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overrestored Offline
#21 Posted : 13 July 2009 01:57:42(UTC)
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Kaulmanns speech... talking about 280 Beeskow cars... is probably referring to the fact that that last beeskow was somewhere around body number 277.

But again... there are no beeskows known with body numbers under 100.... and only 8 known under body number 200. I SERIOUSLY doubt that 192 beeskows have all gone missing and were never documented in photos.

More likely... they were never made.

the four to five cars per month... that works out to 48 to 50 cars per year... which is correct in the later years... 56 and 57...

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#22 Posted : 13 July 2009 02:04:00(UTC)
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You have to remember... Kaulmann started at Rometsch later... he wasn't there earlier....


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#23 Posted : 13 July 2009 03:04:50(UTC)
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sorry to go on and on...

BUT...

Kaulmann started work at Rometsch in Mid to Late 1956. Beeskow had just quit and moved over to work for Karmann. Fritz Rometsch needed a new man to replace him. Kaulmann was basically Beeskow's successor. Right after Kaulmann starts we have the new car... called the Lawrence modelle. But Burt Lawrence... who the hell was he... nobody has ever heard of him before or after! Did he even exist... or was he a fictional "american designer" created by Kaulmann? Luigi Colani was designing fiats with Rometch... and he is super famous now... Beeskow's history with Erdmann and Rossi... Joseph Nuess etc... his cars are some of the biggest most famous streamlined art deco cars ever designed... There is one or two at Pebble Beach every year... but this Lawrence guy is a nobody... a big blank. I am inclined to think he doesn't actually exist! Kaulmann brags a LOT about how the Lawrence was SO much better looking than the Beeskow... so much better engineered... cheaper... etc etc.... that "his" hinge design was better... blah blah blah... Did Kaulmann design it maybe? The car never sold well in Europe.. or the USA... People kept asking for the Beeskow... and this sort of pissed Kaulmann off... because the Beeskow was "too expensive".. and "they lost money on them".

Jorg... your comment about the number of cars Kaulmann was talking about is a really good one...

Kaulmann says that they made 4 or 5 cars a month... which is equal to 48 to 60 cars per year... but then later he says that there were only 49 cars built between 1956 and 1959... with most of them being Beeskows.

So which is it? 48 to 60 cars per year... or 49 cars over three years?

also... if most of the 49 cars built between 1956 and 1959 were beeskows... then that means there were 24 or fewer Lawrences made during this time period. In our rough new Lawrence Registry.. we have quite a few Lawrence cars I think... so most of these cars survive???

SO... again... I think that the 500 cars discussed so often in Germany must be a fabrication... which was started by Fritz and Herr Beeskow to impress everyone... and then the story was continued by Herr Kaulmann... but then... when you really look at the cars... it actually appears more like maybe less than 100 beeskows were built total... and maybe 25 early Lawrences.

But who was Burt Lawrence... has anyone got any documentation on this guy?

Eric

Edited by user 13 July 2009 08:02:54(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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#24 Posted : 13 July 2009 07:53:52(UTC)
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[quote=jof]Hello from Germany,


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. "

Below is a "babelfish" translation of that text Jorg mentioned... my apologies to Historische-vws.de. (if they want me to remove this translation I will)


Automotive manufacture in small series in the Germany of the 50's by the example of the company Rometsch, Berlin

After a lecture of Günther Kaulmann, held on the meeting for historical Volkswagen 1994 in Braunschweig

noted and worked on of Dr. Ulrich von Pidoll

I was born 1930 in Berlin and no particularly good pupil had been. Since my father no more did not return from the war, my uncle became my guardian. This uncle had been in the war a colleague of the well-known master of building of bodies Beeskow. By this contact my uncle had arrived at the conviction that a professional training would be the correct to the master of building of bodies also for me.

After my school time, which was interrupted for one year war conditionally, gammelte I for a while around, because 1945 did not give it training places. My uncle procured to me thereupon without my knowledge in the year 1946 a training place at the body company Buhne in Berlin. For this it communicated to me then on one Friday that I was adjusted as an apprentice starting from Monday there. Thus my career in the automotive manufacture, in an occupation began, for which I had not applied and which I wanted to actually exercise also never.

