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The Fridolin. Smart air-cooled postman from Volkswagen

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Volkswagen had already been successful with the Transporter for several years in the commercial vehicle segment. The T1 was sold very well. It was used for various purposes and within various industries. In 1964, Volkswagen presented the multifunctional T1 as well as one Special small transporter. The Fridolin was born and became the German synonym for small mail transport.

Optimal use of existing parts and technology

Volkswagen made handy use of the now extensive spare parts warehouse when constructing the Fridolin. The Fridolin developed for the Deutsche Bundespost was fitted with the drive, the axles, the transmission and the 34 PK 1.192 cc engine from the Beetle. He was also equipped with the headlights of the Typ 3, while at the rear the relationship with his larger order brother, the T1, became visible. The coach was attached to the chassis of the VW Karmann Ghia. An important feature of the Fridolin was the space-saving sliding doors on both sides. In this way, mail deliverers and assistants could get out faster everywhere.


Fridolin responded to needs

When developing the Typ 147 - the official name of the Fridolin - VW had looked at the needs of the Deutsche Bundespost. The T1 was too large, the Kleinnutzfahrzeuge van Glas from Dingolfing too small. The Typ 147 met the specifications of the client. He offered space for 2,9 cubic meters of mail and packages. In total the maximum load capacity was 410 kilograms. The Typ 147 was equipped Spartan. There was a safety net behind the driver's seat. Extra cargo space could be generated by tilting the passenger seat sideways. The walls of the cargo space were finished with wood. In everything, the striking Fridolin was designed for functionality.

Also for Switzerland

The Deutsche Bundespost was not the only large postal service on the market for the Fridolin developed by Karmann. The colleagues from Switzerland also relied on the reliable Volkswagen technology. The Schweizer Post ordered slightly more luxuriously equipped Fridolins. The Typ 147 was supplied for the Alpenland with disc brakes at the front, a roof hatch and the 44 PK engine from the Volkswagen 1300. The Fridolin, which was built for Switzerland, was fitted with mirrors on the mudguards because in the Alpine country driving with open sliding doors was permitted.

7.340 times smart and useful

Lufthansa also used the services of the Typ 147. In total, 7.340 copies of the sympathetic VW were built by Westfalia in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Today there are said to be 200 copies of the car, with which VW showed that it can also respond to a specific need in an excellent way. The Fridolin was also a textbook example of efficient use of existing techniques, systems and components by a manufacturer.

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License plates, the RDW and the Coop ...

License plates, the RDW and the Coop…

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