VW Beetle Wheels

A Short History Of The VW Beetle (cont.)

Convinced by Hirst, the British Army ordered 20,000 Beetles, his goal for 1946 was to achieve production levels of 1,000 cars per month. This was not an easy task, as well as limited materials and resources to contend with he also had to feed the workforce, following on from the harshness of the wartime years, the simple lunch that Hirst provided for the workers was more often than not the only meal they received.

By the end of 1946 10,020 Beetles (including a few Kommadeurwagens) had been made, so he was close to the original target. Changes over the year were minimal, mostly simple manufacturing changes with production methods being changed. Tyres however did gain ½” in width, and cardboard sound deadening was fitted to the engine bay.

In 1947 the Beetle was debuted at Hannover fair, and was met with a excited reception, previously the majority of the cars had been for military use, with only a few exceptions going to civilians. It was around this time that Dutchman Ben Pon appeared on the scene (Pon is credited with coming up with the concept for the VW Type 2). He saw a future in exporting the new VW to the Netherlands, and ordered 6 cars.

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