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 British Army VW Beetle (1950s)

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plant-pilot
Sgt
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Number of posts : 22
Cap Badge : R.Sigs/RE
Places Served : Lippstadt, Gütersloh, Herford, Hameln
Registration date : 2007-03-08

PostSubject: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 11:39

I received an email today of a German called Stephan, from Münster who has restored a VW Beetle he found in a wood in East Germany..... well I'll let him explain....
Quote :
hello
my name ist stephan from münster , germany

i dont know i am here on the right way.
i have found for 15 years in east germany in the forest a beetle volkswagen.
the volkswagen museum write me that the beetle runs in the british armee up 1952 in lippstadt churchhill barraks
151 vehicle coy ?? what ever this is ?


i have restored the car over 10 years. i look for

old pictures from this modell by armee
old dresses and hats, badges and spezial papers.

my be you can help me or know some soldiers he have al pictures
i restored the car afther some pictures from old books and web site over british arme

her some pics from the car

thanks for help and infos

sorry for my bad english, but i sleep so mutch in school time :-)

stephan
münster
0171273375

The photos he attached showing the car in it's current restored condition are impressive (will get round to posting them) and he is after any info on 151 Veh Coy or pictures of British Army VW Beetles, Circa 1952.

Anyone have any information for him?
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plant-pilot
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Number of posts : 22
Cap Badge : R.Sigs/RE
Places Served : Lippstadt, Gütersloh, Herford, Hameln
Registration date : 2007-03-08

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 11:51

Here are the pictures he sent with the email....













As you'll agree, the restoration job is a cracker.
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Paul
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 817
Age : 65
Localisation : Limavady, N.I.
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E.
Places Served : Arborfield (Basic training), S.E.M.E. Bordon (Trade training), Barnard Castle, Hemer, Belfast (Emergency Tour), Londonderry, Munster, Brunei, Hong Kong
Registration date : 2008-04-06

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 12:35

I totally agree - that is a cracking restoration. One thing would be to identify the markings on the "Bug".

I have had a quick look around for 151 Vehicle Company, but nothing turned up. I am more inclined to think that it was issued to the Vehicle Company as a unit car.

There are a couple of photographs on the main site (somewhere - I will search the Gallery). If I find them I will post them on this thread, and you can send them on, or send him a link to them.

I wonder if he is in Munster Westfalen?

Paul.
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Paul
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 817
Age : 65
Localisation : Limavady, N.I.
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E.
Places Served : Arborfield (Basic training), S.E.M.E. Bordon (Trade training), Barnard Castle, Hemer, Belfast (Emergency Tour), Londonderry, Munster, Brunei, Hong Kong
Registration date : 2008-04-06

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 12:37

Paul wrote:
I wonder if he is in Munster Westfalen? Paul.

Just looked at the plates, I would say that is Munster Westfalen.

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 13:33

Certainly looks like Munster.

Will try my local contact
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alan8376
Lt Col
Lt Col


Number of posts : 393
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 15:14

The No plate may be a Trade Plate as you would see in UK.

OR


The Reg No is a special one issued, due to the date of the car, by the authorities in Muenster, so it can be driven legally on the roads. Much the same as a Q plate in uk. He will even pay Road Tax or equivalent and possibly need a 2 yearly special MOT?
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donald
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Number of posts : 156
Age : 88
Cap Badge : 1st The Royal Dragoons - The Blues and Royals (RHG/D)
Places Served : UK,BOAR,Egypt
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 15:34

I would guess its a trade plate.We used to have these VWs in the vehicle pool in BAOR,you could hire them out,with driver,for 6p(yes SIXPENCE)a day.Some of the kids in my Regt were born in the back of these on their long trips to BMH Hannover!
And I was the proud owner of one of these VWs with the split rear window,I bought it with 171,000KMs on the clock,when I traded it in in UK for a new VW it had done a total of just under 300,000kms,and in the time I had it the only repair was one spark plug went kaputt.Wish I had kept the old one in preservation,would be worth a bit today!
------
Don
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alan8376
Lt Col
Lt Col


Number of posts : 393
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 15:48

In the sixties I had an old VW, but with big rear window. However,what made this VW different was it had cable brakes, a nightmare to drive on a wet freezing night if water got on the cables.

Sadly it went the way of many a Beetle in that it dropped a valve onto the piston. Apparently it is a known fault that has bedeviled Beetles for years. It has something to do with the way the air cooling circulated.

