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WIKING was founded by Friedrich Karl Peltzer in 1932. WIKING's beginnings were in producing ship models in 1:1,250 scale. Before and during World War II these models, made of lead based zamac, were used by the German military for training purposes. They were usually marked "WM" on their bases. Beginning in 1938, the planes and some of the ships were made of plastic. After World War II before starting production of model cars, WIKING experimented with a variety of miniatures such as Noah's ark, some clay models, and plastic combs and buttons. There was also a small series of the Berlin Airlift (1948/49) consisting of five planes and two car models in 1:400 scale. Volkswagen's Wolfsburg plant commissioned vehicles in a 1:40 scale in the autumn of 1948. In the same time, WIKING started to produce simple car models that usually consisted of a single part - with no windows or chassis. These were made of plastic. Vehicle axles were made of wire with flat pinched ends, that when squeezed into the still warm vehicle body plastic, could not rotate. Thus the axles rolled with the wheels. Later models included a chassis. Peltzer died in 1981 at the age of 78. Wiking dominated the market with their the H0-scaled toycars in the 50's, 60's and 70's by developing and introducing highly detailed and accurate quality models. In 1984, WIKING was sold to Sieper at Lüdenscheid, known for SIKU model cars. WIKING had cooperation with the Danish PILOT Company in the late forties and the early fifties and they interchanged many molds.

  • There were various versions of the 1:40 split window beetle, the very first model being issued in the summer of 1948..

    Below you will find a general description and listing of the various versions and subversions. The pictures also just give a general impression. For specifics per main version, see WIKING SPLIT LARGE SCALE VERSION 1-4. We gratefully thank Wiking expert mr. Johannes Schwörzer for the detailed listings!

    All 1:40 models featured a very detailed plastic body with cut out windows. Plastic chassis contained separate parts to include spare tire, gas tank, seats, steering wheel, engine/transmission. Plastic wheels attached with hubcaps. They were sold in toy shops as well as given as promotional items by VW dealers to new customers. We have listed the regular body colours at the version listing 1-4. Some known colours are not listed. As an example: in the late 1990's an orange split showed up for auction and was sold for an incredible amount. These ultra rare versions (NOT painted, but colored plastic) fetch sky high prices.

    There were 6 body versions and 4 chassis versions. Some body versions only marginally differed from each other. Below we list the 6 body versions, but we have separate listings for the 4 main versions of the split window beetle.


  • Body versions:

    1. No VW sign on front hood, a small rear license plate. Colours: blue, grey, black, transparent
    2. No VW sign on front hood, a wider rear license plate. Colours: black, transparent
    3. No VW sign on front hood, a wider rear license plate, right door, under the heater channel at the right side there is a groove. Colours: green, transparent
    4. VW sign on front hood, a wider rear license plate. Colours: black, blue, 2 shades of grey, chocolate brown
    5. VW sign on front hood, a wider rear license plate, an extra strong rear lid for securing the body to the chassis. Colours: black, light and dark blue, grey, green, transparent
    6. Completely renewed body with integrated split beetle dashboard, VW sign on front hood. The material is considerably thinner than earlier versions. Colours: black, blue, light and dark green


  • Chassis versions in colours grey, beige and black:

    1. No markings, slot holes in chassis
    2. WM marking, slot holes in chassis
    3. WM marking, BIGGER slot holes in chassis, especially for the fuel tank
    4. WM marking, NO slot holes in chassis, as the seats were attached to the chassis with round pegs and holes on the inside of the chassis

    These 1:40 split window beetles were either sold as a constructional kit or as a pre build model.

  • The constructional kit was sold in (at least) 4 different types of square boxes, but with identical interiors. The separate parts were attached to a leaflet with building instructions.

    • The earliest two versions had a black and white picture of the separated body and chassis glued to the box
    • The third version had the same picture as one of the two earliest boxes, but with a red text “das gläserne auto” (=the glass car)
    • The last version was a red and blue coloured box with the text “das gläserne auto” (=the glass car)


  • The pre build model was sold in 2 different small boxes, although more minor variations are known. The boxes featured a garage in blue, black and ivory colours.

    • The first version had a red text “das gläserne auto”(=the glass car) and the side of the box. On the bottom building instructions were shown.
    • The second version had no text and a slightly different lithography. The bottom showed the specification of the 1:1 beetle. Inside was a leaflet with building instructions. 

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: WIKING MODELLE
  • Scale: 1/40
  • Length: 105mm
  • Production Era: 1948-53
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Color: Various

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