The Washing Machine Post gets an exclusive on the CR event bus!
if it wasn't for those meddling kids
ORIGINAL POST: The Washing Machine Post. 3rd August 2011 LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE
the original volkswagen motor car, designated as the type 1 was more commonly referred to as the beetle, nomenclature comfortably used by vw on release of the modern equivalent, disappointingly featuring a front engine but with a dashboard mounted receptacle for a flower. (who says they've no heart these days?)
though the beetle has served many a motorist for a sizeable number of years, the type 1 was never really considered ideal for transporting more than four at a time, it's shape not only mitigating against accommodating an extended family, but also restricting its use as a vehicle for even small amounts of cargo.
dutch volkswagen importer ben pon paid a visit to wolfsburg, home of vw, soon after the end of the second world war in 1946. having seen an improvised vehicle used to move parts around the factory, he figured there might be a more flexible solution and sketched drawings the following year. this was of a van based on the floor plan of the type 1, able to carry just under 700kg and placing the driver bang up front, but maintaining the engine at the rear as in the beetle. the latter was still at full production at the time, so pon's sketches had to wait; there was no extra capacity to make them a reality.
eventually, production space became available, and the internally recognised type 29 reached prototype status in a remarkably short three months. initially based on the beetle's floor pan, when that proved not equal to the task, a ladder chassis replaced it, though with the same wheelbase as the type 1. various detail changes were made to the original prototype, and in may 1949, volkswagen's new chief executive (they had those in the forties?) approved it for production and the type 2 to which it was now referred entered production in november 1949.
initially the range consisted of only the kombi with a couple of side windows and removeable middle and rear seats, and the commercial which pretty much did what it said on the nameplate. however, in may of the following year, the microbus was added, joined by a deluxe version in 1951. in year one, volkswagen built just over 9,500 of the blighters.
the type two, relatively unlike its type 1 cousin, featured an almost endless variation of technical, practical and cosmetic improvements, resulting in a wide range of variants: panle van, nippen tucket, caravelle, samba bus (with a cloth sunroof and skylight windows), westfalia camping van and a pickup, to name but a few. it gained major popularity during the latter years of the sixties amongst those with flowers in their hair, while a considerably more modern version, referred to in north america as the vanagon, was the model on which the animated mystery machine in scooby doo was based.
scroll down the home page of the swiss cycle clothing firm cervo rosso to access the link for worldwide shipping, and accompanying the typography is a red and white type 2 volkswagen van decorated in cervo rosso's corporate colours of red and white. emblazoned along the side is the company logo. at the time of my initial contact with carlyle ware, cv's proprietor, that vw bus existed only as a set of small pixels. having asked if just such a vehicle was locked in his garage, carlyle said "no, but we are looking". the period of looking has now ended, and carlyle is about to take delivery of a 1966 edition to be subsequently rosso-fied. once the painting and re-fit has been completed, the bus will be seen at the majority of cervo rosso group rides and events.
the latter have been the company's way of building a community around and between admirers and wearers of the brand, the opening salvo having been this year's ronde van vlaanderen, now followed by the tour of gruyere in switzerland at the end of this month and a group ride in stoke on trent (i believe the cheese is better in gruyere) in late september. utilising the reach of social media, target of my own personal venom and irritation, commonly known as facebook, to promote these events, riders have a chance to win a year's supply of cervo rosso clothing if spotted wearing an item of cv apparel during the course of the day.
distribution of the range is about to take several steps forward, with carlyle intent on increasing retail presence in uk stores as well as having finalised a distribution agreement with tst, responsible for both ridley bikes and carrera helmets in switzerland. both moves ought to make it a tad simpler and easier to get hold of cervo rosso apparel.
liz hatch and veronica andreasson of the belgian lotto ladies team have partnered with cv to support all aspects of product development relating to the women's range. as carlyle has intimated "the initial test program has just wound up, and we'll introduce a number of new items to the cervo rosso autumn/winter collection."
perhaps we've much to be grateful for to those pesky kids.
posted wednesday 3 august 2011