Posts Tagged ‘VolksWagen’

Last Edition Beetle in Harvest Moon Beige, by Volkswagen of Puebla, Mexico, 2003

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Øystein Asphjell at Norwegian Hammerworks got the wild idea to build a unique coupe from a VW Beetle. But don’t call it customizing, it’s coach-building.


From an article in the Norwegian magazine “Motor Veteran” No 8, 2009
Photos: Ronnie Krabberød

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Text from the ad:

Women are soft and gentle, but they hit things. If your wife hit something in a Volkswagen, it doesn’t hurt you very much. WV parts are easy to replace. and cheap. A fender comes off without dismantling half the car. A new one goes on with just ten bolts. For $24.95 plus labour.

And a WV dealer always has the kind of fender you need. Because that’s the only kind he has. Most other WV parts are interchangeable too. inside and out. Which means your wife isn’t limited to fender smashing. she can jab the hood, grace the door. Or bump off the bumper.

It may make you furious, but it won’t make you poor. So when your wife goes window-shopping in a Volkswagen, don’t worry. You can conveniently replace anything she uses to stop the car. Even the breaks.

Sexist ads were not only quite common in the fifties, sixties, and seventies but were used deliberately to make men feel superior to women and there by make them more receptive for the real message in the ad. It was of course impossible to think that a man could hit something with a car, even though statistics would have shown that most car crashes were done by men. But then again, the Mad Men have never dealt in reality, have they – Ted

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The 1954 Escher VWPorsche Kleinbahn Prototyp in the Prototyp in Hamburg. These little trains were built from 1954 to 1971 and were used in parks and botanical gardens. It pulled 3 cars which had space for 90 passengers. Its not a accident that the design of the locomotive looks like a cross between the legendary TEE train and the Porsche 356. This locomotive was powered by a VW industrial engine and was the prototype of the VW-Porsche trains.

Text and image found at “The idiots have won the war

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Who need a Humvee when you got an old Volkswagen buss – Ted
Image found at “Don’t look back

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Image found at “Farbror Sid

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Combine the iconic Mexican culture expressions of the psychedelic Huichol and a Volkswagen Beetle or El Vocho as Mexicans have nicknamed it—and you get El Vochol, a beaded VW bug. This dynamic manifestation of indigenous folk art is being used to promote the artisan heritage of the indigenous Mexican communities to an international audience.

El Vochol was first commissioned by the Association of Friends of Museo of Arte Popular in Mexico City to elevate the work of traditional artisans in the public sphere both nationally and internationally. The project took on a greater message to the world: indigenous work is not to be forgotten, and in fact, celebrated. Sonya Santos of the Museo says, “People all over the world are responding in a fabulous way….They are all surprised by the magnificent work.”

Text, image and video found at “Curated

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Popular Sience may 1945 2

End of another Nazi dream. . .
“People’s Car” promised by Hitler as ersatz Jeep

Back in the thirties, when Germany’s war preparations were weighing heavily on her people, Nazi leaders dangled before the public a vision of a wonderful “poor man’s car” soon to pour from the factories. It was to be an automotive marvel, light, fast, roomy, and inexpensive; and it would reward Germans for the low wages, long hours, and shortages.

Never made in quantity for civilians, this Volkswagen has turned up on battlefields as an inferior version of our jeep. Captured models, tested and taken apart by U. S. experts, show that the car is less rugged and versatile than its American prototype, but ingenious in design and economical to run. Power is supplied by a four-cylinder opposed motor, mounted at the rear and driving the rear wheels. The engine develops some 24 hp. and is cooled by a blower and housing that delivers air to the cylinders. Top speed is above 60 m.p.h., while gasoline mileage at this speed is about 33 miles per gallon. The fuel tank, mounted in front of the dash, holds six gallons. A steel backbone replaces the conventional chassis, and springing is accomplished by means of coil springs located within transverse, pipelike housings.

From Popular Science may 1945 found at blog.modernmechanix.com


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A nice idea from Mechanix Illustrated found at Foghorns

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Volkswagen is a popular name in German associated with a cheap, small and lightweight car. It originated in Germany in the 1920s and was adopted by Adolf Hitler in 1934 to be used as the brand name for the largest and most modern pre-WWII automobile factory in Europe. This page describes the origins of this popular car, the Volkswagen Beetle.

