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History VW Transporter - Technology

Simple panel van in powder blue - click to enlarge!

VW Transporter
EngineBoxer four-cylinder
Displacement, bore * stroke1131 cm³ (75,0 mm * 64,0 mm)
Compression6,6 : 1
Engine controlOHV
Mixture formationSingle carburetor
Valves2 per cylinder
Torque76 Nm at 2000 rpm
Performance18 kW (25 HP) at 3400 rpm
DrivetrainRear engine, longitudinal
ClutchSingle disc, dry
TransmissionManual four-speed
Suspension frontCrank arm
Suspension rearSwing axle
Wheelbase2.400 mm
Length4.100 mm
Width1.700 mm
Height1.900 mm
Tank capacity40 litres
Payload560-830 kg
Kerb weight940-1.205 kg + driver
Top speed90 km/h
Period of construction1950 - 1959
Sales priceFrom 5,975 DM

Technically, the VW panel van from 1950 has quite a few special features. Good thing the Beetle platform was not stable enough and one must give the transporter a box frame in the middle under the load compartment. Thus, at least it benefits from a low base.

It is designed so much more self-supporting than the Beetle, but still gets its primary stability of the chassis. But the roof significantly carries with. Incidentally, in the later developed flat-bed vehicle must take the box this part. Otherwise be adjusted front and rear parts of the Beetle.

Due to the higher kerb weight by about 250 kg and the much larger payload must be naturally adapted stability and spring system. Also the tyres have more carrying capacity. Still, one has managed to achieve one the Beetle similar drag coefficient. However, greater cross-sectional area, weight and stronger reduction ratio support the increase in consumption.

The heating is a problem, and will remain for a long time. However one is still doing well in relation to competitors, because sometimes there you have to order separately. Then, however, It supplies considerably more heat due to the coolant circulation. In the transporter, it might be enough to keep the windscreen free of condensation on the driver's side.

The rear engine compartment will be also a problem for decades, until it finally disappears entirely with the T4 in 1990. It has become already somewhat lower, because one stores the spare wheel not standing but lying above. Take completely forward does not (yet) make sense because the tank is so high with its filler neck.

There are curiously prototypes with filler neck directly to the outside. But this idea is not pursued, perhaps because of sealing problems between the neck and the outer wall. Incidentally, it is not uncommon at the time for refueling to open larger flap. After all, this is also the case with the Beetle.

The other drive technology can be taken over relatively unchanged from the Beetle. Fortunately, there has been for the bucket car already two additional reduction ratios right and left in the rear axle. However, the transporter engine will be so easy to overspeed in the lower gears, what will bring some dramatic losses of lifetime.

The advertising emphasises, of course, as a long time even for the Beetle, the ideal weight distribution independent of the load. In fact, it will take decades, until one in this range deficits can compensate by more sophisticated chassis technology. After all, the cargo space can also good be loaded/unloaded via the side double door. Load securing is done by a deployable square (picture). The longitudinally corrugated floor opposes something stubbornly cleaning attempts.

Instead of a dashboard is available only a broadened support for the steering wheel but the equipment is still relatively complete. Blinking, sufficient oil pressure and high beam are displayed by small lamps. Illumination exists in the front, in the middle and in the engine compartment, together with the ventilation front, through the doors twice and and also in the loading space.

Considering the running in regulations knows about the progress in 50 years of automotive engineering:

Maximum speedkeep until ...
45 km/h500 km
50 km/h2000 km
65 km/h4000 km

Inspections with oil changes due at 500, 2000 and 4000 km. The 4000-interval is obtained incidentally, is only interrupted by a so-called little lubrication service. After all, the chassis still has enough lubrication nipples. Ten years later, the intervals are then loosened to 2500/5000 km. 08/12               Top of page               Index
2001-2015 Copyright programs, texts, animations, pictures: H. Huppertz - E-Mail
Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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