The VW Type 147 (nickname VW Fridolin) was a small panel van produced by VW from 1964-1974. The van was mostly developed for the German postal service and for that reason it is an exceedingly rare VW commercial model, as they were often trashed after hard use.
When VW was contacted by the German postal service asking them to develop a nice little post van, they started considering what could be mixed between the parts that they had in stock. VW contacted Westfalia Werke, who was already building vehicles on behalf of VW, and the German postal service was choosing between different prototype models. When the Swiss postal service heard about this, they also showed interest and the same did Lufthansa, who wanted to use the vehicle in airports for internal cargo transportation.
For the German postal service, the van was equipped with a 1,2-l 34 hp engine and it was a funny combination between a VW Karmann Ghia floor pan, gearbox and engine from VW Beetle, headlights from VW Type 3 1500 and taillights from the VW Transporter. Several other parts were used based on the principle “what we have on the shelf”.
From the look of the vehicle, it is quite obvious that no real famous designers were involved!
However, for the special purpose customers it became popular an in the 10-years period 1964-1974 a total of 6.139 vehicles were produced. Today probably less than 200 specimens are still available on the market.
It easily rusted, it had no real private purpose as so many other VW models had been developed for, with a much nicer design, larger engines, etc. However because of this it is a very rare and valuable vehicle today.
I have restored a Swiss chassis model with the rear corner windows and front brake disc. The car is painted in the original “Deutsche Post” yellow colour code 1021. Interior is black leatherette.
Every year we enjoy inviting enthusiasts within German classic cars to a combined factory and showroom tour. During one of these tours one enthusiastic visitor mentioned to me that he had a VW probably rarer than any of mine! Of course, it aroused my interest, and I realized that only few VW Fridolin were available in Denmark, but this one was in a very poor but still complete condition. Probably the only one for sale! I bought the car and has now completely restored this special– kind of cute - vehicle in our own workshop.
To restore such a vehicle is a funny mix between parts that are easily available from our warehouse, because parts have simply been taken from other VW stan-
dard models, and then parts that are hard to find – specifically Fridolin body, rubber, plastic parts, etc. We have been forced to make simple tools ourselves. We found two produced parts for this very rare specimen (more expensive than Porsche parts) but the result is fantastic. At the time of writing, we are now at the very last stage of finishing the vehicle. When we have completed the restoring job, the car will be inspected and
registered on Danish license plates.