The Volkswagen Kübelwagen was a German military sedan used extensively by the Nazis throughout World War II. In 1938, the Sultan of Hatay was in possession of two exported Kübelwagens, and gave them to Walter Donovan for use in his quest to obtain the Holy Grail. One of them pursued Indiana Jones on horseback alongside a pair of troop carriers, and collided head-on with Colonel Vogel's tank. It became stuck on the front of the tank, and, to clear both the front viewport as well as the main cannon, Vogel ordered the Kübelwagen shot off with the gun. It was subsequently run over and accidentally crushed by the tank, to Vogel's fury.
The other Kübelwagen survived and continued on to the Canyon of the Crescent Moon.
Behind the scenes
- Since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is set in 1938, the presence of the two Kübelwagens in the Sultan's army is an anachronism. In real life, the Volkswagen Kübelwagen was not designed and built until 1940. Also, it never went into export, therefore a Hatayan sultan would not possess any.
- In the comic book adaptation, the Kübelwagen that collides with the tank is replaced with Donovan's Renault 6CV Torpédo, curiously without Donovan in it.
- The Kübelwagen that collides with the tank was a mockup, built on a Volkswagen Bettle chassis, built especially to be blown up/crushed. The second one however was a real vintage Kübelwagen, and survived the production.
- In the novelization, it is not made clear if the car hit by the tank is indeed a Kübelwagen. Also, the car has two occupants as opposed to only one in the film. When the car collides with the tank, the driver is killed instantly, but the passenger survives long enough to cut an opening in the canvas roof before the turret fires and blasts the car and its surviving occupant into oblivion.