Hebmüller And Sons was founded in 1889 by Joseph Hebmüller in Wuppertal as a horsedrawn carriage coachbuilder. When Joseph died in 1919, the four sons took over the company and started making bodies for automobiles.
The company was very successfull throughout the 1920s and 30s, making coupes and convertibles for Hanomag, Delahaye, Ford and others.
Hebmuller decoy plane
During the war, the company's woodworking skills were utilised for making large wooden decoy airplanes and by the end of the war, the company was struggling financially. The Company needed to build cars again
in order to rebuild itself.
The Radclyffe Roadster
In 1948, Hebmüller were in talks with British controlled Volkswagen company along with Karmann
to create a convertible version of the Beetle. Karmann were to build the 4-seater version and Hebmüller were
to build a two-seater roadster version based on the 'Radclyffe Roadster'.
Prototype Type 14A Hebmuller
Three prototype cars were built and tested, each suffered similar flexing problems as the Karmann so extra strengthening panels were added. Hebmüller were also comissioned to build a four-door convertible that could be used by the Police, a car also being built by the coachbuilder 'Papler'.
Type 14A's at the Hebmuller factory
Production of the Hebmüller roadster Type 14A started in June 1949, but shortly after on the 23rd July 1949 a fire broke out in the paint shop that quickly spread to other areas and damaged some of the cars. Within a few weeks, damage was repaired and production resumed. The Type 14A would be built for another year but would end in 1950.
The company was still struggling
to re-build itself after the war and was uninsured for the fire, the company had no choice but to file for bankruptcy. A total of 682 Type 14A's had been made and parts for another 14 cars shipped to Karmann for finishing, making a total of 696.
Today, the Hebmüller Type 14A is considered one of the rarest and most desirable of the aircooled Volkswagens.