- By Herschel D. -


    1.      Q: In automobile manufacturing, the ideal of quality control used to be to have inspectors that would catch defects that had made it onto to a car after it had been built. VW’s advertising bragged, rightly, on being amongst the best doing that, so that you could count on getting a quality made VW. A much higher proportion of American made cars got to the customer full of “bugs” (no pun intended). But, then, the Japanese came along and created a more efficient concept of quality control. What did they do different?

    A: They watch out for mistakes and defects and see to it that the corrections are made during the manufacturing process, even if it means stopping the production line! The assembly line worker is the “inspector!”  

    2.      Q: When was the 10 millionth Beetle made?

    A: On September 15, 1965.

    3.   Q: In this month’s Model Car article I make mention of the scale model VW Beetle that VW gave Major Ivan Hirst in 1949, but actually there were two other people that got similar ones at that same time. Who were they? 

    A: Colonel Radcliff (Hirst’s boss), and Director-General of VW, Heinz Nordoff each got one.

    4.   Q: How many of Disney’s “Herbie” movies have been made and what are their titles and release dates?


          A: Five movies: The Love Bug, 1969; Herbie Rides Again, 1974; Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo, 1977; Herbie Goes Bananas, 1980 The one that seemed to me, the hardest to get); and the Love Bug (not a remake), 1997. The 1997 edition (shown first on TV) explains for the first time, how Herbie came to be.

    5.   Q: When did the VW Beetle get a curved Windshield?

    A: Hah! Got you there I’ll bet you said 1973, the year the super Beetle got a curved windshield. But the fact is that the regular Beetle’s windshield got a slight curvature in 1965, the year that VW made the Beetle’s windows larger all around.

    6.   Q: What was the original color of the 1936 Type “60” Series V3 prototype and what does the “V” stand for?

    A: Actually, this is a trick question because the colors were not recorded, no color photos were taken and no one that was there can remember (through the years several had been asked) what the color(s?) were! VW has recently made a replica of that long lost prototype, which they have chosen to paint red. That is as good a possibility as any, since the cars look black in their photos and bright red looks black in a black and white photo. The “V” stands for “versuch” which means experimental or research.


SEPTEMBER’S - New Questions

    1.      Years ago VW Built the most advanced wind testing tunnel in Europe, when did they do so?

    2.      Listings that describe the changes to the VW through the years always mention the 1965 Beetle gaining a fold down rear seat and hold down strap in 1965, but there is something erroneous about that claim. Do you know what it is?

    3.      In the early days of the 1967 VW model on December 1966, The 12 millionth VW was made. Can you break that down in the models?

    4.      What is the name of that green color you see on my Bug?

    5.      How many Schwimmwagens were built in its first year, 1942?

    6.      You’d have to be a real, anal, VW detail freak to already know this one, if you do, you might need to get a life! I’m not counting, however, those who simply know where to look such a piddley fact up: from what wattage to what wattage did the VW generator get upgraded to in 1959?

    P.S. Correction: The cover art caption should have said that the Radcliff VW was the inspiration for the Hebmullar and Karmann convertibles.

    Answers and new questions next month. – Herschel