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Steering Column The Official Monthly Newsletter of the Historic Motor Vehicles Club Inc. (Australia) - December 2012

Book of the Month

Sure, it's another book on the VW! It comes to us from an former avid lover of the beasts who no longer owns one! This book is the real nitty-gritty of how the Adolph Hitler/VW/Porsche show began, the ingenuity of the original concept, 'design-borrowings', and assorted shenanigans in raising capital for the plant. Do you recall the brain-washing the German volk received to purchase a VW through a 'savings-stamp book'?! Pity that all the cars produced went straight to the Army, and the people's 'Beetle' would be the basis for the fabulous Kubel and Schwimmwagen. After the War, both the plant and the Beetle, were offered to the Allies. All turned it/them down. However, in a few short years, most of these manufacturers were desperately trying to combat the Beetles' run-away success with fairly mundane offerings of their own! Remember the "Imp", the "Corvair", Renault 4CV, etc, etc. All ancient history now, but the company continues to go from strength to strength. The take-over of other car manufacturers, the multi-billion $ plants VW holds world-wide, and its reported enormous-figure, on-going, financial investment into R&D, speak volumes for the dynamic force behind the ugly-duckling's 're-birth' as a private company in 1949!

A fantastic holiday-season 'read'. Even though you might hate the evil little bug, it's the story of sheer guts, tenacity and far-sighted corporate vision which must enthrall!

Article from and courtesy of the Steering Column, the official monthly newsletter of the Historic Motor Vehicles Club Inc. (Australia) - December 2012

Karl Ludvigsen
Karl Ludvigsen

In addition to his motor industry activities as an executive (with GM, Fiat and Ford) and head of a consulting company, Karl Ludvigsen has been active for over 50 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some four dozen books to his credit. Needless to say, they are all about cars and the motor industry, Karl's life-long passion.

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