In autumn 1938, even before the conerstone of the VW factory in Wolfsburg has been laid, the Vorwerk in Braunschweig started operation. The goals of this facility were the education of skilled workers for the service and production of the Volkswagen as well as the production of special tools for the VW factory.
The decision to build a new factory for the production of the KdF-Wagen enabled the regime to select and train the future staff according to their own measures and requirements.
From the beginning it was made clear, that this is an elitist facility. The selected trainees went through a elaborated training program in well equipped workshops.
The selection of the trainees followed strict guidelines, therfore no one was bothered about the holistic approach of the training. Beside the technical skills, sports and politics were part of the training porgram. The tone was military and the training methods were performance oriented and selective.
The goal wasnÂ´t only to train the technical knowledge, the trainees were trained to be the future leaders of the VW staff. As the apprentices came from all over germany and occupied countries (f.e. Austria, Norway), the Vorwerk has its own residential home that was under the control of the HJ (Hitlerjugend).
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I remember the day I saw a Reuters brochures for the very first time. It was a Beetle brochure from 1955 shown here to the right. In times when other car companys advertized their economy cars with small leaflets, VW provided these pieces of art to their customers. Thick paper with a spiral binding, pop out pages with transparent films and on the last page a small pocket for the price list.
The icing on the cake are the wonderful illustrations from Bernd Reuters. They made the models racier, roomier and more exclusive than they were in real world and convey a undelible impression of quality. The engagement of Bernd Reuters was a stroke of luck for VW, because he has been a very successful graphic artitst before the second world war. He fashioned brochures for a lot of car companies and made illustrations for front pages of magazins like “das Auto” and “Motor”.
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These pictures show the Drews convertible. Drews was a little factory in Wuppertal, Germany. Although the car could be ordered in official Volkswagen dealerships, only 150 of these cars were built. The first and the second picture may be taken at a Motoshow in Rheydt 1949, where the car was presented for the first time.
Only the chassis and a few other parts were taken from the beetle. The rest especially the aluminium body was hand made and took 1000 hours of work.
Die KdF-Wagen sollten 990 Mark kosten. Dies war fÃ¼r die breite Masse der Arbeitnehmer immer noch eine hohe Summe. Es wurde daher untersucht welchen Betrag eine durchschnittliche Familie in der Lage wÃ¤re zu sparen. So wurde das Sparsystem ins Leben gerufen, bei dem sich der KÃ¤ufer verpflichtete jede Woche mindestens eine Marke fÃ¼r 5 Mark zu erwerben. read more »
This is an internal report of Vauxhall motors from 1947. They investigated a type 11 & type 51.This report was made shortly after the BIOS report, but wasnÂ´t part of it. The part of the BIOS report made by Humber is referenced in the text. read more »