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SplitPersonality Offline
#1 Posted : 01 July 2009 16:05:44(UTC)
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The everlasting discussion on "how many Romestch Beeskows were actually made?" is one of the owner group's favorite debate-topics..

We know that Rometsch started the first VW-based chassis at build number 100. We have confirmed Beeskow build numbers all throughout the range... 118, 151, 173, 201, 225, 255 ... etc and the last trace are some loose parts on a non-matching car with number 277 on them. The last complete car - no 260 - has a late 1957 chassis, and we know the Lawrence model was launched late in 1957, for model year 1958. Then we know that the Lawrence models start on build number 500.

One could easily draw the conclusion that at least 177 Beeskows were made, maybe a few more.... BUT - did they select from the same build number series when numbering VW-based Taxis as well? How about Goliaths and Borgwards during the era 1951-1957? These numbers would have to be deducted from the 177(+) to calculate the total of Beeskows built.

Therefore: Does anybody know a, or any, Rometsch build numbers off the VW taxis?
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jof Offline
#2 Posted : 02 July 2009 14:23:09(UTC)
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Hello from Germany,

a few minutes ago I jumped into the Rometsch-discussion at TheSamba, here is what I wrote (http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3909494#3909494):

Hello from Germany,

again I want to jump into the Rometsch-issue since it is very interesting also for me.

I can offer that you/we collect several Rometsch questions (like the mixup of the body numbers, or how body numbers on parts were handled) and I ask my friend Baldur (the former rometsch worker) about it - I see him about once a month for several hours.

Although he might not know all those details or forgot one or the other thing - it might be interesting to get the opinion of somebody who was "in live action" back then. For example the window question (which front window was used for Rometschs) he answered without even thinking about it, describing how the steel corselet looked like where windows were bent at the Rometsch garage. Or without even looking close he described how they worked their fenders on the wooden models (still knowing exactly where the steel inlets were).

I enjoy doing research, and the knowledge of workers from back then gets lost some day - Baldur said that himself at Hessisch Oldendorf, as a joke of course (but knowing that it is actually true): "hey, we old men are dying away...!"

What do you think?

Regards Jörg



What is the best place to talk about those things? TheSamba has a lot of registered users, but only a few are really serious about those questions - so one has to go through a bulk of somewhat worthless postings to get to the point.

I like this forum here, since it seems to me all the specialists are here, and the (compared) silence here is much less strenuos as at TheSamba...

Again: What do you think?

Regards Jörg
overrestored Offline
#3 Posted : 03 July 2009 01:22:25(UTC)
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Oystein... production numbers are always an interesting topic!

I tend to agree that no more than 177 cars were built... but what about the missing sequences of cars... there are several places... where a lot of cars are missing from your number list all in a row. We have to ask why? Most of the surviving cars are between 200 and 277.

There are large sequences of body numbers where there are no survivors. This is the reason I question the total number of cars produced.

Look at the sequences... If I am remembering right... there are 5 split windows left (1950-1952 but I don't know the body numbers)... then 3 1953/4 bent windshield cars around 172-174 (I am including the new Budel car here as a guess) then no cars between 175 and 200... then a lot of cars from 200 up to 277

so out of the first 100 cars:
Just five of the first 71 cars survive?... a 7% survival rate (what are these body numbers?)
then 2 or 3 cars in a row... 172-175 If I remember right... (budel car is here too I am guessing)
then nothing between 175 and 199 (where are these 24 cars?)

a total of 8 cars out of the first 100... so 8% of the first 100 cars survive.

between body 200 and 277 we have 27 survivors with numbers evenly and randomly placed suggesting that all these body numbers were all used. This equals a 33% survival rate.

why such a low survival on the first 100 cars... and such a high survival on the later cars? It may be that not all the body numbers were used.

I don't have knowledge of the Grundmann's Rometsch factory list... which could totally blow apart my analysis.

What sequences of numbers does the Rometsch Factory info cover on the Grundmanns list? are there any large sequences of numbers missing that coincide with your missing numbers?