I knew already from my uncle that Berlin before the war was the center of the body building firms. This was probably because of that by the proximity of the UFA in Potsdam-Babelsberg most filming acre in Berlin lived. This filming acre provided with their special wishes after automobiles in one-off production for a boom of the enterprises at that time - nevertheless there were approximately 30 body building firms in Berlin before the war. With these special wishes that of filming acre was particularly made certain that each vehicle differed clearly in the Design from the other vehicles and was built really only once. Because no film star wanted to drive the same car as its colleague. Such one-off productions were to be made at that time still relatively inexpensive: one calculated about 2/3 material and 1/3 labour costs. But not only the building, but also the repair of accident damages at motor vehicles filled at that time the order books of the body building firms.

Since after the war the fuel was rationed and transferred only to transport vehicles on reference light, many realms let the back part of their Horchs or Maybach behind the driver's seat cut off and replace by a structure of plank bed. The vehicle was defined in such a way to a delivery van for vital goods, which were naturally never transported thereby. But it was possible so for the high rule to receive gasoline on reference light. These orders secured also immediately after the war a surviving for the body building firms, and, we were allowed to back-build again the vehicles for 1950, with the end of the reference illusory obligation for gasoline on the basis of old photos into their original form. But we also many orders, of had consisted those developing on old chassis new bodies.

Straight ones in the bad times immediately after the war earned thus the body building firms much. But with the rise of the labour costs at the total price in the process of the 50's then from came for most companies in this trade. And at the latest with the building of the wall 1961 and the omission of the workers from east Berlin, resulting from it, the bad times for these companies began.

For lack of intact buildings immediately after the war my training began 1946 with body Buhne in an old wine cellar of the citizens of Berlin brewery Schult-hot, where I caught myself from the noise of the machines then promptly a hearing damage, from whom I today to still suffer has. Now I was imprisoned in the claws of the automotive manufacture, and I had therefore somewhat to be broken in to be able, in order to come out there again. This was all the more necessary, since I had blisters at the hands, which festered on the second day already after the first day. On the third day I went therefore to the guild and asked there coming what I would have to do, in order further.

On their advice I already registered after fourteen days of my training at the technician office school in Berlin as the first pin. There I was naturally inclined regarded, particularly by my uncle, who had by the way created this school, and me with the words welcomed there: “Which you make here?”

Nevertheless I was naturally proud to finally make my first money. But it was less, than I had believed: straight times 80 Pf per hour. This amount was computed at that time and paid as Einzelakkordlohn.

Since I was not content with this wages, I had particularly engaged myself in the engineering school of my uncle. The consequence of my diligence was that my uncle me thereupon already in the fourth term training tasks in its school transferred. I received for it no money, but more fun made for me than the piece-work at my training company.

1949 became I associated. But thereby practically nothing changed in my payment. I felt it from there as the most substantial difference between my time as an apprentice and associated that one had communicated to me after the existed associating examination: “Now are you associated, now can you finally “you” to us say.”

The work as a body farmer covered six ranges according to the regulations of the citizens of Berlin guild order: indeed sheet metal, wood, stealing, fitter, pad and paint work. One had to show three of these ranges in its associating and masterpiece, which had remaining three in a work sample are proven. My masterpiece consisted of a sheet metal wood steel compound article, and as work sample I had to repair an upholstered seat, weld a wire insert and paint a door. By the way my largest talents were at that time with the carpenter works and the aluminum welding. This combination is not so rare at all, because wood specialists have usually also the correct Feeling for aluminum, while metal specialists have nearly always problems with the aluminum welding.

During my work time with body Buhne I worked on all motor vehicle types such as brewery vehicles, carriages, cars and buses. These versatile work benefitted me later tremendously. There is practically no motor vehicle type, which I not repaired, designed or built.

I finally received the task to 1950 to accomplish all constructions for our body enterprise with 100 coworkers and to calculate the costs of the production of the individual parts. Here there were quite often differences with the management, since one usually the opinion was that my time and cost defaults were too small set. In these cases I always made and proved in such a way the parts themselves that my defaults were meaningful and feasible.

