The Kraka was developed by the Zweirad Quad Union, initially intended for agricultural use or forestry, civil protection and emergency services, but due it is excellent yet simple design and practicality, it went on to have dozens of further uses over its long production life. Soon, because of its lightweight chassis and simplicity, strategists began to realise its military application. It was to become a major part of the Bundeswehr. This harkened a new era for the Zweirad Quad as a military vehicle and it was redeveloped and strengthened to become a light-weight transport vehicle suitable to be used as a quick method of mobilizing paratroopers. The military versions were manufactured in Ansbach and Nurnberg GmbH until 1990.
The first prototypes were equipped with a two-stroke engine from the Goggomobil and achieved measly 16hp. Soon after, many modifications were made to ensure it was tough enough to withstand a parachute landing. One of the major adjustments that had to be undertaken was that the built-in two-stroke engine proved weak, and so it was replaced by a 26hp boxer engine from the BMW 700. After amplification of the frame and the leaf springs, and at a weight of 735kg, it could transport approximately another 750 kg load, which for a vehicle that could be thrown out of a plane and land undamaged, is rather quite remarkable! The second major change was quite predictably strengthening the chassis.
An amazing attribute of these Small Krakas was that their chassis was able to wield various kits including, anti-tank guided missile systems, machine guns, mortars as well as health and ammunition transport.
This fascinating Kraka 640 that is on offer today appears exactly as one would imagine the standard military version to have come off the production line twenty years ago. Provided with all of its necessary original parts, it is an amazing insight into the military world and its never-ending ingenuity and technological innovation.