Rare VWs on display in Washington’s LeMay Museum

Michael James

One of the oldest Volkswagen, dating to 1941.

“VeeDub – Bohemian Beauties,” a celebration of Volkswagen history and innovation, will be featured Jan. 11 through April 5 at LeMay Museum, dubbed America’s Car Museum.

The museum, located in Tacoma, Washington, will showcase 25 vintage models from both Volkswagen and local car collectors in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Known for its pairing of styling and technology, Volkswagen, which is German for the “people’s car,” embodies the self-expression of several generations of Americans.

One of the oldest Volkswagen, dating to 1941.
One of the oldest Volkswagens, circa 1941.

The brand’s approach to automotive technology has created an ideal platform for customization that eventually extended to buses, dune buggies, kit cars, and Formula Vee racing.

As part of the partnership, Volkswagen has provided the following three rare vintage cars for display during the exhibit:

* KdF-Wagen — Only a handful of KdF-Wagens were produced between 1941 and 1945 and this vehicle was manufactured in April 7, 1943.  Containing more than 95 percent of the original KdF-parts, the fully-restored vehicle on display is the eighth-oldest Beetle known to exist.

* Panel Delivery Type 2 — The “Panel Delivery” model is an ideal vehicle for loading and transporting cargo with its large double cargo doors and low floor. Some of the first cars to reach the United States were dispatched to support the VW service network across the country in the mid-1950s and was a popular commercial vehicle for small businesses.

* Wedding Car Beetle — Upon seeing the uniquely converted wrought-iron bodied Beetle being used for private weddings around Mexico in the 1960s, Volkswagen de Mexico built two more to be used as display vehicles for its sponsorship of the 1968 Olympic Games. The vehicle on display at the museum was built on a new 1968 chassis and given to the United States Northeast distributor.

In addition, Volkswagen will also provide another vehicle in the “Alternative Propulsion” Exhibit. The display demonstrates the evolution of what has become the modern day electric and hybrid car:

* Jetta LSR Hybrid — After becoming the world’s fastest hybrid at Bonneville in August 2012, the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid LSR returned to Salt Flats last October and broke the Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) H/PS land speed record.

For more information on the exhibit, visit https://www.lemaymuseum.org.

Article Last Updated: April 22, 2014.

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