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VW Convertible Prototype

VW convertible 1938
EngineBoxer four-cylinder
Displacement985 cm³
Bore * stroke70,0 * 64,0 mm
Compression5,8 : 1 (petrol)
Engine controlOHV
Valves2 per cylinder
Mixture formationDowndraft carburetor
Max. power17 kW (23,5 HP)
Rated speed3000 rpm
PowertrainFront drive
Wheelbase2400 mm
Front suspensionDouble crank link
Rear suspensionTwo-joint-swing axle
Springs f/rTorsion bars
Brakes f/rDrums, mechanically operated
Tyres4.50 - 16
Body2-doors, convertible, four-seater
Length4200 mm
Width1550 mm
Height1550 mm
Tank capacity25 liter
Take-on weight350 kg
Basic weightApprox. 700 kg + driver
Year of manufacture1938
Top speedApprox. 100 km/h

1938 is a crucial year in the history of the VW Beetle. In the spring e.g. the foundation stone ceremony take place for the factory in Wolfsburg, that is celebrated by the Nazis with great propaganda. One of the presented cars at the celebration with 50,000 people is well illustrated above. It is now named after the organization "Kraft durch Freude' (Strength through Joy).

Already in 1938, the construction of the later Beetle is accomplished in large parts. The air-cooled four-stroke boxer engine is mounted longitudinally in the rear, in front the axle drive with double-joint swing axle. Together with the transmission front of the rear axle the entire power drive is held by two stringers, in the the large central tube divides rear.

Before the transmission, a large cross tube is welded, which contains the two spring bars to the right and left. These grip via easily twistable, upright disposed flat bars on the ends of the inside hingedly disposed axle tubes. Front ends the central tube in a chassis head, to the are screwed two cross tubes for the front axle. These contain spring assemblies, the are stressed like torsion bars.

The two cross tubes end in a total of four crank arms, which allow the spring deflection of the front wheels. This will be steerable by a system of two horizontal flange bolts and a vertical kingpin support. On the upper cross tube, the steering gear is arranged, connected to the steering wheel inside by a long, continuous shaft and with the two wheel hubs by two unequally long tie rods.

Front is created a luggage compartment the is reduced significantly forefront by the spare wheel and the tank a little further back. The dashboard is symmetrically designed with open glove compartment outside and instrument tray more inwardly. Thus, for example an easy change to right-hand drive is possible. Neither limousine nor convertible been produced in a larger series and that will also last until 1949, four years after the Second World War. 09/08               Top of page               Index
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Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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