How many can remember the cabin heater warming up instanteniously on starting the engine. Low betide anyone driving with a leaking heater/exhaust exchanger, as it meant exhaust fumes up the heating system.
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Ian
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Age : 66
Localisation : Suffield,Alberta
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : UK, BAOR,BATUS
Registration date : 2008-04-06

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 16:03

In 1955 I was at school in Detmold [ primary school], I broke my ankle during 'play' time, an ambulance was called for, a green VW showed up and took me to Rinteln hospital. No big deal, but I have had a soft spot for VW's ever since! Ian.
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alan8376
Lt Col
Lt Col


Number of posts : 393
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 16:35

All those in the know, acknowledge it was a REME Major, Ivan Hirst who was the guy behind getting the post war factory going again. Initially, production vehicles were to be for British Forces use.

The rest of the VW story everyone knows!

http://www.pre67vw.com/history/history2.aspx


http://www.rememuseum.org.uk/recent/vw.htm
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 63
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   8/10/2009, 19:49

Fantastic restoration, especially considering he found the VW abandoned in the woods in terrible condition, according to the photocopied photo he supplied.

The shade of green he used seems about right, as well. I don't imagine that would have been all that easy to get his hands on!
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   9/10/2009, 10:55

I was daft enough to buy a new 1302S Beetle. The most useless car ever. Heavy to drive, on motorways with a cross wind it rocked,lousy boot, and on and on.

Sold it for a MkI Polo. Great little 2 person car ,with good acceleration but it rusted away.

Sold it to a Ruperts wife for 400Dm and bought a Golf. Another great car.

Where are they all now-heaps of rust!


Last edited by Chemist on 9/10/2009, 17:59; edited 1 time in total
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donald
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Number of posts : 156
Age : 88
Cap Badge : 1st The Royal Dragoons - The Blues and Royals (RHG/D)
Places Served : UK,BOAR,Egypt
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   9/10/2009, 15:46

I know quite a few old friends who motored their Beetles over a half a million KMs.After I sold my old split window VW I bought another 1200 beetle,did 250,000KMs without a hitch.After that it was the new 1500S with the twin carbs for me,went like a bomb in those days,and was much admired with its two colour finish.After that I upgraded to a Merc 200,good car but gave trouble with the automatic timing chain adjuster wjhich was never properly sorted.After a fall out with an arrogant Merc salesman I changed to Audi,am now on my 6th Audi,for finish and reliability tops,but over priced I fear.Now downsizing on cars next year,going for the A3 sportback,hope I'm doing my bit for the planet?
-----
Don
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donald
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Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   9/10/2009, 15:48

Forgot to ask,why does this topic spread right across the monitor and you can't read part of it?
-----
Don
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plant-pilot
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Places Served : Lippstadt, Gütersloh, Herford, Hameln
Registration date : 2007-03-08

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   9/10/2009, 15:57

donald wrote:
Forgot to ask,why does this topic spread right across the monitor and you can't read part of it?
-----
Don
Due to the size of the photos at the top. I could reduce the size of the photos,
but I thought they were so good what the hell.... I'd post them 'as is'. You can
scroll across the page with the scroll bar at the bottom of the window, so no
need to miss any of the posts.

Of course if enough people winge I will shrink the size of the photos so you
have to squint to see a pathetic pixilated representation of the result
Stephan's of ten years of excellent restoration work. Very Happy
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Stephen Lock
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Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   10/10/2009, 07:09

On the topic of VWs....

My first car was a hand-off from my dad when I was 18. He'd driven a VW 1600 fastback for a couple of years and I "inherited" it.

Okay car but a dreadful colour of orange! Mom used to joke that we should put a decal of a mug of root beer on one side and a hamburger on the other and contract it out to the A&W Hamburger bunch (don't know if this will be lost on you UK bunch...A&W is sort of like Wimpy's and waaaay better than anything McDonald's ever produced! Their corporate colours are orange and brown).

Unfortunately, under my drivership, the 1600 sooned ended up more like a 1400-1/2 as I constantly got myself into fenderbenders and managed to get my backend pushed in (to clarify, I mean the car's backend! LOL).

