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VW is 83 Today


Eric
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Volkswagen was founded by the German Labor Front under Nazi rule on this day in 1937 at the command of Adolf Hitler. In an effort to mobilize his countrymen, Hitler aimed to produce an extremely affordable, highly reliable automobile; Volkswagen translates to “people’s car.”  The result would ultimately be the Volkswagen Type 1, often referred to as the Bug or Beetle.
 

after he showed a keen interest in small cars with air-cooled engines, which is what Hitler desired. Prototypes began to appear in 1938 and a small handful of production vehicles were manufactured before WWII broke out the next year. The Volkswagen Type 1 would begin mass production following the end of the war, with its factories being an integral building block in post war Germany.

https://automotivehistory.org/this-day-in-automotive-history/may-28-1937-vw-is-founded/
 

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Just now, Historian said:

I always thought they had an interesting look about them.

Ferdinand Porsche was apparently a fan of the Chrysler Airflow cars. A lot of people copied their basic shape, to one extent or another. 

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5 minutes ago, Eric said:

Ferdinand Porsche was apparently a fan of the Chrysler Airflow cars. A lot of people copied their basic shape, to one extent or another. 

Interesting bit of automotive history.   I did not know that.   But that shape is used a lot.

 

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4 minutes ago, Historian said:

Interesting bit of automotive history.   I did not know that.   But that shape is used a lot.

 

Many, many automakers and coachbuilders borrowed from the Airflow look. The airflow wasn’t very popular in the US, but it captured the imagination of the rest of the world. It was a fresh, groundbreaking look.

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2 minutes ago, Eric said:

Many, many automakers and coachbuilders borrowed from the Airflow look. The airflow wasn’t very popular in the US, but it captured the imagination of the rest of the world. It was a fresh, groundbreaking look.

I could see myself driving an Air Flow.  Think you'd have to carry a 1903 Hammerless, Colt .38 or something period.  :)

The French Deux Chevaux....a classic.

2CV Experience Spend a Day in a Deux Chevaux

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11 minutes ago, Historian said:

I could see myself driving an Air Flow.  Think you'd have to carry a 1903 Hammerless, Colt .38 or something period.  :)

The French Deux Chevaux....a classic.

2CV Experience Spend a Day in a Deux Chevaux

That is probably the most important, iconic car in French auto making history and it definitely bears some resemblance to an Airflow. There are similar looking cars by Peugeot, Fiat, Volvo and just about every other European car maker. It changed their industry. 
 

The CV2 was an interesting car. It was built with the needs of rural and farmer car owners in mind. It is a incredible simple car, which is easy to maintain. The suspension looks ungainly, but it can work itself over some nasty obstacles easily. Back in the day, there was a CV2 commercial where the put a basket of eggs on the back seat and then drove the car crossways over the rows of a plowed field without damaging any of the eggs. Like the VW Beetle, that car stayed in production for decades with very few changes to its design and almost no changes to the way it looked. That car helped to get the French back on their feet, after WWII. 

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1 minute ago, Eric said:

 That car helped to get the French back on their feet, after WWII. 

Wow, you sure do know your cars.   What you said is totally true.   And having been to France dozens of times growing up....i can remember riding in these cars as far back as 19990.    I always thought it was a pretty but rather simple looking car.     But you are right.  That car was the car of post WWII, France.  It was a serious practical vehicle.

I can remember actually driving to the farm lands and returning with a rabbit, vegetables, and eggs in a CV2.

I don't think i ever saw one with a paint job like the one pictured.

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7 minutes ago, Historian said:

Wow, you sure do know your cars.   What you said is totally true.   And having been to France dozens of times growing up....i can remember riding in these cars as far back as 19990.    I always thought it was a pretty but rather simple looking car.     But you are right.  That car was the car of post WWII, France.  It was a serious practical vehicle.

I can remember actually driving to the farm lands and returning with a rabbit, vegetables, and eggs in a CV2.

I don't think i ever saw one with a paint job like the one pictured.

No, I imagine most of them ended up with brushed-on paint jobs. They were workhorses. The French didn’t start romanticizing them until the nineties. Then they started really tricking them out. It is also very popular to own WWII US Army Jeeps. They get done up in authentic historic condition, tricked out and modified until you can’t tell it was ever a Jeep and everything in between.

