The German Tempo Matador had a rather unusual design with its protruding nose, small side windows and somewhat sad-looking ‘face’ due to the downward shape of its split windscreen. Neverthe- less, just like the Volkswagen Transporter its design was inspired by American trucks and diesel railway locomotives.
Volkswagen also supplied the 1.2 litre engines and transmission
for the Matador, which was built by Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werk in Hamburg. However, unlike the Volkswagen the engine was not rear-mounted, but positioned under the seat and turned around to create front-wheel drive. The absence of a driveshaft and an engine in the rear enlarged the load capacity and enabled the platform to be positioned lower for easier loading. It also left room for special body- work on request.
Although more practical than the Volkswagen, the Tempo Matador didn’t become a huge success. Only about 13,500 were made between 1949 and 1952, when Volkswagen stopped supplying the engines due to competition and Tempo was forced to look for alter- natives. In 1965 Tempo was taken over by Hanomag and the name was dropped a year later.
1.2 litre air-cooled four-cylinder boxer (Volkswagen)