Later, at the beginning of of 1956, I successfully took then the mastership examination to the master of building of bodies. But was I view that a master should leave the company, in which he had learned, since he could make never ever a large career there. Also the master of building of bodies Beeskow already mentioned had learned with earthling & Rossi in Berlin, before he went to the death of the senior boss and the following conversion of the sphere of activity of his company to Rometsch. Besides I earned only 380 DM per month for years despite hard work and the boss before two years for salary increase had already asked. Without success. After the existed mastership examination it was to be increased straight times ready, my content to 400 DM. This was for me the final proof for it that my opinion was correct and I had to change, in order to come further. I quit therefore with building of bodies Buhne and me on the search for a better employment offered made.

In this phase of my life I remembered that I had seen on the citizens of Berlin motor show 1950 for the first time a vehicle to that Berlin body building firm Rometsch. From this car, a yellow model Beeskow Cabriolet at that time, was I lightup enthusiastically. Determines everyone wanted so a beautiful car have, but only the few possessed naturally for this the necessary change. But in principle the vehicles of Rometsch on basis of a beetle chassis were only of designers created Show vehicles of excellent quality of workmanship.

Considering this memory I applied with Rometsch and immediately adjusted myself.

Rometsch was 1950 the first body building firm, which broke with the old tradition to manufacture vehicles only as one-off production. The speech is here naturally by the Rometsch type Beeskow, mentioned in the vernacular “banana”, already mentioned, whose body of at the beginning of presented masters of building of bodies the Beeskow was sketched. This body was made with Rometsch in manual work and installed onto a Volkswagen chassis. The actor Victor de Kowa by the way acquired the first car of this type. Later, starting from 1956, still another further type sketched by the designer Lawrence was additionally produced.

To this vehicle production it came rather coincidentally, when the master of building of bodies Beeskow the old Rometsch adjusted again with Rometsch showed 1949 sketches of a new car sketched of it in the year. The senior boss was in such a way enthusiastic of these drafts that he arranged a production of this motor vehicle in his company. How very this vehicle at that time ahead was from the Design its time, one recognizes by that it already exhibited a pontoon body, whose details were copied later by other vehicle manufacturers. Thus for example Mercedes Benz took over the Design of the front fenders for its 300SL Flügeltürer.

The sale of the vehicles took place up to my entrance with Rometsch at the cost price, at the repairs was only earned. But a recalculation resulted in from me that at everyone of the 280 built models type Beeskow was actually gained depending upon year a minus between 2000 and 3500 DM. But this was not so bad, as it appears perhaps at first sight, because the automotive industry contributed only with a small part to the gross income of the company. The main conversion lay in the range body repairs. And straight this range is so strongly expanded by tremendously advertising-effective vehicle production that Rometsch had to take the three-way price like other body building firms, in order to be able to hold the buyer attack within bearable borders.

Apart from the type Beeskow were by the way manufactured at that time with Rometsch also still special bodies for other automobile types. Most well-known of it probably is the four-door Volkswagen beetle taxi. Because in accordance with the citizens of Berlin trade and industrial regulations public taxis had to exhibit four doors, and other vehicles than a Volkswagen beetle were at that time exorbitant for normal manufacturing ones.

My task with Rometsch consisted of obtaining a rationalization of the manufacturing of the vehicles so that in the next four years no more red numbers are gained with the automotive industry. I have this task among other things with one of the point of view of the trade union from brutal quality and achievement-oriented piece-work system to solve to be able. When consequence of it have we all worked “like the idiots”, but have we thereby also a heap money earned. And even the company Rometsch now earned at the vehicles 3.5% to 6%.

At the beginning of of 1956 was already recognizable that the automotive industry would be no longer for a long time possible in manual work after patriarchs custom because of the explosion of the labour costs, because in the meantime one at 1/3 material and 2/3 labour costs had already concerned. For the companies Rometsch was added with the fact still making more difficult that Volkswagen at that time GmbH at Rometsch it did not supply chassis and even to their dealers in Berlin had forbidden to supply complete vehicles to those in particular admitted coworkers of the company Romesch. It prevailed thus at that time as as a war to on measurers between VOLKSWAGEN and Rometsch, whereby we felt shadowed of private detectives even. Therefore I had at the same time to lock a sales contract for a new Volkswagen beetle with my article of employment also. That was by the way my first car in my life, but I should never see it.

Later we had to buy even complete vehicles with West German Volkswagen dealers, which was connected with tremendous transport difficulties because of the unfavorable situation of Berlin in the midst of the GDR. Such a complete Volkswagen beetle cost us at that time 4600 DM plus 350 DM purchase expenses and costs of the dismantling of the body, whereby we could resell these e.g. to the change of jeeps and to the repair of accident cars for 1950 DM together with the tires for further 150 DM.