Josef Ganz in the Ardie-Ganz prototype, August 1930History
The quest for the Volkswagen
The first serious attempt to build a Volkswagen (‘People’s car‘) was made in 1923, when the young mechanical engineering student Josef Ganz made the first sketches for a small lightweight car with a simple chassis, a mid-mounted engine, independent wheel suspension with swing-axles at the rear and aerodynamic bodywork, along the lines of the Rumpler Tropfenwagen. When shortly after his graduation he became editor-in-chief of Klein-Motor-Sport in January 1928, Josef Ganz used this magazine as a platform to criticize heavy, unsafe and old-fashioned cars and promote innovative design and his concept of a German Volkswagen. This was presumably the first time the name Josef Ganz in the Adler Maikäfer prototype, May 1931“Volkswagen” was used. Contributors to the magazine, which in January 1929 was renamed into Motor-Kritik, included Béla Barényi, a young engineering student who designed cars with similar design. In 1929, Josef Ganz started contacting German motorcycle manufacturers Zündapp, Ardie and DKW for collaboration to build a Volkswagen prototype. This resulted in a first prototype, the Ardie-Ganz, built at Ardie in 1930 and a second one completed at Adler in May 1931, which was nicknamed the Maikäfer (‘May-Beetle’). Technically, both these prototypes already resembled the later Volkswagen Beetle: they featured a tubular chassis, a mid-mounted engine, and independent wheel suspension with swing-axles at the rear – the second prototype was even nicknamed “Beetle”. News about these amazing constructions quickly spread through the industry.

Porsche Typ 12, 1931/32 by Zündapp NürnbergPorsche steps in
After news about the successful results achieved with the Ardie-Ganz and Adler Maikäfer prototypes by Josef Ganz reached Zündapp, the company was suddenly very keen to build such a car. Since Josef Ganz by that time was already involved with Adler, Zündapp first turned to another German engineer. Only after he failed to produce a satisfying design, did the company turn to Ferdinand Porsche, in September 1931. Ferdinand Porsche under strict technical supervision by Zündapp then developed an “Auto für Jedermann” (“car for everyman”). Porsche already preferred the flat-4 cylinder engine, as was also tried out by Daimler-Benz under supervision of Josef Ganz almost a year previous, but Zündapp preferred a watercooled 5-cylinder radial engine. In 1932, three prototypes were running. All of those cars were lost during the war, the last in a bombing raid over Stuttgart in 1945.

Standard Superior, 1934 modelThe first German Volkswagen
In the meantime, the Standard Fahrzeugfabrik purchased a license from Josef Ganz to develop and build a small Volkswagen according to his design. This car, the Standard Superior was completed in late 1932. It featured a tubular chassis, a mid-mounted engine, and independent wheel suspension with swing-axles at the rear. The first production model of the Standard Superior was introduced at the IAMA (Internationale Automobil– und Motorradausstellung) in Berlin in February 1933. Brochure for the Standard Superior, advertised as the "Deutschen Volkswagen" ("German Volkswagen"), 1934Here the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler expressed great interest in its revolutionary design and low selling price of 1,590 Reichsmark. Under the new anti-Semitic government, however, Josef Ganz was an easy target for his enemies from the automotive industry that opposed his critical writings in Motor-Kritik. Ironically, while German car manufacturers one by one took over the progressive ideas that had been published in Motor-Kritik since the 1920s, Josef Ganz himself was arrested by the Gestapo in May 1933 based on falsified charges of blackmail of the automotive industry. He was eventually released, but his career was systematically destroyed and his life endangered. This led to his escape from Germany in June 1934 – the very month Adolf Hitler assigned Ferdinand Porsche to realize the prophecy of Josef Ganz: designing a mass-producible Volkswagen for a consumer price of 1,000 Reichsmark.

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Rometsch Karrosserie in Berlin was much more than just the VW-based cars designed by Johannes Beeskow. Before the war, Rometsch built wonderful and expensive cars on a variety of chassis and drivetrains and sold them to some selcted wealthy Germans. In paralell with the VW Beeskow-model, Rometsch designed and built a Volkswagen Type 1 taxi with 3 doors. A stretched Beetle that sold to taxi operators in Germany.

  Read more at.Rometsch-Registry
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peoples car

Ferdinand Porsche presenting a model of the “Kraft Durch Freude” wagen (later to become Volkswagen) for Adolf Hitler and his marry band of  murderous lunatics.

Give any man a chance to play with toy cars and a happy smile will spread on his face and gone are every thought of war and world dominance (for a short while that is). Even Adolf himself looks just like a little boy in his eagerness.


This is what the prototype 6001 looked like. Note the front light and the unfamiliar back end.

In the 1930s, cars cost more than most people earned in a year. When Hitler became the chancellor of Germany in 1933, he promoted the idea of a car affordable enough for the average working person. The Volkswagen, which means “people’s car” in German, was essentially a political promise to win the public’s goodwill.


Hitler met with automotive designer Ferdinand Porsche in 1933 and charged Porsche with creating the new car. The chancellor required that the Volkswagen carry two adults and three children, go up to 60 miles per hour, get at least 33 miles per gallon, and cost only 1,000 reichsmarks. Hitler may also have named the car the Beetle.

