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A rare outbreak of moment of personal indulgence.. this is nearly my 100th blog after all

Photo - KDF Wagen

Photo – KDF Wagen

Whilst busy trawling through the vast ocean rich with articles abut the International Six Days’ Trial in the archive of the National Library of Australia’s interwar years newspapers, sat alongside a key report on the ISDT 1938 I stumbled onto an article on the development in Germany under the direction of a well known despot the production of a new car for the citizens of Germany one that would cost only the equivalent of the average workers salary for 20 weeks. In addition this car would be built in a factory run by the state in direct competition to the private sector who had failed to take up the design challenge… Unlike however the ill-fated efforts at state car building in Britain or the Meridan co-operative at the end of our bike indutry. From this humble beginning came one of the worlds greatest cars and one of the worlds largest and advanced automotive companies.

As a help to any other VW Beetle fans or researchers who stumble onto this blog I have added below some of the treasure of articles about the arrival of the KDF Wagen and its liberation at the end of the war.


Huge German Factory BRIEF DETAILS

If things turn out according to Herr Hitler’s programme to build for the German people, in the next few years, millions of low priced motor cars at the huge Government factory now being erected in Brunswick, the people of that country will be able to buy a new car through the Labour Front at the equivalent of 5/ a week, plus about 1 / a week for insurance

Brief details of the Volkswagen, or ‘K.D.F.,’; are: Length 14ft., width 4ft. 6in., ample luggage space, seats four to five people, aircooled 1200 c.c. 4 cyl. horizontally opposed engine mounted in rear of chassis, petrol consumption about 40 m.p.g., and a top speed of 60 m.p.h; It is claimed that the factory being erected for the building of these cars will be the largest motor works in Europe. The cars, which will be available with three types of bodies, tourer, saloon and drop-heap coupe, will be on sale towards the end of 1939. As the machines are to be sold for 990 marks (50 sterling, at the present rate of exchange), it looks as if purchase payments for the machines will extend over four years. Whether such a scheme is feasible on an economic basis remains to be proved. In 1937, Germany produced 267,652 cars and 64,242 motor trucks and buses, and exported 20.5 per cent, of them— 5632 units going to Great Britain as compared with 484 in 1936, a fact that recently caused a stir in the British motor industry.


image - scanned article from Cairns Post Queensland on development of KDF Wagen 10 Dec 1937

image – scanned article from ‘Cairns Post‘ Queensland on development of KDF Wagen 10 Dec 1937

image - scanned article Maitland Daily Mercury, New South Wales 30 July 1938

image – scanned article ‘Maitland Daily Mercury‘, New South Wales 30 July 1938

image - scanned article Maitland Daily Mercury, New South Wales 21 October 1938

image – scanned article ‘Maitland Daily Mercury‘, New South Wales 21 October 1938

Having got that off my chest I’ll slink back to my archive research of Australian newspapers however as a bit of a heads up of what I’m working on right now:

Coming soon to Speedtracktales Blogs

  • Final instalment of days 5 and 6 of the ISDT 1939
  • Welsh Three Day trial 1964 – original report from ‘Motor Cycle
  • ISDT 1953 – the entire original reports in ‘Motor Cycle’ of the last British Trophy winning effort
  • ISDT 1954 – the debate from 1953 about where to hold the 1954 event
  • Motor Cycle 1934 – the big debate on land access should trials be held on Private land?
  • ISDT 1939 – Selection event for the 1939 British Team at Bagshot Sands and Brooklands.
  • ISDT 1938 – review of event from xmas issue of the Motor Cycle 1938

I had hoped to have the full story of the 1954 ISDT from the Motor Cycle when all thre sequently issues appeared at the same time on fleabay but sadly some insensitive cad out bid STT on the main issue leaving us with the bread for the sandwich but no filling… pah humbug