An Eight-Wheeled Typewriter

26 May 2023

I am probably showing my age, but when I was a little younger, Adler was a generic term for a typewriter, like Hoover was for the vacuum cleaner. Sorry Mr Dyson.

Adlerwerke was a German company that manufactured typewriters and produced sundry office equipment, motorcycles, bicycles, and motorcars under the brand Adler.

The Adler Diplomat was a six-cylinder limo’ built by the factory in Frankfurt in 1934.

Nothing particular about that except it had eight wheels, four front steering wheels and four at the rear; I can’t imagine why anyone would need such a configuration.

A newspaper from the 30s provided an explanation.

‘Eight-Wheeled Auto Defies Sand. The forefront wheels of this novel car turn in unison for steering. Mud and sand offer no obstacles in an eight-wheeled car exhibited by a German inventor since its multiple tread surfaces assure ample support and traction.’

It seems as though the requirement for driving on the beach or at building sites didn’t capture the imagination of the car-buying public.

The Adler Diplomat was no longer offered for sale in 1939, although records show that a few cars were built in 1939 and 1940, presumably for military use or export.