In 1938, Hitler had the KdF Wagen factory built to produce the cars designed by Porsche. But by the time the factory was complete, Hitler had invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland. The factory was dedicated to building military vehicles, and the people’s car fell by the wayside during World War II.


“Commander’s Car”. The VW Type 87. A closed, liaison-type geländelimousin, built at the Volkswagenwerk during World War II. It was created by mating the KdF-Wagen sedan body, the Kügelwagen chassis, and the Schwimmwagen part-time (first gear only) four-wheel-drive system. This hybrid wound up looking like a muscular Beetle, and was delivered to the Wehrmacht in two versions: as a solid-roofed sedan, and a “Cabrio-Limousine” with a large sliding cloth sunroof.

After the war, the factory ended up in the British section of occupied Germany. The British military re-opened the factory, named it Volkswagen, and finally gave control of the company to the German government.

After 1948, Volkswagen introduced new models across Europe. By 1955, over 1 million cars had been built. The VW beetle started selling in the U.S., and in 1972 the people’s car overtook the Ford Model T to become the most popular car ever made.

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I’ve always wanted one of these. I simply love them. These cars got everything. Want One! Want One! Want One!

Image found at:

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Sitting at a restaurant table in Munich in the summer of 1932, Hitler designed the prototype for what would become the immensely successful Beetle design for Volkswagen (literally, the "car of the people").

Inspiration for the Beetle had been drawn from the Tatra vehicles, mainly the T97, that had been designed by Hans Ledwinka. Due to the similarities, Tatra launched a lawsuit which never really materialized due to Germany invading Czechoslovakia. The lawsuit was later re-opened after World War II and Volkswagen was forced to pay Tatra 3,000,000 Deutsche Marks. This left Volkswagen with little money for development of new Beetle models. Read the whole story here

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Small notice in the Norwegian weekly magazine "Illustrert"  – No. 44 1960.

A car firm in Sweden has customised a VolksWagen by mounting a propeller to the motor and making the car watertight.

the first test runs was very promising and this proves to show that we soon may go both by water, land and air in the same vehicle.

As these "VolksBoats" have been scarce on the ground or rather on the water in our rivers, lakes and other waterways since 1960, we can safely assume  that this was another fiasco.

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The International car show in  Berlin, 1939. The Kraft Durch Freude Wagen

The “VW Automobila Archives” provides a really impressive  collection of VolksWagen images and scanned brochure material that would bring tears
to the eyes of any VW enthusiast.


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Which magicly turned into the VolksWagen after WWII
Starting in 1933, KdF provided affordable leisure activities such as concerts, plays, libraries, day trips and holidays. Large ships, such as the Wilhelm Gustloff, were built specifically for KdF cruises. Borrowing from the Italian fascist organization Dopolavoro (After Work), but extending its influence into the workplace as well, KdF rapidly developed a wide range of activities, and quickly grew into one of Nazi Germany’s largest organizations. The official  statistics showed that in 1934, 2.3 million people took KdF holidays. By 1938, this figure rose to 10.3 million. By 1939, it had over 7,000 paid employees and 135,000 voluntary workers, organized into divisions covering such areas as sport, education, and tourism, with wardens in every factory and workshop employing more than 20 people.

0139_kdfThe National Socialists sought to attract tourists from abroad, a task performed by Hermann Esser, one of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda’s secretaries. A series of multilingual and colorful brochures, titled "Deutschland", advertised Germany as a peaceful, idyllic, and progressive country, on one occasion even portraying the ministry’s boss, Joseph Goebbels, grinning and hamming in an unlikely photo series of the Cologne carnival.

KdF set up production of an affordable car, the Kdf-Wagen, which later became the Volkswagen Beetle. Buyers of the car made payments and posted stamps in a stamp-savings book, which when full, would be redeemed for the car. Due to the shift to wartime production, no consumer ever received a Kdf-Wagen (although after the war, Volkswagen did give some customers a 200DM discount for their stamp-books). The Beetle factory was primarily converted to produce the Kübelwagen (the German equivalent of the Jeep). What few Beetles were produced went primarily to the diplomatic corps and military officials. KdF was awarded the 1939 Olympic Cup by the International Olympic Committee.


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Classic VW Ads

The different advertising agencies around the world that worked with VolksWagen made advertising history at times. Here is one great one
And here are 10 more


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A lot of guys from my neighbour country Sweden runs interesting retro/vintage sites. I’ve already turned your attention  to PCLlinkdump
and Farbror Sid and this blog showing this nifty old VolksWagen pushing Kuling, some long ago forgotten soft drink is another one: Grandprix63. All three are well worth visiting on a frequent basis. Lots of cool posts on all of them.

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