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VW Wolfsburg Bus Factory 1950's

VW Transporter Restorations

VW Transporters

As with all vehicle manufacturers VW introduced updates and trialled design changes throughout the production life of their products, this generally means that an update was introduced from a given chassis number and can be used as a general indicator of the production period however this should not be taken as gospel.

There are many Transporters, especially those built between March 1955 and March 1956 that throw up anomalies. During this period VW trialled many design changes before production of the post Barndoor Transporter was moved to Hannover and the design was standardised, some of these trial designs were only used for a very short period before being abandoned or superseded by yet another update. A good example of this is the underside panel of the front roof peak, the very first post Barndoor transporters built from March to early April 1955 featured a panel that was flat with no reinforcement around the intake grills and no depressions to the outer sides of the intakes, this design as mentioned was quickly superseded by a new version that incorporated a reinforcing flange around the air intakes and then later superseded again by another update that featured depressions to further stiffen the panel.

I personally own a September 1955 Microbus which features the very early air intake panel which you may say is very odd but the reasoning is very simple. The first reason that these anomalies occur is due to the way VW operated the production line, (I will use the mentioned air intake panel as my example) when the vehicle reached the point of production when the mentioned panel was to be installed the fitter would take a panel from the stock pile at his station and install it, the problem is that VW never cleared old panels from the factory floor when an update was introduced, the new panels were simply stacked on top of any remaining panels and it was common for these new panels to be used up before more new stock was added to the pile and one of the older style panels would be used to keep the production line moving.

The second reason for these anomalies is also quite simple, panels were often damages on the production line but were not scrapped, instead they were sent to the apprentice workshop and repaired as part of the panel beaters training, once there was a sufficient number of panels repaired they would be sent back to the factory floor for installation on the production line but during this period there could have been a design update.

Barndoor Transporters Features