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SWEERING Oval Window VW Article

From time to time, this little diecast Oval Window Volkswagen appears at a toy show or on an online auction. The thing that makes this VW mysterious is that it is found with no chassis, with a metal chassis and wheels and sometimes with a plastic chassis with no wheels, molded “MADE IN US ZONE - GERMANY.”  There is a time period in Germany history between 1945 and 1950 where the Allied Powers divided Germany into four zones after the war. Goods produced during that period in Germany were stamped indicating the zone of manufacture. The main toy industry of Germany (Nurenberg area) was located in the US Zone and toys produced were labeled US Zone. The Volkswagen during this era was a Split Window Sedan. So now we are looking at an Oval Window VW (1953-57 era) toy with the chassis stamped MADE IN US ZONE GERMANY.  This is really mysterious and does not make any sense.

As the story goes, this VW toy was produced by a company in Holland by the name of SWEERING with the owner being Mr. Sweering. Mr. Sweering originally produced some prototypes of the VWs with a rear split window but changed to an oval window version since the real size Oval Window VW was coming off the factory lines in Germany. Approximately 2000 were produced before production came to a hold because Dinky Toys issued the oval model 181, which was cheaper and of a better quality. A large part of the stock was not yet assembled and all metal baseplates were forgotten about and put in the celar of Mr. Sweering. The cellar flooded and distroyed all metal chassis. At the end of the fifties, the bodies were recovered from the cellar again and Mr. Sweering decided to try to sell them again. He added a plastic chassis with “MADE IN US ZONE GERMANY” writing. This would be seen as a sign of quality (being made in Germany versus Holland) and it might stimulate sales!  He however did not add any wheels....

As mentioned before, the Sweering VW body is diecast metal with cut out windows. The body silhouette has details of the Oval Window VW of the time period. Occasionally one finds an example with the splitbar being removed, which is still visible. This was done by mr. Sweering himself! Indentations of the front hood and rear deck lid and the door seam lines are well defined. There are other details such as the headlights, taillights and engine air louvers under the rear oval window. The front and rear bumpers were part of the body molding. The size of the VW is about 1/47 scale (86mm in length) and is the same size of the Dinky Toys Oval Window VW that it was suppose to be competing with. The body was painted in several colors such as red, blue, copper or green to mention a few. The black plastic base plate were secured to the body with three rivets. Just to note, there are some Sweering VWs with metal base plates that represent original production SWEERING VWs before the newer plastic chassis were used.  Also, about 100 of those Sweering models were discovered in 2009, restored and sold with fantasy boxes.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: SWEERING
  • Scale: 1/47
  • Length: 86mm
  • Production Era: Mid 1950s
  • Country: Holland
  • Materials: Diecast Metal
  • Color: Red, Blue, Cooper, Green, Dark Green, Beige, Metallic Brown
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