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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. Before starting production of model cars, ships, planes, etc., WIKING produced prototypes and consequently made molds of those models.

These prototypes were produced, up until the end of the 1950’s, of Linden wood. This wood is quite soft and can easily be worked, formed and processed. Starting from the end of the 1950’s prototypes were made out of a special kind of resin or plastic.

In 1947, the WIKING model builder Alfred Kedzierski built the beautiful Linden wood VW prototype in 1:43 scale shown and featured here. In his workbook, he wrote that he used 35 hours to produce the prototype and it was finished on March 7, 1947. It was intended to be part of a series of models with the codename 'Life'. It had all the details of the later plastic WIKING VWs already being produced. On the original Wiking drawings of the prototype, the scale is indicated as 1:50. But, it is not... it is 1:43. The license plate WM101 was a humorous touch; it referred to the address of Wiking (Wiking Modellbau, Unter den Eichen 101).

The model was accepted very well, but was deemed to be a little bit too small. Consequently, Alfred Kedzierski made the final VW prototype in 1:40. He finished it on October 27, 1947 and used 68 hours to make it. Like the 1:43 model, the license plate was WM101. The whereabouts of that 1:40 VW prototype is unknown. It however still exists and is shown in the book of Rüdiger Walsdorff "WIKING - das Peltzer-Erbe" on page 582. Alfred Kedzierski made nearly all wooden prototypes for Wiking between 1937 and 1970, when he retired.

The 1:43 Linden wood VW prototype model now is in the collection of an avid WIKING model collector. Unfortunately, the VW prototype was “restored” by the seller and the photos shown here are still from the original condition with much lost from its originality and charm after the restoration.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: WIKING MODELLE
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Length: 94mm
  • Production Era: 1947
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials: Linden Wood
  • Color: Light Brown (Tan)

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