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oldovaldriver
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most brief histories naturally feature Porsche as the dominant figure, but it's not uncommon knowledge that Komenda was the body designer. Most in-depth histories acknowledge his role. I don't have primary documentation on hand, but here are a few accepted secondary works that describe Komenda's contribution:

Boddy, William. Volkswagen Beetle: Type 1, the Traditional Beetle [London: Osprey 1982], p. 13.

Ludvigsen, Karl. Battle for the Beetle [Cambridge, Massechusetts: Bentley, 2000], p. 23.

Parkinson, Simon. Volkswagen Beetle: the Rise from the Ashes of War [Dorchester, UK: Veloce, 1996], p. 9.

Schuler, Terry. Volkswagen: Then, Now, and Forever [Indianapolis: Beeman Jorgensen Inc., 1996], p. 20.

Walter Henry Nelson. Small Wonder [Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1965], p. 32.

Sorry about my confusing double post above. I thought the 1st try hadn't gone through because it started a second page. When the second try did the same thing I realized my dumb mistake. Figures I would do something idiotic when trying to argue a point! I guess that's payback for my vanity.

Paul Rubenson

PS- I would also be interested in Jeffrey Hicken's source for Komenda's design patents for the Volkswagen.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can search the US patent office under Komenda's name, or check the link above. The US patent office offers lazer copies of the original patents for a few bucks.

jeffrey
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, I just happend to have Karl Ludvigsen's book at arms reach and flipped to p 23. Note the pic at the top of the page with Porsche Sr. and Franz Zaver Reimspiess discussing the design of a cooling fan. This is the sort of hands on direction Porsche had on the entire design. He wasn't a CEO far removed from the nuts and bolts of the project like you seem to suggest here:
"Not CEOs. Not boards of directors. Not marketing managers. Not corporate lawyers."
Its Porsche's direct hands on management style that has earned him the credit of the VW's design.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 3:31 pm    Post subject: KdF Reply with quote

A complicated and political situation.

The company name was always Volkswagen, the car was expected to be called Volkswagen, but Hitler named it the KdF wagen. Therefor the VW inside a cogwheel before the war and the VW in a plain circle after the war. The cogwheel was part of the KdF political organization insignia.

Brits did the change of insignias in 45 sometime and the car name change asap. The term Volks Wagen, was a generic term for a car for the people, ie low end simple etc. A similar term here is pony car for the type of car like the Mustang etc.

The savings plan was good, worked up to the fall of Germany, cash was not used by Hitler, it stayed in a blocked account in a Berlin Bank, and taken by the Soviets as war plunder. VW was sued and eventually made a deal with surviving saving plan holders. Something like a car at a discount, or cash. In the 60's or 70's I think???

The design of the VW was driven by Porsche, who had designed up to 8 peoples cars, with three that made it to the prototype stage for other companies. The basic outline and plan was there already in the early 30's, not just by Porsche, but also by others working in the same direction, Bruno Ganz for example: tube backbone rear engine, torsion bar in the suspesion , and the fast-back body shape etc. So Komenda who did the most on the body got patents on the details he came up with, Reimspiess ibid on engines, but also worked on body design. This was a close group, who had known each other for years and had worked together before. It was a real group effort, and everything went through Porsche. The basic body form was in place before Komenda joined the team. He made it work, and developed the technical details that made it hold together and gave the final shape the detail lines that made it apealing. There was a constant back and forth between the various members , ie the chassis designers, the mathemeticians for aerodynamics, and the body men, to get the details to merge into a unit called a Volkswagen or KdF car. And that included Porsche as well.

The design was not based on the 170 Mercedes, or the earlier rear engine sports done by Mercedes, but on ideas from all the good designs of the past and present were looked at and worked into their design, like all good car designs.

The Mercedes was not the bad handling one, it was the big Tatra with a large rear mounted V 8 that developed a wicked rear kickout very suddenly, evidently without warning. It made the Corvair look placid. Don't forget that Porsche was responsible for the Auto Union 16 cyl mid engine racer with tortion bar suspension. Look at that one: a VW on tons of steroids. Don't forget this was the 30's, cars had only been around for 30 years plus, and Porsche had been involved from the begining, as a very succesful designer. With Daimler, Steyer, Lohr, Mercedes, Auto Union and many others, designing all kinds of cars. His first being a gas/electric with motors in the hubs .

