A car that no-one really wanted but was eventually owned by over 21m people across the world celebrated its 75th Anniversary in December 2020…
A car that no-one really wanted but was eventually owned by over 21m people across the world celebrated its 75th Anniversary in December 2020. We’re all broadly familiar with how Dr Ferdinand Porsche developed the so-called ‘peoples car’ in the mid 1930s Germany. But it was a Brit who made that vision a reality. By 1938 only a handful had been produced. Then Nazi Germany switched production of the car plant and embarked on a devastating world war. After the Nazis were defeated, in 1945 the plant was in control of British Army Major, Ivan Hirst. Not one UK car manufacturer was prepared to rebuild the demolished factories. But Major Hirst convinced the British government to commission 20,000 units to remobilise what was left of battered Germany. The initial phases of production were full of difficulties around people, parts, machinery and buildings etc, but Major Hirst pressed-on. In six short months the factor was producing vehicles. A year later 1,000 per month were rolling off the line. And after ten years, the one million Type 1 putt-putted out of the factory. The rest as they say, is history.
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