Well the Volkswagen season here in the U.K. is all but over for another year, so this weeks blog is slightly different from the usual show reviews I post. This weeks blog is all about the amazing Volkswagen collection from my old school buddy, and long term mate Neil Smart. Neil (better know as 'Sausage Fingers' to his friends) has been around the U.K. Volkswagen scene for as long as I can remember, and is very well known not only in the U.K. but also in Europe. Neil was president of The Split Screen Van Club for many years and still has many contacts in the Volkswagen world and has owned several Volkswagen's including a blue and white split screen which he had for years and years. Today he drives a cool T25 Syncro. Neil has been collecting model cars for years and today his collection comprises of hundreds upon hundreds of 'Hot Wheels', 'Corgi' and 'Matchbox' models to name but a few. He also collects rare original Volkswagen books, pamphlets, signs and posters. To give you an idea just how big and extensive Neil's collection is, When I visited him at his home I asked how much money does he think he's invested in his collection. Neil thought for a moment and said "probably between 5-8 thousand pounds".!! Well I suppose you have to spend your money on something, and I guess it's better to spend it on something collectible and that will increase in value rather than just waste it on drinks, drugs and wild women.
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|This is just one of the many hand made display|
cabinets Neil has made to house all his models.
Apologies for the rubbish photo, I should have
noticed the reflection on the glass was so bad.
|One of the first cars Neil showed me this Kaputt|
Buggy G2 which was designed by Dave Deal,
an American VW and racing cartoon legend in
in the 1960's / 1970's. The Kaputt Buggy had
the huge 'Bloatation tyres'
|Neil's model car collection is vast, there are so|
many different variants of Volkswagen's on
show from different manufacturers and from so
many years. Some of these models are new
and some date back 40 -50 years.
|Volkswagen's of all descriptions from numerous|
manufacturers. The grey split screen on the top
shelf is a very rare tin model made in Italy some
50-60 years ago.
|There are various size models to Neil's amazing|
collection. I did like the larger scale khaki
coloured Kubelwagen ( I think) with the soldiers
in it to the right of the photo.
|This lovely miniature boxed set was made by|
Schuco to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
Volkswagen bus, and extremely rare.
|This model collection really needs to be in some|
sort of art gallery as you need hours to look at
all the models in Neil's collection. I had an hour
or so in Neil's home and that was no where near
long enough to take it all in.
|Neil recently purchased these beauties, a split|
screen bus and a beetle for the game Scalextric
(slot car racing game) Needless to say they have
never even seen the Scalextric track let alone
been used to go racing on it.
|These colour specification wall charts would have|
been hung up in dealerships all across Europe
to show the customer the options available.
|You can see in this photo how the blister packs|
and backing cards vary in size, which means
Neil has to continually make new display cabinets
to house all his new purchases.
|Who ever designs these radical Volkswagen|
models has got a very impressive imagination
as some of the styles and paint schemes are
|The same applies to these 2 beetles. The top|
one is from Walmart, and only being available
from one outlet must surely mean it's more
exclusive and therefore slightly rarer?
|Just one of Neil's walls in his living room. Who|
needs pretty pictures hanging on the walls when
you have numerous display cabinets filled with
fantastic model Volkswagen's.
|Just a very small selection of Neil's massive baja|
collection, again so many different styles and
|This display cabinet had some really weird and |
wonderful split screen bus models. I wonder if
anyone has copied one of these creations and
made their bus into an exact copy?
|Just a handful of Neil's split screen bus collection|
the designs and body styles go from the sublime
to the ridiculous, but they are all still very cool.
|A model loosely based on 'Herbie' and I'm sure |
Neil told me an interesting fact about this car,
but I have totally forgotten what it was!
|This Magnabeetle originated from A Manga|
cartoon called Urashiman from Japan.
|As well as the standard models of beetles and|
buses, Neil also has some weird and wonderful
models of split screen buses.
|This lovely gold beach buggy from Hot Wheels|
is one of the special one in Neil's collection as
it's signed by the godfather of beach buggies
himself, Bruce Meyers.
|Neil pointed this buggy out to me, as it doesn't|
have any paint. The grey colour is the bare metal
of the die cast model.