Its all very interesting, and can be argued all day from one position or the other. It all comes down to the fact that every detail had to be cross refernced with other parts and details. The wheel size kept changing with body changes and engine and tranny changes, since the coefficient of drag of the body affected the engine rpm capacities because it was so small to start with, and that affected the wheel size needed to keep revs in line.

One little example of how hard it is to say who did what is the fact that the forst known use of torsion bars for suspesion was in the 1800's in Sweden on a horse drawn wagon.

Info from many books, also Automobile Quarterly, and Chris Barber's book "Birth of the Beetle"
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All very good information, but why did you drag up a 2 year old thread?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:04 pm    Post subject: KdF Reply with quote

Germanpride wrote:
All very good information, but why did you drag up a 2 year old thread?


I'm new sort of and going through all the split and oval postings in reverse order. Lots of great info, and this I did know about more or less.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorta glad it was revived. The thread has some good, distilled info on VW history... Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Guys I noticed nobody mentioned NSU whom porsche worked for I happen to have 3 of the stamp books one is from 1938, the other 2 are from 1941 last stamps are in the earlist book 1944 this book has a cog wheel with a vw logo in center the 1941 book have a nazi logo in center and last stamp was juni 42 in one and sep 30 1942 in the other In all there was to be 5 books fill the later 2 I have are the 4th book each one is 2 stamps from full At the top each say the same thing Die deutfche Arbeitsfront then below that is KDF wagen- sparkarte later and have fun Mark dearing
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwbrain wrote:
hey Guys I noticed nobody mentioned NSU whom porsche worked for I happen to have 3 of the stamp books one is from 1938, the other 2 are from 1941 last stamps are in the earlist book 1944 this book has a cog wheel with a vw logo in center the 1941 book have a nazi logo in center and last stamp was juni 42 in one and sep 30 1942 in the other In all there was to be 5 books fill the later 2 I have are the 4th book each one is 2 stamps from full At the top each say the same thing Die deutfche Arbeitsfront then below that is KDF wagen- sparkarte later and have fun Mark dearing


Thanks for that information. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://aolsvc.edmunds.com/reviews/generations/articles/101211/article.html here you go guys later Mark Dearing
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwbrain wrote:
http://aolsvc.edmunds.com/reviews/generations/articles/101211/article.html here you go guys later Mark Dearing


Not bad, just a few mistakes that I could find.

Kubel prototypes did have 18" wheels, dropped to 16" (standard size) when they added gear reduction boxes to the rear axel to get torque and the walking speed required by the army, with the addition of offset front spindles to even ride height, they had the needed ground clearance without 18" wheels. Some Kubels had wider rims for use with sand tires in North Africa.

Production continued on a regular basis after the '44 bombings, until February '45 when raw material supply became sporadic and production slumped towards zero. But production at a level of a few per day kept up based on parts at hand. I read that the last miltary delivery from the plant was in April '45. 10 April the factory shut down when the party types and the SS guards fled and the forced laborers went on a rampage. On the 12th the Americans took controle and things quieted down. Production restarted in June under the British occupation, building 138, mostly to keep the workers occupied and fed and the powerstation running., and the factory was used as a repair depot for allied vehicles, mostly rebuilding Jeep and Humber engines. There was also the idea that the plant could produce vehicles for the Allies who needed all kinds of new vehicles for their own needs, since their vehicles had had heavy use during the war and were wearing out. They eventually ended up getting an order for 20,000 from the British army based on an almost completed KdF car found in the plant that they finished off and sent to the HQ painted green.

The first models built were Kubelwagens because of the stock of chassis, axles and bodies on hand.. They even found a train full of raw bodies that had been abandoned at the end of the war on the tracks. The existing body stocks were used up first then they weree forced to restart the KdF body line because the Kubels came from the Ambi-Budd factory in Berlin. This was Russian controled and had been massively destroyed at the end of the war. So no more chance of continueing kubel construction. (Note the Ambi-Budd was originally an American owned company in Germany)

The KdF presses were still at the Wolfburg plant and they decided to produce those bodies and put them on the Kubel chassis, which gave the early KdF postwar production an oddly high ride height. This continued until the Occupation government banned "military" vehicle production. The Volkswagen plant actually continued with the high ride height untill they were able to source a supply of standard height front spindles, which took a while. The rear gear reduction boxes could be removed and the axles used for the standard height.