Eric

BTW... I agree with Jorg... Pre 67 is a better place to discuss this.

Edited by user 03 July 2009 02:26:50(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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pre67vw Offline
#4 Posted : 03 July 2009 15:47:00(UTC)
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Hi Oystein,

Great to meet you in H.O. and see your new toy. What's happened to the Rometsch Registry website? I can't find it anymore.

Rob
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pbaptist Offline
#5 Posted : 05 July 2009 21:27:00(UTC)
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I'am getting to love the Rometsches now.

I did some internet research and find some nice info.

in 1951/52 there were between 24 to 26 Goliath GP 700 Sport build by Rometsch. (different sources tells different production numbers). It seems that only one survived now, so we need to check that one if we see a Rometsch Karosserie body tag in there.


Besides that I found that Rometsch build 2 prototypes of the Borgward Hansa 1500 Sport Coupe


Rometsch also build a Fiat 1400 Cabrio. Maybe this car wil have a body tag as well


What other cars were build by Rometsch??

I also find this interesting german article. In the articel is written that:
Von Anfang 1956 bis Mitte 1959 wurden insgesamt nur 49 Fahrzeuge beiden Typs gebaut, wobei das Modell Beeskow überwiegte.

http://www.historische-vws.de/goodies/rometsch.htm

regards
Patrick
overrestored Offline
#6 Posted : 06 July 2009 20:48:35(UTC)
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Von Anfang 1956 bis Mitte 1959 wurden insgesamt nur 49 Fahrzeuge beiden Typs gebaut, wobei das Modell Beeskow überwiegte.

or in english...

"from the beginning of 1956 to the middle of 1959 altogether only 49 vehicles were built of both type, but the Beeskow model was predominant"

uberwiegte is not an exact translation to predominant... but weigh is wiegen... so unless somebody can tell me different... "uberwiegte would seem to mean "super weighted"

Several sources have stated that both bodies were built side by side in 1957. I don't know about later than that... and we would need to see the beetle chassis numbers related to the later beeskow body numbers in order to have some more clues. But as the later bodies were built on chassis often provided by the customers... it could be that the chassis were from cars that were several years old. We cannot know for certain without info from Grundmann's archives.

Edited by user 06 July 2009 20:49:07(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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JD Offline
#7 Posted : 06 July 2009 20:58:11(UTC)
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overrestored wrote:


uberwiegte is not an exact translation to predominant... but weigh is wiegen... so unless somebody can tell me different... "uberwiegte would seem to mean "super weighted"



Probably best translated as "outweighed".
"John, you need to get a grip and STOP MOANING AT EVERYTHING. ThumbDown "

overrestored Offline
#8 Posted : 06 July 2009 22:17:03(UTC)
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JD wrote:


Probably best translated as "outweighed".


yes... that is better... I agree.



I was using a Harper Collins dictionary... where "uberwiegend" translated to "Predominant" and "uberwiegen" translated to predominate

but Uber = super.... wiegen= weight so I like your version better...


Can't find "uberwiegte" anywhere though

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JD Offline
#9 Posted : 06 July 2009 22:21:58(UTC)
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overrestored wrote:


yes... that is better... I agree.



I was using a Harper Collins dictionary... where "uberwiegend" translated to "Predominant" and "uberwiegen" translated to predominate

but Uber = super.... wiegen= weight so I like your version better...


Can't find "uberwiegte" anywhere though



Translating German is not something to be attempted by the feint of heart!
"John, you need to get a grip and STOP MOANING AT EVERYTHING. ThumbDown "

overrestored Offline
#10 Posted : 06 July 2009 22:23:19(UTC)
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but if that is the case...

"beeskow model was outweighed"

could mean that there were more Lawrences

and "Beeskow model was predominant"

means there were more Beeskows!

ARRRRGGGGG

We need an old German to clarify!

anyone???
anyone???
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JD Offline
#11 Posted : 06 July 2009 22:34:37(UTC)
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overrestored wrote:
but if that is the case...

"beeskow model was outweighed"

could mean that there were more Lawrences

and "Beeskow model was predominant"

means there were more Beeskows!

