At the end of the 1920s, many leading American companies began to make significant investments in the economy of Germany during the Weimar Republic. Many industries, including the automobile industry, promised much for the industrial potential of the nation, which had begun to emerge from economic crisis. Germany, birthplace of the automobile, has always been one of the trendsetters and had introduced many new technologies in car production, but at that time the country was in serious financial trouble and needed investment in significant volumes.
Henry Ford's company, the "father" of automobile manufacturing in the United States, had great ambitions to expand the sale of its model range in Europe, following oversaturation of its own market. In 1928, an agreement on cooperation was signed between the Ford company and the leaders of the Rhine Province, and two years later, in the presence of Henry Ford himself and Konrad Adenauer, the burgomaster of the city of Cologne, the first stone laying of the grand opening of a new plant for the production of cars and trucks took place. Ford transferred some of their most important tooling, for increased standardization between the U.S.-produced cars and those from the subsidiary in Germany.
The German-made cars were very similar to their American relatives, differing only in minor details such as small exterior elements. After the rise to power of the Nazis under Hitler, cooperation between the USA and Germany did not stop, but on the contrary increased, as the new government embarked on a course of gradual remilitarization, therefore necessarily increasing the number of vehicles in the newly created army. The Ford concern transferred more and more new technology to its company in Germany during this time.
Among the passenger cars of the plant, the Ford Eifel 20C was the most popular - from 1935 to 1939, more than 61,000 of them were produced. Later, the V8-48 type was produced (more than 5 thousand). From 1937, production of the G78A type began, and a year later, the G81A. These cars had a more powerful 8-cylinder engine, an improved body shape and increased chassis strength.
With the beginning of the Second World War, a significant number of cars, including those from private property, were requisitioned for the needs of the army.
A relatively small number of cars of this type were produced with a cabriolet body. A number of changes were made to the design to strengthen the body structure with an open top, while the car’s chassis did not undergo any significant changes.
This version of the car was used in various units of the Wehrmacht, primarily as a staff car for middle-ranking officers. Due to the constant lack of spare parts, their numbers gradually decreased, and in the final phase of the war they were a relative rarity in combat units.