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The chassis number and the data plate of the Kettenkrad

Chassis number sequence

The Kettenkrad's chassis numbers have a special pattern. You have to distinguish the wartime numbers from the postwar numbers.

Wartime production (1940 - early 1945):

The chassis number have six digits, arabic numerals only. The first two numerals are a model code, the last four numerals are the serial number.

The meaning of the first two numerals is:

  • "11" = Kleines Kettenkrad HK101, produced by NSU at Neckarsulm
  • "31" = Sonderanhänger 1, the trailer for the kleine Kettenkrad
  • "41" = Kleines Kettenkrad HK101, produced by Stoewer at Stettin

The number "21" wasn't used. May be it was reserved for the grosse Kettenkrad HK102?

A Kettenkrad produced by NSU during WW2 has a chassis number as "11XXXX", in which XXXX is the serial number. So the first produced Kettenkrad had the chassis number "110001".

The chassis number is stamped into the steering head at the front of the hull and on the data plate.

Postwar production (August 1945 - 1948):

Kettenkrads from postwar production have a simple three digit chassis number, which is a simple serial number. The first Kettenkrad from postwar production has had the chassis number "001" and the last one probably the number "550".

The number is stamped into the steering head and on the data plate.


Data plate (name plate)

All Kettenkrads had a rectangular data plate, riveted to the front bulkhead of the hull, next to the driver's knees. During the production time, there were different styles of the data plate and also different locations on the front bulkhead.

Wartime production:

At first an early data plate from 1942:

Data plate, version 1

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The manufacturer's name "NSU Werke AG" is written completely in clear.

Later the manufacturer's names were no longer allowed in clear on the products. Every manufactutrer got a "Herstellercode". NSU got the code "auq". Aluminium was in short supply and so they tried to use up the stock of version 1 data plates. So they cut off the upper part with the clear NSU name on it and stamped the code "auq" on the data field for the production year:

Data plate version 2

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When the stock of old data plates was used up, they got new data plates with a plain data field for the manufacturer on top and stamped the "auq" code into it:

Data plate version 3

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In contrast to the data plates version 1, 2 and below, I'm not absolutely sure if this picture really shows an original data plate.

Post war production:

On vehicles from post war production, the "auq" code was no longer used and on the data field for the manufacturer "NSU" was stamped again in clear. These vehicles no longer had the approval stamp from the Heereswaffenamt.

Data plate version 4

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This last data plate is part of the Kettenkrad with the chassis number 058. It is built in 1945 but autumn 1945 and so from post war production. The vehicle is on display at the Panzermuseum at Munster, Germany.


If you have more pictures showing original Kettenkrad data plates, please let me know. I'm looking especially for better pictures of version 2 and 3 data plates.

Email: anfrage@kettenkrad.de


© Andreas Mehlhorn 2011