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Volkswagen history

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					Today VW is one of the biggest car manufacturers in Europe. However this was not
like that from the beginning.
      The word "volkswagen" literally means "people's car" and this was the whole
idea behind it. From the beginning VW tried to make a car that is simple enough so
that the average people could afford it.
      It was not exactly a new idea. Before 1930's there have been many attempts to
create a simple car model. The problem however was that no matter how simple the
car was made it still ended up costing more than the yearly wage of a normal worker.
      History tells that while many affords was made from VW to create the perfect
worker class car a new company was created. In 1930 Ferdinand Porsche made his
company. Right after the creation Porsche patented a pretty complex suspension
system. In this system the transversely mounted torsion bars are connected to two
trailing arms on each side. That made the whole model very light. In fact it was lighter
than every common suspension type.
      In 1931 another company asked Porsche if they could make a model close to the
last one for them. The 2 door sedan was made as a result of this project. It was very
similar to Beetle and it had the suitability that was required.
      The company who bought the model is called Zundapp and right after they
bought the sedan model they wanted to put 1.2 liter radial engine from one of their
own motorcycles. That didn't happen and this was the end of the line.
      In 1933 NSU purchased a design from Porsche. It was known by the name Type
32. This new model was even closer to the upcoming KdF Wagen than its predecessor
Type 12. It was pretty close to Tatra V570 too especially with some mechanically
similarities.
      After the World War II was over Tatra got some compensations from Volkswagen
because they think that their model was pirated from KdF Wagen because of the
similar technology. The KdF Wagen was made during that time and the similarities
pointed that during the development major mechanical components were copied from
it and used in the Tatra design model. Soon after that NSU dropped the Type 32
project.
      In 1933 Porsche together with Hitler made possible for the citizen car project to
continue. The Type 60 was soon created and its name soon changed to V1
(experiment 1). After a proposition made by Hitler V2 was designed to met the new
convertible version criteria that was introduced.
      In 1936 these models together with VW3 were put to major testing. After enough
data was collected the next version - the VW30 was made. For the VW30 testing a
new government company was responsible - the DAF. This was because of the
Hitler's regime.
      Members of SS were told to drive the new VW30 model and to confirm that all
the problems are fixed. Soon after that in 1938 in the KdF Wagen factory the
manufacturing process began. In 1939 some VW38 and a few demonstrational cars of
the model VW39 came to the world.
      That was made just to point out that the factory is working and to show what the
future cars would look like. These models came with a difference - the front hinged
doors. When V38s models were finally introduced Hitler abruptly changed the name
to KdF Wagen. KdF stayed for "Kraft durch Freude" or "Strength through Joy". That
made Porsche pretty upset because he was not a member of the Nazi party and the use
of propaganda of this kind was not his understanding of advertisement.
     Special stamps were made by the government. They were sold to people and on
theory if someone got 200 stamps they could immediately be changed with a KdF
Wagen. That however was not meant to be and the model didn't proceed further. In
fact it stayed only as a prototype.
     Many people made it to court seeking some compensation because of the stamps
they had which was not going to be redeemed with a car. During that time the Type 82
was on the way. It was a simple military vehicle. It practically used the parts from
KdF Wagen and its flat-sided body and increased ground clearance were some of the
few differences.
     During WWII Type 128 and Type 166 were created. The last was powered by a
25 hp engine. There were over 50 000 cars produced of the Type 82 and only less than
16 000 of the Schwimmwagen (Type 166).
     After the war the KdF Wagen factory was taken over by the British army. Under
the leadership of Major Ivan Hirsts over 2000 cars were made. Most of these cars
were made by spare parts left by the old manufacturing process.
     After 1945 the company was named Volkswagen and the whole town took the
name "Wolfsburg" which was the name of a castle nearby. The British were looking to
whom to give the control over the factory. It was very difficult because Ford though it
to be a waste of money and the French government refused. Soon after that Heinrich
Nordhoff took the opportunity which came to be a good step in the Volkswagen
development.
     In 1949 the production rapidly increased. Soon after that in 1950 the VW
transporter was born. Many vehicles were transported to Denmark, Sweden,
Luxemburg, Belgium, and Switzerland. In South Africa the Beetles were produced
during the same year.
     In 1952 dealership opened doors in England which was the first there. In 1951
deluxe version of the Beetle was exported. In 1952 the American deluxe Beetles got
hydraulic brakes.
     Beetles made before and some during the 1953 looked a lot like the old KdF
Wagen. In 1955 the Karmann Ghia was introduced. It was made by many of the
Beetle parts to keep the production line cheaper. In 1977 the production of the Beetle
sedan ended. Two years after that cabriolet production stopped too.
     However it is pretty interesting that Beetles are used and produced in Mexico
even today.

				
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