Login

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

ARNOLD SPLIT VW V1 – VVR HEADLIGHT DEMO

The first production release in the early 1950s was a very nice ARNOLD Split Window VW made with a hard plastic body with cut out windows. The catalogue number was 4000 and came in a colorful carton with children playing with the VW in the carton design. Body details of front and rear hoods, door seams, taillights, license plate light, VW emblem and round horn grilles. Tin metal chassis with a friction motor, rubber tires, with or without front wheel steering. There is a "fir tree" symbol stamped into the side of the friction motor and this stamping indicates that ARNOLD acquired the motor and wheels from the well-known German mechanical specialist company, Gebrüder Bühler.

Detailed tin plate lithograph interior of the Split Window VW era, with steering wheel and shiny metal bumpers. Chassis stamped with the ARNOLD company insignia.

With that said, the German company, VERKEHRS-VERLAG REMAGEN-RH. (VVR) was a specialist publisher for driving schools, traffic education as well as a producer of automotive training aids and demonstration equipment. VVR was established in 1931 in the city of Remagen, Germany and closed business in 2011.

As from the early 1950s, VVR had detailed demonstration models of vehicle parts produced for educational purposes.  They have produced over 100 different models, which are regularly offered for sale among collectors. They however also produced this model that is very rare and very seldom seen.

VVR designed a special headlight demonstration unit that used the ARNOLD Split Window VW as the demo car back in the early 1950s. The purpose of the demo was to: When the motor vehicle is fully loaded and at a distance of 10 meters from the wall, the upper edge of the dimmed light on the wall must be 10 cm lower than the center of the headlight.

The headlight demo unit was built upon a wooden box, which measues 68 cm long, 16 cm wide and 7 cm high. The total height including the box itself at the upright part is 17 cm. This box most probably was made by the Westdeutsche Sperrholzwerke, established in 1942 and located in Wiedenbrück, Germany. They produced wooden board made from beech veneer scrap. The box was then shipped to VVR who had the ARNOLD Split Window VW and the technical parts mounted to the box.

The ARNOLD Split VW was taken apart and the chassis was modified. The rear wheels were cut off of the friction motor and attached to a bracket that was mounted on the wooden platform. Light bulb headlight fixtures were soldered to the front of the chassis and the front wheels were grooved out to accommodate the light bulbs. A short brass tube was soldered to the rear of the chassis and a spring attached. The plastic body had the headlights drilled out to accommodate the protruding light bulb headlights of the chassis. The brass tube and spring caused the rear of the VW to move up and down to simulate loading.

At the other end of the platform, there was an upright box that contained a mechanism with four lightbulbs. There was a knob and screw shaft that made the light bulb assembly move up and down. A string was attached to the light bulb assembly and then ran underneath the wooden platform then was connected to the back of the ARNOLD VW chassis. As the light bulb assembly moved up and down, the screen on the upright box also showed the moving “headlights” position and the rear of the VW moved in sync to simulate vehicle loading. The headlight demo was operated on 220 volts, a transformer and the light bulbs were 6 volts. Attached to the side of the wooden box was a metal disc of the VVR insignia.    

It is not sure how many of these headlight demo units were produced by VVR. The demo units were all numbered and currently there are three known to exist today, no. 5, no. 13 and no. 21.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: ARNOLD - VVR
  • Scale: 1/19
  • Length: 215mm
  • Production Era: 1952 - 1954
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials: Plastic, Tin, Wood
  • Color: Various Colors
Login to post comments

© 2013 Vintage VW Models. All Rights Reserved.