After WWII, the US left huge stockpiles of Jeeps behind, both used and crated, never-built Jeeps. These were used by police, utility companies, farmers, etc. They were damned versatile vehicles and they got used for everything. Even today, the French still love their Jeeps.

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Another extremely popular old Citroën is the H Van. These things were produced in huge numbers and they worked for a living. It was fairly common to simply drive them till they were scrap, but they made so many, there are still plenty around. This is another old vehicle that has made a comeback in Europe. People are buying them for retro delivery trucks, food trucks, excursion vehicles, RV’s, you name it.

The original powertrain was underpowered and unreliable. The engine didn’t have an oil filter, so you had to change the oil constantly. A lot of engines got destroyed because of lack of maintenance. Today, there are several companies making subframes with modern four cylinder engines and transmissions, that give the H Vans far better power, reliability and longevity. Interesting enough, the four cylinder of choice is basically a Ford engine used commonly in Pintos, in the ‘70s. It was actually a great little motor and got used in a lot of race brackets. The Brits have continued to improve on and produce these engines. The whole powertrain subframe simply bolts in. It even gives you a brake & suspension upgrade.

People love or hate the look of the H Vans. I’ve always liked them. 
 

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I remember milk deliveries in those old trucks.   And yes, they were everywhere, and run into the ground.   And jeeps were often used for farm work and anything else a person might need.  

In rural France there are still many of those old jeeps.   In fact, there's a serious interest WWII history with a lot of people restoring the old jeeps and getting them running again.    In 2004 i was in Normandy for the celebration and was stunned by the number of rebuilt American jeeps and other vehicles that were still transporting people everywhere.

Thanks Eric.  With these memories in mind tonight i might have to cook something French for dinner.

 

 

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I saw a documentary on how the Nazis financed the lead up to the war. They financed Part of the Autobahn by pre-selling VW cars but never delivered the cars to German citizens and selling fake stock in the company. It was of the great stock frauds of all time. 

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4 hours ago, Eric said:

Another extremely popular old Citroën is the H Van. These things were produced in huge numbers and they worked for a living. It was fairly common to simply drive them till they were scrap, but they made so many, there are still plenty around. This is another old vehicle that has made a comeback in Europe. People are buying them for retro delivery trucks, food trucks, excursion vehicles, RV’s, you name it.

The original powertrain was underpowered and unreliable. The engine didn’t have an oil filter, so you had to change the oil constantly. A lot of engines got destroyed because of lack of maintenance. Today, there are several companies making subframes with modern four cylinder engines and transmissions, that give the H Vans far better power, reliability and longevity. Interesting enough, the four cylinder of choice is basically a Ford engine used commonly in Pintos, in the ‘70s. It was actually a great little motor and got used in a lot of race brackets. The Brits have continued to improve on and produce these engines. The whole powertrain subframe simply bolts in. It even gives you a brake & suspension upgrade.

People love or hate the look of the H Vans. I’ve always liked them. 
 

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Saw one of these tricked out a a sweets wagon in a park on Malta.  I’ve wanted one ever since.

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Ahhhh....the ol' Kraft Durch Freude Wagon.

James May did an amazing history of that car, the Nazis, Ferdinand Porsche, how the Nazis defrauded thousands of it's citizens out of their money in that scam, and much, much more.

Lemme see if I can find a YT video of it.

Soooo......I checked YT. The two "Cars of the People" specials by James May covered quite a few cars, not just the KdF wagen. And all of the rest of the two specials are readily available on YT. 

The part on the Nazis/VW/KdF Wagen? Looks like it's been scrubbed from YT. YT video play-lists of James May's "Cars of the People" show a lot of deleted videos. Methinks VW has had their way, and made sure that bit of history isn't spread around YT, infecting people's brains with the truth.

Based on that, I'll give VW a huge middle finger on their birthday.

Not because they have a history going back to the Nazis, but because they've clearly scrubbed YT of that history for their own purposes. That and how they're a bunch of friggin' liars and thieves.
 

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