Porsche has a rich history in the design and construction of military vehicles. Stuttgart understandably keeps a lid on it, but Porsche was not alone in commerce from conflict. Manufacturers on both sides supplied products to the military – ultimately, there was no option but to do what was demanded.
The projects of Ferdinand Porsche during both World Wars offer an interesting insight into his engineering mind. This Type 175 RSO tractor, designed by Porsche and built by Skoda was intended for forces on the Eastern Front. With a 90 bhp air-cooled four cylinder engine, four wheel drive via solid wheels and a top speed of 15 km/h, it wasn’t the greatest success.
There’s no record of the Skoda RSO ever serving on the Eastern Front, though a few made it into Belgium and beyond (seen above in Normandy). A smattering of pictures can be found online, but apparently less than 100 were built, which makes them even more fascinating all these years later.
I love this model build thread of the Skoda RSO. Beautiful work! Cue Dad’s Army video: