Today the idea and construction of the KdF-Car (Volkswagen Beetle) is mainly attributed to Ferdinand Porsche, but there were several other renowned engineers, who also contributed greatly to socialize the idea of a “peoples car” with a rear-mounted engine in Germany.
Already in the mid-1920s Béla Barényi’s early blueprints showed initial approaches. But also proven engineers like Josef Ganz, Hans Ledwinka, Hans Nibel or the aerodynamic expert Paul Jaray had their focus on the idea of motorizing the German nation and initiated the discussion about it. Four cars, which embody important steps in the development of a “car for the masses”, are the small Mercedes-Benz W17, which was only tested as a prototype, the roundish NSU Typ 32, which was driven also only experimentally in three different body versions, the Tatra Typ 570, which was masterminded by Hans Ledwinka in Bohemian Nesselsdorf, and of course the only series-produced German subcompact – the Superior built by the Swabian company Standard. As the Nazis seized power in 1933, the idea of a small car for the people became an important political target and the German automotive industry vied for the contract. The “official” story of the “people’s car”, which became known worldwide as the Volkswagen Beetle in the post-war era, began with the presentation of the “Exposé concerning the construction of a German people’s car” by Ferdinand Porsche on January 17, 1934.
Beside the stories of the four forerunners of the Volkswagen Beetle, the enclosed book also illuminates the general historical background in detail. This set about the subject “Motorization of the German Nation” will thrill both the model car collector and the car-history enthusiast.
Road To The People's Car