My next car was a vintage 1952 Valiant with push button transmission. Robin egg blue body and red leather interior. I quite liked that little car, but it got done in one winter when some fool rammed into the back of it as it was parked on the hill outside my flat and pushed it half a block down! I was really PO'd over that!!
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donald
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Number of posts : 156
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Cap Badge : 1st The Royal Dragoons - The Blues and Royals (RHG/D)
Places Served : UK,BOAR,Egypt
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   10/10/2009, 15:18

Not being very expert on PCs did not realize the reason for the "spreadout",but its no problem and as you say we can get a good look at the picture,sure no ones gonna "winge"
-------
Don
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brian beckett
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PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   10/10/2009, 21:00

I was in BAOR at the end of the fifties and both the army and the RAF used VW Beeltes extensively. They were driven hard by most drivers but were very reliable. People used to refer to their years of manufacture like those of wine. A couple of years after demob in 1961, I was in Germany and noticed they had all been replaced by the Austin/Morris Mini. In those early days the Mini was unreliable. It must have been an absolute nightmare for the REME & RAF vehicle workshops
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burgess720
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PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   10/10/2009, 21:58

Hi all,

In early 1950's most units had a VW, ours was CO's transport.
If I remember Germans could not buy them new then, so Army had them new for a few months then they were sold second hand to Germans!!
Not the best on wet cobble stones cornering faster than you should do.
The roof also collapsed when a large object was dropped from a top storey window, one of them mysteries of 40 Field Sqn "Who dropped a chair onto the CO's car" I think the culprit left the next morning on the train and demob.
Happy days.
Cheers
Tony
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Paul
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Number of posts : 817
Age : 65
Localisation : Limavady, N.I.
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E.
Places Served : Arborfield (Basic training), S.E.M.E. Bordon (Trade training), Barnard Castle, Hemer, Belfast (Emergency Tour), Londonderry, Munster, Brunei, Hong Kong
Registration date : 2008-04-06

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   10/10/2009, 23:01

brian beckett wrote:
I was in BAOR at the end of the fifties and both the army and the RAF used VW Beeltes extensively. They were driven hard by most drivers but were very reliable. People used to refer to their years of manufacture like those of wine. A couple of years after demob in 1961, I was in Germany and noticed they had all been replaced by the Austin/Morris Mini. In those early days the Mini was unreliable. It must have been an absolute nightmare for the REME & RAF vehicle workshops

Did the Mini come into Army service that far back?? Or was it just in BAOR?

But I do remember the pain in the silent over the by-pass hose, even when I was an apprentice. Apparently there was a tool for replacing it with ease, but Austin-Morris/BMC/whoever (they had that many names) would not release it.

Paul.
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dandc
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Registration date : 2009-05-22

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   11/10/2009, 12:53

one cold morning in fally the MTO asked a driver if he had checked his anti-freeze,reply yes sir,result 14 days jankers,he forgot he was driving a beetle,dave.
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Stephen Lock
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Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   11/10/2009, 20:05

burgess720 wrote:
Hi all,

In early 1950's most units had a VW....Not the best on wet cobble stones cornering faster than you should do.

The roof also collapsed when a large object was dropped from a top storey window, one of them mysteries of 40 Field Sqn "Who dropped a chair onto the CO's car" I think the culprit left the next morning on the train and demob.
Happy days.
Cheers
Tony

I would think just about any vehicle roof would collapse under such circumstances LOL

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the design of the VW, ie the domed roof, picked up from architectural engineering principles and that the domed roof was actually stronger than most other car roofs because it was domed.
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Stephen Lock
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Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   11/10/2009, 20:12

This is something Hardrations can perhaps address, as his memory is far better than mine in such matters.... :-)

I don't recall VWs being used for military purposes with Canadian troops at all. Not sure what we sported our senior officers around in, but I suspect it was probably Mercedes, possibly 280SL's.

I know in the '70s, it was not unusual to have your average taxi be a Mercedes sedan (something most Canadian civilians respond to with a certain degree of skepticism given that Mercedes are perceived as luxury vehicles), so I'm kind of thinking they might also have been used as 'official cars.' Probably in basic shiny black....

As I think of it, I'm also getting thoughts of Opels...hmmmm.

Citrons too, but they were more used by the Belgians and French (go figure!). Cool cars. Weird looking, but cool.
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wrinkles
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PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   13/10/2009, 16:55

I'm afraid you'll have to wait for a reply from Hardrations, he's over here in the UK at the moment, having attended a BiscuitsBrown thrash. He will recover though, I am reliably informed, and we promise to pop him on a plane for home on Thursday.

Early 60's We certainly had at least a couple of beetles use as camp runabouts but the staff cars were Ford Zephrs and Zodiacs
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 393
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Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: British Army VW Beetle (1950s)   13/10/2009, 17:22

Well,

I know we are familiar with the SIB in the forces.............

What the Internet throws up when you least expect it!

Go to this site and read about the SIB investigation into the VW Factory.

http://www.redcap70.net/PatColson_VW.pdf

I believe Stephan from Munster will find this very interesting,(with good translation) as it is not like the usual VW car write ups or reports one often find about Major Hirst and his success.
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