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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Volkswagen Transporter T1 (1950-1967)


The first "Bulli" was coined in 1947 by Dutchman Ben Pona, and was built in record time the factory does not keep pace with its production.

The story begins in 1947. Dutchman Ben Pon Sr., whose company, Sun's Automobielhandel was the first foreign importer of Volkswagen after World War II, met with representatives of the Minden wolfsburskich British government establishments to talk about buying a few Beetles for the Netherlands. (After World War II, Germany was divided into occupation zones, and the Volkswagen plants were in the area managed by the British).

During the conversation the Dutchman drew in his notebook, handwritten draft of a van with a revolutionary concept: rear engine, front driver and place between them at 750 kg load. The inspiration for Pona was built for indoor plants, quaint Flatbed truck, which saw the ruins of the hall in Wolfsburg.

After some time, even in 1948, Heinirch Nordhoff, a new member of the board in Wolfsburg, Pona accepted the idea and commissioned the principal designer Alfred Haesnerowi its implementation. Less than a year later the technical documentation and 1948, built the first prototypes. When the work was used in wind tunnel tests. Coefficient of Cw first structure was about 0.7, but has been reduced to unprecedented at the time of 0.44. As the Beetle floor pan was too weak to transport heavy loads, it reinforced a special frame. The prototype of the Volkswagen Transporter was presented to reporters on Nov. 12, 1949 year in Wolfsburg and was received with enthusiasm.

8 March 1950 year in Wolfsburg began mass production of the vehicle marked with Type 2 Transporter (Type 1 had the Beetle), and commonly known as T1 or "Bulli" from the first letters of the name "Bus Lieferwagen" (German Commercial bus).

The plant produced its first commercial vehicle in four versions: a van, special vehicle, 8-passenger van and as a store salesmanship. The car had a load capacity of 825 kilograms. With a full load reached a maximum speed of 75 km / h and consume 8-9 liters of fuel per 100 km.

In 1951 he presented a model Samba - bus passenger, who soon conquered the world. Paint in two colors, sliding roof, lots of chrome and 21 windows were something hitherto unheard of. Like no other vehicle, a minibus has become the constant companion of many years of globe-trotters. In the same year was built on the basis of the first Transporter ambulance.

Four years after the start of series production, rolled off the production line conveyor hundred-thousandth. At those times of Bytom is a great achievement. It soon became apparent that the production capacity at Wolfsburg plant are almost fully utilized. It was decided to build a new facility only deals with vehicle mount. The race: 235 municipalities are fighting for it to be located in their area. The decision is taken on Jan. 24, 1955 - factory built in Hanover.

Layout of the factory was extremely modern: the production was on the first floor, upstairs hall, and the flow of materials has been provided below on the ground floor. The plant in Hanover was then the most modern, and perhaps even the most beautiful plant producing cars in the world.

Just a year after the decision to build, and the sixth anniversary of the start of production, 8 March 1956, after a very short construction period, the production line of new plant rolled off the first Transporter. Initially, the factory employed 4 954 workers, who assembled 250 per day initially, then 300 units Transporter. Demand for Transporter surpassed all expectations. Just one year after the start of production the factory was too small. With the addition of Hall 2 of its size is doubled. The number of employees increased in the early years by 70-80 percent.

In 1958, Volkswagen's designers have presented a proposal, without which it is impossible today to imagine the commercial vehicles - a double cabin. A year later, in 1959, the Transporter has received all-synchromesh transmission, which was not far from evident at the time you press a double clutch when changing gears. In 1960, he introduced a flashing turn signals. They replace previously used an arrow indicating the intention of turning performance. T1 model was produced until 1967, when it was replaced by T2.