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The WARI Split VW Beetle is very much sought after, but it is also a mystery. It is rarely for sale and the only information known on the possible manufacturer is “WARI Berlin”. Unclear is what this company exactly was.

At the end of 2019 another chapter to the mystery was added. A KdF Wagen desk set surfaced.

It consists of a desk pad, a calendar, a pen holder and a KdF Wagen on a baseplate. This set was initially clearly meant for the offices of the KdF Wagen savings program. This was funded by the Deutsches Arbeitsfront or abbreviated DAF. It has a small sign on it indicating that potential savers had to turn to NS Gemeinschaft “Kraft durch Freude” for information on the savings program to acquire a real KdF Wagen car.

The item was most probably never used for this purpose, but was “re-used” at Christmas 1941 as a gift for clients and workers of PHENOPLAST, who was the company who produced these Duroplast items as prototypes for clients. Phenoplast was located in Berlin and produced numerous prototypes made from Bakelite and Duroplast for various companies, like JGES, but also parts for Volkswagen war cars, like the Kübelwagen and the Schwimmwagen.

The Phenoplast KdF Wagen consists of a Duroplast (Bakelite) body with solid windows. Very good body details of a Split Window VW Sedan. Seven engine air louvers, a baseplate and the wheels are attached to a small tube on the chassis. And the biggest surprise: the body is identical to the post WWII WARI VW. The only difference is the base plate and wheels.

The Phenoplast KdF Wagen set came in a box and with a letter from the Phenoplast management. The letter contained Christmas and New Year messages for the receiver of the gift, but also for soldiers fighting in the war as well as hopes for a speedy victory for Germany.

Apart from the fact that the bodies are identical, NO information on the link with the post WWII WARI is available. The post WWII WARI was made by WARI Berlin and the KdF Wagen version was, as a prototype, produced by Phenoplast who was also located in Berlin as well. Phenoplast ceased to exist in 1945 when it was dismantled by the Soviet troops.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: PHENOPLAST
  • Scale: 1/63
  • Length: 64mm
  • Production Era: 1939-41
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials: Duroplast (Bakelite)
  • Color: Black
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