Wagenfolks Moviemeting. Air cooled in a different perspective

Wagenfolks Moviemeting
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Back to 22 last September. Wagenfolks from Drachten, together with Slieker Film, is organizing a jewel of an event in Leeuwarden. Immediately it becomes clear that Michel and Jan Willem together with other Wagenfolks people have come up with something very special. On the Wilhelminaplein in Leeuwarden there is something special, an extremely rare pre-war cart, we know what it is, but on the sun-drenched day various visitors and casual passers-by know absolutely not what they see. Let alone what the history is of what they view.

In the meantime, owners gather with various air-cooled Volkswagens to talk about their passion and show their cars to the public. The VW fans are getting ready for the second part of the diptych: the screening of the film How I lost my Beetle.

That film is special, the visual elaboration of the life's work of investigative journalist Paul Schilperoord. He had come to Leeuwarden together with his charming and charming Angelique, and he also had another trophy with him: the Standard Superior. And that 1933 cart is yet another symbol of the life's work of another loaded name from distant automotive history: Josef Ganz. And in almost restored condition, the car shows off in Leeuwarden, which regained its former glory in Romania. It is surrounded by the public and later also by numerous air-cooled Volkswagens.

There is a good reason for this combination, Paul Schilperoord spent years researching backgrounds, and set up an archive that was only growing in size. An archive with many articles from the historic magazine Motor Kritik, to which Josef Ganz was affiliated. With microfilms, with many other materials from which the development of the basic concept of the Wagon for the People is very emphatically associated with Ganz, creator of the Maikäfer who became the starting point for the later bestseller from Wolfsburg.

Later in the day we talk to Schilperoord, who maintains close contact with family members of Ganz, wrote a book about this history, has a second book in the works and is also very convinced that Ferdinand Porsche made use of the principles van Ganz, who was not only an auto journalist but also an engineer. A critical engineer, moreover, who saw his life's work hijacked partly because of the Jewish blood.

It is unbelievable that someone is so involved in history, who rooted in the journalistic ambition of Schilperoord, who as a child was a Kevergek and wanted to know everything about the history of its origins. “I made a deepening, and I often came across the name of Ganz. That was where the origin of my research lay, which is actually still ongoing. ”Schilperoord wrote a book (the secret of Hitlers' Volkswagen) and it was filmed. That book is food for car historians, fully documented and revealing. The film is a striking image, and the story about disowned people and ambitions comes up in an insurmountably sensitive way.

More than 100 people see the film in the sold-out Filmhuis, small department in the beautiful Fries Museum. Afterwards you feel astonishment, sometimes some suspicion, the air-cooled VW community generates good questions, which are answered patiently but decisively by Schilperoord. Nicely: "Ganz didn't come up with everything, but composed an assembly and praised the designers of the things that led to his brainchild."

The beetle grew big after the war. The Allies built everything up, Major Ivan Hirst played the key role, and was at the basis of a resounding sales success for the Beetle, which itself was once again the starting point for other models that have long been classic. And are deployed in many capacities. Original, customized, as a camper, as a food truck, as an advertising object or as a basis for exhibition. Air-cooled Volkswagens can have everything, I speak with Bonne and Nynke who came with separate things, such as a Type 3 Variant with air suspension and a VW 1200, with 1192 cc engine and 108 HP. Again? With 1192 cc engine and 108 HP. A bit of rat look, and a big Turbo in the back, it just goes well. I speak with owners of T3 vans in various settings.

Air-cooled, a single Audi and a Trabant, the presentation of beautiful original Beetles: it is as if they, just like all visitors, make a deep bow to the Standard Superior. And with that also for his designer and the current owner, who went very far to get his special car in this state. And went much further to get the true story of the development of the Volkswagen to the surface. Impressive, very impressive.

Thanks to Wagenfolks, Slieker Film and Paul Schilperoord

In the spring we will publish our interview with Paul Schilperoord

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  1. A very, very interesting book by Paul Schilperoord; I borrowed it a few months ago from our library here in Heist op d'n huppeke (Heist-op-den-Berg) and read it and can recommend it to anyone who has an air-cooled heart.
    Big compliment to Joseph and Paul!

    Air-cooled T3 owner,

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