Volkswagen Type 147 Fridolin Turns 55 – Celebrate at Mai-Käfer-Treffen in Hannover

By Steve and Tamami Laser

Volkswagen is celebrating the 55th birthday of the Type 147 Fridolin this year. This classic delivery van is ready to take the spotlight at the 36th Mai-Käfer-Treffen (May Beetle Meet) in Hannover, Germany, on May 1st.

Fridolin is a tailor-made delivery vehicle for the German and Swiss postal services. Volkswagen says that 6,139 of the vans were built at the Westfalia factory in Wiedenbrück starting 55 years ago and ending in July 1974.

The automaker states that only 40 Type 147 vans are currently registered in Germany with an estimated 200 total units remaining across the globe.

Westfalia built Fridolin from a variety of Volkswagen parts sources and custom coachwork. The chassis was reportedly sourced from a Karmann Ghia, while the engine, gearbox and axles came from the beetle. The tailgate and other components are from the T1 transporter.

Why create a special vehicle instead of using a regular VW van for postal delivery? The dual sliding side doors made it easy for letter carriers to get in and out of the van while loading and unloading cargo in tight spaces and narrow streets.

In addition to a trio of Fridolin, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles also plans to display a rare T1 high-roof “Coca-Cola” Bulli (above) from its Oldtimer collection.

News source and photos courtesy of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Story (commentary) © 2019