ARRRRGGGGG

We need an old German to clarify!

anyone???
anyone???


No your translation was right in the first place. There´s no "was" outweighed.
(I´m sitting next to a German)
"John, you need to get a grip and STOP MOANING AT EVERYTHING. ThumbDown "

GKL 7 Offline
#12 Posted : 07 July 2009 19:06:51(UTC)
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JD how well do you speak German?
JD Offline
#13 Posted : 07 July 2009 22:07:44(UTC)
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'50 Karmann wrote:
JD how well do you speak German?


Speak? I do alright. Grammar is all over the shop, but they can almost always understand me.
Writing is very poor though. What do you need?
"John, you need to get a grip and STOP MOANING AT EVERYTHING. ThumbDown "

GKL 7 Offline
#14 Posted : 07 July 2009 22:17:45(UTC)
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Maybe for future help.i'm useless with it.
you know,part hunting etc.

But we have an RT here now and she's better looking than you JDLaugh Laugh Laugh
(sorry Dave).
JD Offline
#15 Posted : 07 July 2009 22:20:15(UTC)
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Laugh

No probs - just let me know. Some of the techie terms can get confusing.
"John, you need to get a grip and STOP MOANING AT EVERYTHING. ThumbDown "

GKL 7 Offline
#16 Posted : 07 July 2009 22:26:42(UTC)
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Cheers JDBigGrin
vintagebug Offline
#17 Posted : 08 July 2009 09:05:58(UTC)
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Quote:
...and she's better looking than you JD


Just as well you said that George! You don't want to upset her now, do you, or you won't get any more translating done! Wink

(No offence meant, JD!)

Dave

"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading"
jof Offline
#18 Posted : 11 July 2009 11:52:10(UTC)
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Hello from Germany,

"überwiegen" = "overweighing" = "more from that one" = more Beeskows than Lawrences. Rometsch actually did not even extend the "registered design protection" ("Gebrauchsmusterschutz" in German) for the Beeskow model in 1959, since they expected the Lawrence to replace the Beeskow (Rometsch requested the "registered design protection" for the Lawrence for 3 years only). Which especially in the important US market did not work, since the Lawrence was too much American. In the Grundmann collection there is a lot of paperwork left of letters between Rometsch Berlin and Rometsch Hollywood (Arthur Zwebell and W. Rudinger) that tell about the problems they had in the US.

Do you know the book "Die Edel-Käfer " (The Precious Beetles) from Bernd Wiersch, former director of the VW museum?



He did a lot of research and there is a large chapter on Rometsch. On page 72 he states that around 1956 "in six years 500 Beeskows have been made". And of course Mr. Wiersch is aware of with which body number Rometsch started...

What other cars did Rometsch built? The Goliath GP 700 Coupe 25x (beginning 1951), Hansa 1500 Sportcabriolet, Firat 1400 Sportcabrio, Fiat 1100 TV Coupe (50x, beginning 1954), Fiat 1200 Sportcoupe, Opel Kapitän Coupe (1956), DKW Kleinlieferwagen and of course the 4 door taxi-cab-beetle.

In Kaulmanns speech (http://www.historische-vws.de/goodies/rometsch.htm) from 1994 he talks about the times before he went to Rometsch (which must have been in 1956):

"Der Verkauf der Fahrzeuge erfolgte bis zu meinem Eintritt bei Rometsch zum Selbstkostenpreis, lediglich an den Reparaturen wurde verdient. Doch ergab eine Nachkalkulation durch mich, daß an jedem der 280 bisher gebauten Modelle Typ Beeskow je nach Jahr tatsächlich ein Minus zwischen 2000 und 3500 DM erwirtschaftet wurde. "

means: "The price of the cars was the same price they needed to produce them, before I came to Rometsch, they earned only money when repairing them. But when I recalculated, I figured out that Rometsch actually lost between 2000 and 3500 German Marks on each of the 280 so far built Beeskow models"

which from my point of view is hard to believe - but the number of Beeskows is interesting: 280 until (mid or end of?)1956.