1949 was not the year for the dash change, just the speedo changed. The dash was changed with the Zwitter in October '52.

1958: I think they mean the speaker grill being moved in front of the driver, actually in August of '57 the '58 model year. Though since the car had no water cooled engine, you don't need a large radiator grill to cool it.

This is the end of my source material and general knowledge. And other mistakes may be present in both the original piece and/or in my info.

Next, have fun, Eric
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: VW Dashes Reply with quote

There was a dash change between May and Dec 1945.
another between Feb 49 and June? 49 and again in
Oct 52.


Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: VW Dashes Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
There was a dash change between May and Dec 1945.
another between Feb 49 and June? 49 and again in
Oct 52.


Mike


I stand corrected. I have never known the date for the change on the cogwheel to the plain circle in '45 for the fixed right pod. That also means a change sometime in '47 when the circle with the vw in it went from being placed above center in the panel, to centered in the right pod panel, I don't know the date on that one either. The change in '49 was from the integral right hand pod with circled vw insignia, to a removable blank bakelite pod panel, which I think was closer to June, when I think the speedo changed.

Mike, Were these the ones you referred to? if others let me know.

If you can find the official dates on the decisions for 45, 47, and 49 that would be great. The first 2 will be hard to give fixed dates for the production switch, since they were rebuilding accidented cars on a regular basis and reselling them to the military again. The 49 change should be datable to the month at least

The devil is in the details.

Eric
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:41 pm    Post subject: vw dashes Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Here is a photo of the dash on my 46 split. not sure what the hole is for on the right side panel. Does anyone have any ideas?? Good info on the fact that the logo is slightly higher than center, I never knew that.


Last edited by rarefinds on Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: vw dashes Reply with quote

rarefinds wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Here is a photo of the dash on my 46 split. not sure what the hole is for on the right side panel. Does anyone have any ideas?? Good info on the fact that the logo is slightly higher than center, I never knew that.


My '47?? dash has what looks like a smaller semaphore switch there. On one of the threads about a 46? KdF in Georgia, there seems to be the same hole on that vehicle's roght pod as well, and I think I have seen another similar hole on a bakelite infill blank panel as well. I don't know though for sure what and why.
Eric
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to this link the VW logo changed place too in -47... Wink
http://www.split49.de/index43.htm Good link for pre-49 reproparts... (I know reproparts...) Embarassed

46-47
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


47-49
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:10 pm    Post subject: KdF - Dash Changes Reply with quote

[quote="erioco"]
[email protected] wrote:

There was a dash change between May and Dec 1945.
another between Feb 49 and June? 49 and again in Oct 52.
Mike


The VWoA 31.Dec.45 built car has the "above center" VW metal dash. Does
it have its original body or could it have been rebodied after a wreck?

"Bakelite KdF emblem dash -................1938.....to..[__Aug 45?]"
"Over center VW metal dash-.....[ Aug 1945?]...to...[____1946?]"
"Centered VW; metal dash -......[____1946?]...to...Jun..1949...."
"Re-opened right-side dash -........Jun 1949......to....Oct..1952..."

Who can adjust the dates inside [ ] using cars they have seen?

Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edited: New info from Holger:
Mike, I am trying to find out some dates via Holger Hoeh-Miller in Germany,

He is with "Split49 Parts for early beetles" see the link above with the repro dash plates.

He says he has seen a bakelite insert with the "flying logo on it, but is not sure if it is a fake or very rare KdF OG. He has photographed an OG metal insert (removable) with cogwheel, will post same below.

So he posits the following Order/dates(if flying bakelite is real):Dates are month/year:

x/19xx - x/194x removable bakelite flying logo

x/194x - 5?/1945 metal removable above center cogwheel. (see photo)

5?1945 - x/1945? metal removable plain circle logo above center

x/1945/6? - 5?/1947 metal fixed plain circle logo above center

5?/1947 - 4/1949 metal fixed plain circle logo centered

5/1949 - 10/1952 bakelite removable blank panel



Those changes along with some photos from Barber's book and "VW Beetle at War" byDr. Hans Georg Mayer allow me to say the following:

The prototypes, V303 and VW38 (same bodies on two different chassis) had both pods open, so used bakelite blank infills on the right. Maybe also "Flying cogwheel logos??"

