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Büssing-NAG 650

Restored in record time

To mark its 80th birthday celebrations, the Nagel-Group decided to add a very special vehicle to the vehicle fleet: a truck from the founding years. This was the start of a unique restoration project. A trip into the world of truck mechanics!

The ambitious project started in early 2012 when Tobias Nagel, managing shareholder of the Nagel-Group, had the idea of a traditional truck representing a tangible piece of company history. The request for a vehicle from the foundation year 1935 unfortunately could not be realised. However, with the Büssing-NAG 650 (year of construction 1939), the mobile alga-Nutzfahrzeugmuseum (museum for commercial vehicles) in Sittensen was able to offer a truck that looked very similar to the original one, which Kurt and Rudolf Nagel had bought as one of the first vehicles after the end of the war.

After the restoration object arrived in Versmold in June 2012, Christian Teuber (46) made an apperance. The skilled car-body and vehicle builder works for Corporate Fleet Management and assumed the leadership of the Büssing project. He and his colleague Viktor Ens (37) who is also a car-body and vehicle builder, started ambitiously in the world of vintage trucks with which they had little to do until then.

Drawings on yellowed wallpaper rolls

Keeping the company tradition, it was clear from the start that the Büssing was supposed to become a insulated truck. The two vintage car restoration beginners were supported by the body construction company Niehoff in Füchtorf. Many decades ago, senior partner Heinrich Niehoff built the sheet covered wooden driver's cab of a Büssing as his masterpiece (a piece of work presented to a guild as evidence of qualification for the rank of master). The 1:1 drawings were still available on yellowed wallpaper rolls and were now an invaluable aid for the reconstruction of the wooden cab.

No less valuable were the original drawings of the sheets of the bonnet from the Büssing company archive in Brunswick. On the basis of these drawings, Viktor Ens rebuilt the original sheets of the long Büssing bonnet and the shaped bumper. Meanwhile, the heavily rusted chassis of the more than seven-decades old truck was removed from old rivets, sandblasted, newly riveted and painted.

Historic trucks

Material has suffered

The 145 hp GD 6 engine was revived in the truck workshop in Versmold. Despite many years of use in East Germany, the pre-chamber diesel surprised with a remarkably good material. After being disassembled and cleaned, the truck was equipped with new piston rings, an overhauled injection pump, injectors - as well as with new water tubes and cooler elements.

Shortly before the completion of the works on the Büssing, the restoration of the trailer started. However, the material had suffered so much that the complete frame had to be rebuilt in addition to the sheets and the roof.

A vehicle from the period of economic miracle

Moreover, Viktor Ens had a brilliant yet time-consuming idea to solve one of the remaining problems: he made the pop-out windscreen frames of the Büssing from custom-milled aluminium profiles. Now, the only remaining thing was the painting of the entire truck in ivory, light blue, and pebble grey - the long-standing company colours of the Nagel-Group.

Finishing the Schmitz trailer, the restoration of the refrigerated truck was completed in September 2015. The impressing result of the precisely performed restoration: a truck from the 1930s combined with a refrigerated trailer built in 1950 and a reconstructed Schmitz refrigeration unit from the post-war period - exactly similar to the countless forwarding companies in the early years of the German economic miracle.


Abridged version

The complete article can be found in the magazine Historischer Kraftverkehr ("Historic road transport")(Edition June 2016) under the heading "In Rekordzeit restauiert" published by Klaus Rabe

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