And another sentence is interesting:

"Der Fortschritt, der durch mein Akkordsystem erzielt wurde, wird am deutlichsten, wenn man das alte und das neue Arbeitssystem gegenüberstellt. Als ich bei Rometsch anfing, bauten 34 Mann pro Monat 4 Autos. Nachdem ich mein Akkordsystem eingeführt hatte, bauten 11 Mann 5 Autos pro Monat."

means: "this is the progress my Accord-payment-system made: when I started at Rometsch, 34 workers built 4 cars a month. When I started my Accord-payment-system 11 workers built 5 cars a month."




Regards Jörg

Edited by user 11 July 2009 12:08:37(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

overrestored Offline
#19 Posted : 12 July 2009 23:40:21(UTC)
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Jorg,

Thanks for the confirmation of the translation... "overweighing"

Herr Wiersch and I emailed back and forth a couple of times when he was writing that book. I disagree with the number of 500. This number often shows up in Germany... 500 Beeskows. But it cannot be true. The data does not back it up. We know the chassis and body numbers of 90% of the known cars.

If there were 500 Beeskows made... why doesn't the data from the cars add up? where are the photos of all these cars. where are all the cars... We would have seen more cars over the years.

The number of Beeskows that the registry members have come up with... based on the data from the known chassis and body numbers... is a maximum of 175 beeskows made... but I personally think it was actually even less than this.. because there are no body numbers known... between 175 and 200... and before 170... there are only 6 cars known to exist. So between body number 100 and 200... there are only 8 cars known! WHERE ARE THE OTHER 92! Why are there no pictures... no old owners... nothing? The vast majority of cars... are between body 200 and 275. There are no other body numbers... so unless there are 325 cars made without numbers... that have all disappeared...I have to say that Herr Wiersch is wrong.

I must close by saying that I have NOT seen Grundmann's archive... so if their numbers show something different... I would love to know about it... but so far... nobody has said anything different... and I have been researching Beeskows specifically for 20 years.

Something funny happened today... I had my Beeskow at a show... and a man came up to me and said that the last time he saw a Beeskow was in 1957 at a show in LA or Palm Springs... he couldn't remember... it was next to a Denzel! Now comes the funny part... it was my car! I have photos of my car when Arthur Zwebell (the importer) was showing it at Palm Springs... next to the same Denzel. So this fellow I met today has seen my car twice... 52 years apart!

also...Arthur Zwebell... the old importer...still lives! I found him... I will visit him in the next year or so and I bet he can add a lot to our archive of knowledge.

Edited by user 13 July 2009 07:27:45(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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overrestored Offline
#20 Posted : 13 July 2009 01:47:40(UTC)
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I am very curious where Herr Wiersch found this number of 500 Beeskows...

I think it may come from a book called "Automobiles aus Berlin, Vom Tropfenwagen zum Amphicar". This is an older book written by Ulrich Kubisch which was sponsored by the "Museum fur Verkehr und Technik, Berlin"... and published by "Nicolai".

On page 171 of this book... it states:

" Der Karmann Kostete anfangs 7500 DM. Er machte dem Absatz der Rometsch-Modellein den nachfolgenden Jaren schwer zu schaffen. Immerhin "verliessen" (I can't spell this word right on an american keyboard) ca. 500 Sportkabrioletts (und z. T. auch Coupes) die Berliner Werkshallen. Standig waren funf Fahrzeuge in Arbeit"

my very rough translation...

"Karmann cost at first 7500DM. This made it difficult to produce the Rometsch Models in the following years. Never the less... approx. 500 sportcabriolets (including coupes) left those Berlin workshops."



I have not seen any other printed material earlier than this... that states the production volume of Rometsch. It is my belief... that Rometsch and Beeskow artificially increased the volume numbers they told to the press... in order to gain credibility with the buying public and perhaps just to "piss off" Heinz Nordhoff. I know a lot of companies inflate their sales numbers... it is a normal practice of private companies.... done just to put fear into the competition.


again... I would love to know the Grundmanns opinions on this subject... please please please!!!




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