The Hydra Schmidt Coupe is the daily driver of Red Skull, Captain America’s nemesis in the movie Captain America. Putting aside the plot, storyline, and characters for a moment, the Hydra Schmidt Coupe is a star in its own right. It was developed by the ex-Porsche/VW designer Daniel Simon, who has recently been rather busy with his successful Cosmic Motors book as well as designing the futuristic vehicles for Tron Legacy.
The Hydra Schmidt Coupe was developed with the help of Captain America’s director Joe Johnston and production designer Rick Heinrichs. 1940s coupes were the main source of inspiration for the vehicle, with the Mercedes 540K, Mercedes G4 off-roader, and unnamed Bentley’s and Duesenberg models all providing some influences.
The script of the movie explains that the Hydra Schmidt Coupe was the fastest car of its time. Its speed comes from a massive supercharged 16-cylinder aero-engine mounted up front. Other unusual features include the dual rear axles and the numerous details which mark it out as a military vehicle, like the rugged side boxes, slit headlight covers, aircraft-style gauges and off road tires.
For filming, a full-size model of the Hydra Schmidt Coupe was built. Constructed in England by Shepardson Studios the car was based on a truck chassis. Power came from a Ford V8 dragster engine.
Source: Daniel Simon