|An HK 101 in use during World War II.|
|The SdKfz 2 aka The Kettenkrad Motorcycle Tank aka “Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101."|
|These little buggers could go an astounding 44 mph/60 km/hour.|
German factories turned out 8,345 units during the course of the conflict. In 1944, the Allies bombed the factory where it was built, which brought an end to war-time production. However, there already were so many, and Germany had so little gasoline left to run vehicles, that it probably didn't make any difference anyway.
Besides, the entire purpose of the vehicle was to gain mobility in the wilderness of Russia, and the Wehrmacht by then had lost most of that territory anyway. The HK 101 was of much less use in Western Europe, where roads were plentiful and the need for a tracked vehicle much less.
Germany’s defeat, of course, led to its governance by Allied officials, who forbade the German industry from building military vehicles. As the HK 101 had originally been developed for agricultural purposes, though, it gained a very rare exemption from this rule. As a result, renewed production went on until sometime in 1948 or 1949, during which time between 500 and 600 were manufactured. More importantly, that gave some Germans very good jobs in the wrecked economy. There are rumors that these continued to be manufactured much later in the Soviet bloc countries. Many remain in existence, and here and there one or more may still be in use. If you are lucky, you might find an unrestored one in a barn and buy it for a song. Properly restored, they are quite valuable.