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Early Convertibles after WW2
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finster
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:45 am    Post subject: Early Convertibles after WW2 Reply with quote

a short while back I came across some photos of what might be a pre-production karmann convertible and started looking into this area. there is another thread on samba about the Hitler/cornerstone ceremony verts which does stray into this territory but I thought I would start a clean thread. please note that I am not looking at two seater Radclyffe/hebmuller types here.

we know that in 1945 the cornerstone vert had survived the war as it is pictured here with Ivan Hirst (and photoshop wasn't invented)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Ferry Porsche's special vert survived too as it is seen in the background of photos of porsche #1 and there is the black VW #31 in the VW museum. From these we see that there were 2 styles of cooling slots - double row and single (slots above the decklid only).
we also know that the british looked into developing a vert and gave the task to Rudolph Ringel in the development dept. it is thought that only 2 or 3 were made. Ringel's trade mark was the mounting of twin horns where the later horn grills would be. here is one circa 1946/47
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

and here is another, presumed to be a different car with later style hub caps and flush mounted semaphores
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

note that both these cars have curved screen tops and the rear quarter windows do not wind down. In fact, looking at the second car, it looks like these windows slid into place horizontally with the doors open.
I am wondering if the light coloured car with its external semaphores was a revamped wartime vert such as this one
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

what do folks think, is that a reasonable hypothesis?
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Last edited by finster on Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:56 am; edited 7 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

the cars developed by the british had problems with flexing and cracking windscreens. we know they ultimately handed the project for a four seater vert to Karmann and focussed on saloon production. it is said that Karmann built 2 prototypes, presumably this was the first attempt - what were they thinking?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
and is this the second prototype, or the first car after mods or even a Ringel car?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

notice that they both have the curved screen top and the 'second' car has the non-winding rear quarter windows.
then there is this car, a pre-production vert(?) which has some odd features
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

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

it has rear quarter windows that wind-up vertically (not by rotating) and a flat topped screen frame but the main feature is the complete lack of cooling slots and the fitting of two miniscule scoops. this car was used in early Karmann advertising but is it a prototype or one of the 25 pre-production cars made in may 49?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

or is this car with front mounted semaphores a pre-production car
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by finster on Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

according to JT Garwood, in Car of the Century, on page 18 - the 1938 convertible was completely different from the eventual post-war version and was formed from a cut-down sedan - a completely different roof structure was used in the early cars - looking a lot like the top, of a type 82 kubelwagen, of 1940

1938 vert engine lids were shared with sedans - had no hood louvers, as later verts had - the engine was the 24 horse 985cc

American GIs found 2 of these convertibles, in the bombed-out plant in April, 1945, when they arrived.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

ZENVWDRIVER wrote:
American GIs found 2 of these convertibles, in the bombed-out plant in April, 1945, when they arrived.


that is interesting info right there, do we assume that one was the cornerstone car? the other could be the basis for the later Ringel car...

as far as I know only the cornerstone car had the twin rows of slots, others made in 38/39 and later are like #31 and have no slots in the decklid only a single row above - so Garwood is correct (yay!)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

finster wrote:
ZENVWDRIVER wrote:
American GIs found 2 of these convertibles, in the bombed-out plant in April, 1945, when they arrived.


that is interesting info right there, do we assume that one was the cornerstone car? the other could be the basis for the later Ringel car...

as far as I know only the cornerstone car had the twin rows of slots, others are like #31 and have no slots in the decklid only a single row above - so Garwood is correct (yay!)


Garwood goes on to say - One 1938 convertible is in the VW museum at Wolfsburg -
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

that being #31, supposedly the ex Hitler car
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


here is another couple of photos of a Ringel car, this one with flush semaphores and nipple hub caps
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

so it appears that post-war we have three 'Ringel' cars, in possible date order...
the pale one with external semaphores and nipple hub caps
the darker one with flush semaphores and nipple hub caps
the one seen with Ivan Hirst with flush semaphores and large logo hub caps
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

Garwood mentioned that Porsche preferred a strait across- the-top of the windshield, because it sealed better - look like that Ringel car has a curved (instead-of-strait) windshield frame-top

I guess the ones with nipple-caps are earlier versions and the VW-logo caps - a later car?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:07 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

ZENVWDRIVER wrote:
according to JT Garwood, in Car of the Century, on page 18 - the 1938 convertible was completely different from the eventual post-war version and was formed from a cut-down sedan - a completely different roof structure was used in the early cars - looking a lot like the top, of a type 82 kubelwagen, of 1940

1938 vert engine lids were shared with sedans - had no hood louvers, as later verts had - the engine was the 24 horse 985cc

American GIs found 2 of these convertibles, in the bombed-out plant in April, 1945, when they arrived.


