A duo from Europe have launched a crowdfunding campaign in the hopes of restoring the original Volkswagen as designed by engineer Josef Ganz and presented to Adolf Hitler at the 1933 Berlin Motor Show.
Paul Schilperoord, from the Netherlands, and Swiss-born Lorenz Schmid are heading the project, which launched today on website Indiegogo. The project aims to raise $69,000 in two months to fund the reconstruction.
The pair have procured the only surviving rolling chassis of Josef Ganz’ Standard Superior Type I, of which 250 were built between April and September in 1933.
At its unveiling in Berlin, the Standard Superior, which cost just 1,590 Reichsmark, was the only four-wheeled rear-engined car in production, and the German press called it “the future” and “the most advanced despite its small proportions.”
“Whatever may be the future development of this type of car in Germany, without doubt, the Hitler government will be responsible for its popularisation,” the Detroit News prophetically wrote in 1933.
Schilperoord and Schmid plan to work with professional restorers to recreate the original wooden beetle-shaped bodywork for the car, which will be used at events and exhibitions to promote Ganz, who was Jewish and fled Germany in 1934, and largely vanished from automotive history.
The chassis, running gear, wheels and wings are fully original, but the bodywork has been modified with spare parts from a Trabant P50.
German company Stellmacherie Tiede will reconstruct the wooden body using archive photographs, as all engineering diagrams have since been lost.
The team plan to local various original parts, such as lights, steering wheel, door handles, and the radio, from German classic car events.