The KdF cars were basically the same as the VW38, so probably had both pods open and bakelite pod infills on the right, in both cases they either had decals or so for the gear shift layout on the early ones, or were left blank. (and/Or flying cogwheel logos??)

The military models had a metal plate with the cogwheel and VW insignia on them placed above center, both pods still open. At some point in 1943 some phots seem to show a fixed pod?? on the right and still has the cogwheel above center. ??? Need to check with VW Museum?? IF this is true, then the change seems to have come when the front spare tire area got rid of the split panels and the round gas tank. (Holger has never seen a fixed panel on the right before late 1945/46

The late KdF bodies were still being built up through 1945 and continued with small changes up through 49 ( I think that the change from the flat panel behind the spare tire went out in 50 some time and was replaced by the shelf area.



1945 only Unknown design asking Holger for a description.H says he has seen one!, and only one "short term 1945" removable metal, very like the wartime removable above center cogwheel, but with above center plain circle and vw. Photo to come.

Plain circle around vw in 1946 - unknown date in '47, above center, fixed (but probably early if my dash is actually around March or April '47 Mine is centered).???

Plain circle, centered, fixed '47 - 1 May 49. (Chassis #1-0102 948, Body #56 912, "Progressive refinements" Also 6 May "Instrument panel completely altered" Must refer to speedo design 1-9 May had a whole list of changes )

After 1 May 49 both pods open with blank bakelite panel for the right pod or radio or clock etc. Prior to 1 May '49, from 1943 any use of the right pod required cutting the right pod out, or altering it in some way.

As I get more details, I'll post 'em .
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Photo: Pre 1945 metal replacable panel.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

actorboy wrote:
Some of these points are moot. If you work for a company and you design something at work it is the property of the company. If the company chooses to give you credit that's fine. You can't claim a design as your own if you were paid to make it at work. Henry Ford is given credit for creating a V8 that is cast as one block of metal. His design team were the ones who did it not him. They worked for him and acted on his orders so he gets credit. If you want to take credit for something you made or designed then maybe you should do it at home like Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas Edison. If you run around claiming you've invented things that you did at work be prepared to be sued and your rights to it stripped away. Just my 2 cents.


Don't be hatin' on my boy Erwin now... Twisted Evil Seriously, the point is moot. Komenda's name is on the drawings, he is the designer, end of story.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:31 pm    Post subject: Pre 45 pod Reply with quote

This is the back side of Holger's photo of an OG pre Jun??1945 metal removable right pod with the cogwheel. nice to have
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.






A note on names on drawings and braging rights.

Who gets to patent it depends on your contract with the company. The company may reserve all patent rights, they may give them up, or they may allow an employee to hold the patent in his name but without financial rights/production rights etc.

In the case of the KdF and Porsche/Komenda, I'm sure that the production rights were held by the German state, through their controle of the Volkswagen company. (The controle was via via, a bit complicated)

The basic body shape was already there, Komenda did a number of studies on that shape as well as others(mostly as a styling excercise). Reimspies also worked on bodies for some of the derivative cars, and probably also on the KdF, so the whole car was in all senses of the word a team effort that included not just Komenda, Reimspies and Porsche senior, but also all kinds of other experts - math for the coeficient of drag, tranny/engine men, etc including input from Ambi Budd the experts in monocoque bodies (based on their US background. (Note both Komenda via his discussions with Ambi Budd in Berlin, and Porsche , through his trip to the US realized that the door had to open fom the back, not like the suicide doors on the earlier protoypes. But it was Porsche's decision to make.

What Komenda did was to take the basic form and masage it through all the various forms of the prototypes, leapfroging himself several times, and continuously working with Porsche. In the end Komenda had patents on various specific details and methods of construction for the KdF, and a huge portion of the final artistic look to the outside and inside shape of the car, through his detail work . But the controle of the patents was in the hands of the German state.

The result is a car designed by the Porsche company, not a vehicle designed by any one man
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