The KdF-Wagen Savings Boxes

[Brian Screaton writes about a quaint piece of memorabilia that was originally contrived to encourage future owners to save for their new Volkswagen]

Apart from a short piece in the May 2001 edition of the VW Model Club magazine, I have never seen another article on these delightful pieces of KdF-Wagen memorabilia, so as I am fortunate enough to have access to the five examples pictured above, I thought that, after a bit of research, I would tell you as much as I can find out about them. I am not by any stretch of the imagination an expert - I am sure that there are other Club Members who know far more about these items than me, but nevertheless, here goes.

The purpose of the Savings Boxes was of course to encourage the German public to save up and buy their own Volkswagen, or 'KdF-Wagen', as it was renamed by Hitler in 1938. Pre-production KdF-Wagens were despatched on publicity tours throughout Germany and Austria to generate interest, and brochures and application forms were handed out. The car was to be sold through a Savings Scheme, or 'Sparvertrag', and the first rung on the savings ladder was to post your 5 and 10 pfennig pieces into your KdF-Wagen Savings Box. You put your coin in the slot at the top, pushed the lever, and the coin would fall into the box. At the same time a counter on the front would advance by the appropriate amount (the mechanism could differentiate between 5 and 10 pfennings).

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