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Earlier this year, we investigated a rather good-looking car that appeared in a photo submitted to us by Greg Steinmayer and discovered that it was a Beutler-bodied Maico 500 Sport prototype that unfortunately never made its way into production. Peter Svilians, who provided the answer, also made mention of a Wendler-bodied Maico 500 Sport prototype that appeared at the same time as the Beutler-bodied car, but only briefly described the Wendler-bodied car as “ugly.”
We came up goose eggs when we went looking for photos of said Wendler Maico and presumed that if it was never shown to the public, then photos of it never made their way into circulation. However, blog reader Christian Wehde continued the search and was rewarded with these two photos of Wendler’s Maico 500 Sport, along with a note that it was bodied in aluminum rather than steel, as previously reported.
The tailfins certainly don’t help the design (they make it look like an Amphicar), nor does the unadorned Mr. Blobby proboscis, but the car’s certainly not as gut-wrenching as some vehicles that managed to make it all the way to production. Sure, the Wendler loses out in comparison to the Beutler-bodied car, but it’s not as though the craftsmen at Wendler were amateurs in 1957, when this car was built. Instead, according to Beaulieu, Wendler had been around since 1919, specializing in aerodynamic bodies in the 1930s and coachbuilding for Adler, Hanomag, Opel and BMW.
Thanks for the follow-up, Christian!