Wrong. The first one which is the one in the first picture of this thread has louvers.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

as I posted earlier, only the cornerstone car had the two rows of slots (unless somebody can show otherwise). the other pre-war and wartime convertibles have a single row above the decklid.
I included that car in this topic as it still existed post war. however I would prefer to focus on the Ringel and early Karmann cars.
to discuss the cornerstone car or #31 etc please use these existing threads
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=297216&highlight=kdf+convertible
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
and to discuss garwood please use this thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=738792

thank you
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

finster wrote:
as I posted earlier, only the cornerstone car had the two rows of slots (unless somebody can show otherwise). the other pre-war and wartime convertibles have a single row above the decklid.
I included that car in this topic as it still existed post war. however I would prefer to focus on the Ringel and early Karmann cars.
to discuss the cornerstone car or #31 etc please use these existing threads
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=297216&highlight=kdf+convertible
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
and to discuss garwood please use this thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=738792

thank you


you have defined, VERY WELL, what the subject is - clarity is the best policy... z

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=297216&highlight=first+convertibles
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

thanks peter, that is the thread I refer to above. it is primarily looking at the 1938 - 45 nazi era cars but wanders all over the place and does include Karmann prototypes and Ringel cars. I was hoping for some clarification of the timelines of these post war verts, the numbers made and also wondering why Karmann should make a prototype/pre-production car without proper air vents so late in the game.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

finster wrote:
as I posted earlier, only the cornerstone car had the two rows of slots (unless somebody can show otherwise). the other pre-war and wartime convertibles have a single row above the decklid.
I included that car in this topic as it still existed post war. however I would prefer to focus on the Ringel and early Karmann cars.
to discuss the cornerstone car or #31 etc please use these existing threads
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=297216&highlight=kdf+convertible
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
and to discuss garwood please use this thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=738792

thank you


I am aware of that. I was merely pointing out an inaccuracy in zen's bible.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:46 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

then there is this vert in a vw film from 1949
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it is only on screen for a second or two but is it the car seen with Hirst?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:36 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

Sorry for the double link.
First , the converts were made by differnent company's like Reuter and Drauz.
How many, I do not know. The Ringel workshop made also several ones.
When VW was thinking on a full convert, it was 1948 around the Paris salon where a skoda was seen with a semi convert ( sunroof) They ordered a study by an external engineer to see if the car was usefull for a full convert. At the end of 48, Hebmuller had made some progress to built a look a like Radclyffe roadster on command of Gottfried SChultz. That car stood model for the later Hebmuller on wich the try out came in februari 49. first final design was shown on Geneva auto show. A serie of at least 25 cars are made from march to june. About Karmann, the first Karmann was finished early june, second one a few days later. First one had no trim, second one had trim but the sema pocket sat to high so they had to cut it in for 5 mm. The front windowframe was total flat. nr 3 had the correct sema pocket and trim and a lot of things were changed. That is what I know on early converts.. .and a bit more but not that special to mention.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

thanks again peter. I understand that reuter and autenrieth were involved with the pre-45 verts. however I wish to challenge the years that you mention as I think Hirst etc were considering a vert model before 48.
the first Karmann prototype(s) were made in late 46 or early 47, according to Seume, and this fits with the story of them being given the 10,000th car to work with (oct 46). he also says that Karmann had approached vw earlier but had been turned down due to the restrictions preventing german citizens purchasing new vws. however, despite making 2 prototypes the project was shelved due to the shortage of materials and it was only as a result of financial reforms in 48 that Karmann were able to proceed.
Sueme also mentions Hirst and Radclyffe's visit to the 1947 paris motor show (october) where they were impressed by the skoda.
but from what you say am I correct in understanding that the Karmann car without trim is the car without rear cooling slots and that the second Karmann is the black-over-white car pictured above (which has been described as 'hastily built')?

In the other thread (1938 Kabrio...linked above) nr11 has this to say about the pale 'Ringel' car - 'The white car, which is like Peter says is a Ringel car, has the sema's below the front screen.
We call this car the blondy, because Miss Hilda Gans was photographed in this car. Miss Gans left Wolfsburg at the end of 1947.'
so that would seem to date it quite well and fits in with the chrome nipple hub caps.
the 'ringel' car pictured with Hirst has large logo hub caps so this would suggest 48-mid 49?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:00 pm    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

Investigating the real early Karmann's.. is there a list known of the monthly rate of producing Karmann's? There is one known for hebmullers but never seen one on the type 15a. I am looking for 1949.. from the start of production. On the Brezelfensterverein I found that on 03/06/1949 the production started on the convertible with chassis 1-0099906.
In my records , I have no Hebmuller found so far with such a chassisnumber. More early I know a few.

All help is welcome. Thanks Peter
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:26 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

finster wrote:
we know that in 1945 the cornerstone vert had survived the war as it is pictured here with Ivan Hirst (and photoshop wasn't invented)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And what happened to it?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

peter - this is on pre67vw site

year chassis num production figures
1949 0 099 906 364
1950 0 138 555 2679
1951 0 220 134 4009
1952 0 313 829 4748
1953 0 428 157 4299
1954 0 575 415 4800

from samba site

Year Production
1949 364
1950 2695
1951 3938
1952 4763
1953 4256
1954 4740
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:36 am    Post subject: Re: early convertibles after ww2 Reply with quote

finster wrote:
peter - this is on pre67vw site

year chassis num production figures
1949 0 099 906 364
1950 0 138 555 2679
1951 0 220 134 4009
1952 0 313 829 4748
1953 0 428 157 4299
1954 0 575 415 4800

from samba site

Year Production
1949 364
1950 2695
1951 3938
1952 4763
1953 4256
1954 4740

Thanks for this.. i was looking for a monthly ratio.. but this is a start.
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