrol engines : 2.3–2.6 liters
(26–37 kW)
Length: 4550 mm
Broad: 1600 mm
Height: 1950 mm
Wheelbase : 2900 mm
Empty weight : 1400 kg
Teardrop car in the traffic center in Munich

The Teardrop Car is an automobile developed by Edmund Rumpler from an aerodynamic point of view . It was presented on September 23, 1921 at the German Motor Show in Berlin .


After the First World War , the Versailles Peace Treaty banned Germany from building powered aircraft, which is why the aircraft manufacturer Rumpler incorporated his experience into an automobile project. The project was financed , among others, by the Berlin publisher Hans Lachmann-Mosse . The car was fundamentally different from the other vehicles of its time. What was striking was the slippery body shape, supposedly modeled on a falling drop , in which curved glass panes were used for the first time . The car owes its drag coefficient of just 0.28 , which is still good today, to this body . The driver sat in the front center, behind that there was space for four passengers. A trunk (above the engine) was only added to the later built cars. The teardrop car was one of the few cars with a mid-engine . Initially it was a six-cylinder W engine that Rumpler had Siemens built in Berlin, later a four-cylinder in- line engine that powered the rear wheels via a multi-plate clutch , a three-speed gearbox and a differential .

The car had a rigid axle at the front. Rumpler replaced the rigid rear axle , which was common at the time , with the pendulum axle patented by him . This form of independent suspension was later adopted by many other manufacturers.

The vehicle concept with a mid-engine and rear swing axle also appeared promising for racing cars. Benz & Cie. acquired the license for the concept and used it in the Benz teardrop car .

The water-cooled W6 engine had six cylinders cast together in pairs (the first series with bore: 74 mm, stroke: 100 mm), which were arranged in three rows with an opening angle of 60 °. The engine had a displacement of 2310 cm³ and developed 35 hp (26 kW). This enabled the teardrop car to reach a top speed of 95 km / h. Later, the engine capacity was increased to 2580 cm³ while maintaining the same output, and the top speed increased to 105 km / h. Finally, in-line four-cylinder engines from Benz with a displacement of 2610 cm³ were installed, developing 50 hp (37 kW) and accelerating the vehicle up to 115 km / h.

Due to technical problems - the six-cylinder engine was unreliable and the steering poorly designed - and the lack of trunk, the vehicle was not a commercial success, which is why only about 100 copies were built in the Rumpler works in Berlin-Johannisthal by 1925 . Most of them were used as taxis in Berlin . Fritz Lang used a large number of teardrop chariots as props in his film Metropolis . The cars were deliberately destroyed during filming.

The two last surviving vehicles are in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin and in the German Museum in Munich . The copy in Munich is a personal gift from Edmund Rumpler.

See also


  • Ulrich Kubisch : Rumpler teardrop wagon. The homecoming of a Berlin automobile. Berlin: Museum of Transport and Technology, 1989. 17 pages.
  • Ulrich Kubisch: Automobiles from Berlin. From the drop car to the Amphicar. (= Berlin contributions to the history of technology and industrial culture, number 5). Berlin: Nicolai, 1985. ISBN 3-87584-155-7 .
  • Olaf von Fersen : A Century of Automotive Technology. Passenger cars. VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1987, ISBN 3-18-400620-4 , pp. 31-33.

Web links

Commons : Rumplerdrop car  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Rumpler drop car on Classic Car Revue ( memento from February 24, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on November 8, 2011
  2. The exhibition lasted until October 2nd.
  3. ^ Georg Lachmann Mosse: Confronting History - A Memoir . Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000, p. 38.