|Just a few of the sandrail's and more baja's in |
Neils massive model car collection.
|Beach buggies, Baja's and Beetles Neil's vast|
collection has everything for everyone, no matter
what your into in the Volkswagen world.
|I even spotted these ceramic Volkswagen|
models in Neil's lounge... I'm starting to think
that maybe Neil has an obsession.!!
|It's not all Volkswagen models in Neil's living|
room. Next to the TV I spotted a pair of 1932
Ford Roadster models which looked so cool.
|I didn't find anything out these models, but I did|
like them. The '32 roadster is one of favourite
cars of all time just behind a fenderless 1932, 3
window coupe with a 21 stud flathead V8 engine.
|After looking around Neil's living room, he took|
to me his spare room to see yet more models
that he hadn't put into display cabinets as yet.
There were boxes upon boxes of models from
numerous manufacturers and numerous styles
|When Neil first told me about his model collection|
I expected a lot of model's but I was truly blown
away by just how many he actually has.
|Yet another box of unopened models. Neil was|
saying that as well as Volkswagen's, he has
started to collect models of old Mini's and Fords.
|It's not only model cars that Neil collects, he also|
collects original Volkswagen publication material.
This lubrication chart was designed to be put up
in Volkswagen service stations to show the
lube points on early beetles.
|This is an original chart and not a reproduction.|
I don't know where or how Neil gets all this cool
stuff, but I'm seriously impressed.
|This illustrated Volkswagen catalogue dates |
from the early 1950's and it is in like new
|The amount of detail this book covers is|
amazing and it covers all the best selling points
of the Volkswagen car. The catalogue has some
awesome hand painted drawings which were done
by Bernd Reuters a German graphic designer and
|The amount of detail in the sales brochure from|
the 1950's in truly amazing. Back in the day this
was probably the only way to advertise the
|The brochure coves everything from the design|
of the humble beetle to the benefits of the air-
|This dealership booklet from 1958 details all the|
Volkswagen dealers across the whole of Europe.
It lists names and addresses of all the Volkswagen
dealerships in all European countries.
|The booklet is folded in such a way that every|
page has a map of a country and on the
opposite page a list of the dealers name,
address and phone number.
|As I carefully turned the pages of this booklet|
to take photos, I mentioned to Neil that I felt
like I should be wearing white cotton gloves.
He is the U.K. page with quite a detailed map
of the Great Britain.
|The 'handbook' contains lovely old black and|
white photos of Volkswagen dealerships that
were operating at the time.
|The photos in the handbook really are little time|
capsules, and amazing to see.
|A great photo of a Volkswagen service centre|
way back in the 1950's. How cool does this look.
|The book also shows what tools should be kept|
and how to store them. These tool racks are so
comprehensive, they must have a tool for every
|How about this for a tool station? The precision|
and attention to detail of the German's really shows
in this photo. Every tool has a place and
every tool is in it's place.
|This super cool tool trolley with stool looks great.|
You do occasionally see these for sale for mega
bucks at shows / events.
|This cool looking ramp for lifting buses is really|
amazing. I wonder how many still exist today?
|The handbook is so comprehensive that it even|
covers what colour the walls and tiles should be,
so that the overall look of the new franchise will
be in keeping with all the others.
|The caption for this photo (roughly translated)|
states 'a light flooded hall made from a steel
structure' for the holding of customers cars, and
don't they all look lovely.
|One of the photos of an early Volkswagen dealer-|
ships / garages, I wonder if any of these gorgeous
beetles are still around today??
|The photos in this book are fantastic. Not only|
are the cars stunning but the cleanliness of the
area is amazing... no graffiti and no rubbish
|How cool does the VW garage look? I love the|
1950's styling of the building... and of course all
the beetles parked up outside.
|This postcard Neil treasures deeply as it's from|
the 1939 motor show in Berlin and features a
very rare blue stamp with a KDF beetle on it.
|A close up of the unused and pristine stamp.|
Whilst taking these photos I was scared to even
breathe on them, let alone touch them.
|Just after the end of the war with Germany The |
Control Commission for Germany was set up
to help get Germany's economy back on track
after being in control of the Nazi's. This
page details how the German Labour
Front spent the peoples money.