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Chrysler International Farmobil- 1964

Chrysler International Farmobil- 1964

The Farmobil had a short but interesting history. It was designed by German agricultural giant Fahr (now Deutz-Fahr) as a light roadgoing truck/tractor, but Fahr did not have the manufacturing capacity to meet expected demand. Several prototypes were built and tested from 1955 to 1959 – some had very plain, flat bodies, others more rounded, but the final design, seen here, was settled on by late 1961.

The design was for a light truck with agricultural capabilities. It was to have a maximum weight of 1000kg, a 180cm wheelbase, 140cm track, manual transmission, a PTO (power take-off), and a top speed of at least 80kph. This was accomplished by the use of a complete BMW 700 drivetrain – engine, transmission, differential, brakes, and wheels, all placed under a simple-to-produce welded flat steel body, with seating arrangements for up to six passengers available.

Lacking factory space, Fahr sold the manufacturing rights to the newly-formed Greek company Farco in Thessaloniki. The Kondagouris family, Peter and his brothers, employed up to 50 Greeks on the assembly lines during peak production. Not initially approved for Greek roads, many Farmobils were exported – sold initially as BMW Farmobils in Germany. In 1963, Chrysler, seeking a way into the German car market, purchased Farco, and re-badged Farmobils as Chrysler International products, still using BMW parts. In 1963-4, after taking a majority stake in Simca with its extensive European infrastructure, Chrysler no longer needed Farmobil, and production soon ended.

During the short production run, Farmobils were sold in Germany, France, Greece, Italy, and the UK. Period ads said, “Use it as a tractor or a car, a jeep or a concrete mixer. On road or in forest, as a light truck, a mobile shop, or just for fun, the BMW Farmobil has no limit.” In Greece, it was known as “The Motorized Goat!” Optional seats made room for up to six, while optional PTOs could turn the Farmobil into a sawmill, milking machine, bush-hog, or concrete mixer. Payload essentially equaled the vehicle’s weight, at about 1300 pounds each. Farmobils even rallied successfully, with Hubert Aublet placing 3rd in the 1965 Cimes Rally!

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Manufacturer: Farco
Country of Origin: Greece
Drivetrain Configuration: Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: BMW-sourced 697cc air-cooled horizontal twin, 35hp
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Top Speed: 57mph
Years Produced: 1962-66
Number Produced: approximately 1000
Cost: 6400 DM; $1610 USD

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