A chassis cost us at that time thus already 2850 DM of entire manufacturing costs of a vehicle of 8470 DM. We than material portion, under it also the new white wall tires needed further 2300 DM. These sums were added and to it-struck 20% overhead costs. Thus straight times 1616 DM remained with hourly wages of 2,25 DM at wages for the structure of the body from individual parts, which can be disbursed. That was less than few and gives an idea of the difficulties, before which I at that time.

I have thereupon a piece-work wage with Rometsch imported, with which not only this wage default, but be caught even two years could be kept later material costs risen around 60 DM. Basis of this piece-work wage were from me calculated, with normal Gechicklichkeit attainable production numbers of each job. For a such work 2.25 DM hourly wages were calculated. Who created more, proportionally more wages got. At the same time it was however also fixed that each coworker had to give a half year to warranty on his work. This warranty consisted of that manufacturing defects of the coworker had to be again-good-made by it in this period either in unpaid time or but be paid from its own bag.

Our workers had themselves thereupon so into their work increased that my chord defaults were far exceeded. If the coworkers still went to 1.1.1956 with 2,25 DM per hour to the work, then to 1.1.1958 was disbursed as consequence of the excess of my chord defaults depending upon coworker 5.50 DM to 9.80 DM per hour.

These chord defaults were valid also for the apprentices. The apprentices got them at the beginning of only their according to tariff specified wages, but could fast by their responsible person into the work be instructed and helped it accordingly already soon during the chord manufacturing. Therefore it delivered them then also an appropriate portion of its by its assistance of gained chord excess profit. The apprentices showed themselves by the way also as large support with the building of the necessary machines. Since I had adjusted only apprentices, who agreed with my piece-work system, they tackled all accordingly. We created like the wild ones - I already mentioned it -, but it did not deplore itself, because we became wealthy everything thereby, even the apprentices.

Before my time with Rometsch a coworker built only the doors, second only the fenders and third only aluminum welded for etc. If one became ill or took vacation, no more car could be assembled. That was naturally an absurdity, and therefore I had changed this working system also immediately. This was relatively simply possible, because after the other coworkers had noticed that for example by the aluminum welding very much money could earn, her him very exactly on the fingers looked, and after one month all other coworkers could do it just as well as it.

The progress, which was obtained by my piece-work system, becomes clearest, if one confronts the old and the new working system. When I began with Rometsch, 34 men per month built 4 cars. After I had introduced my piece-work system, 11 men built 5 cars per month. Depending upon coworker the productivity rose around 800% to 1000%. That was the crucial difference.

This higher productivity became apparent naturally also with the costs. Thus 1.1.1956 cost the two front fenders together to 222 DM labour costs with hourly wages of 2,25 DM to. To 1.1.1958, on the high point of my piece-work system, cost them to only 60 DM, whereby the coworker concerned earned even hourly wages of 9.80 DM. From this one can recognize, of which work coworkers are capable, if one trains, motivated and pays them only correctly. But know a such piece-work system in a company only bosses would bring in. Unfortunately however these bosses are usually older, and they will not want to admit under any circumstances that they used for many years a wrong system for the work. In this point are us the Japanese ahead!

By the way I existed 1957 also my technician examination, but that really interested at that time now nobody.

Although the new model Lawrence was more practical much beautiful and than the old model Beeskow, it could not itself nevertheless intersperse no more on the motor vehicle market. The reason for this was less because of the car or its price, but rather in that the time for such designer cars simply past was in small series. Because 1953/54 were not already those of filming acre any more in the measure as in former times ready to spend their money on such cars. Starting from 1958 this market had then broken down completely.

1956 should run out the model Beeskow slowly. Therefore I improved little things at this motor vehicle type only like the door and hood hinges. From the planned successor Lawrence existed with my entrance straight times a wood model. But it pointed itself to our Überaschung already soon that the old type was still for sale Beeskow in the USA, while the new model proved there as practically unsalable. In Germany it had turned around exactly. But in Germany the model Lawrence was bought only little, so that without the buyers of the model Beeskow in the United States could not be done. This led to the unsatisfactory situation that both motor vehicle types had to be built next to each other in small numbers of items. By at the beginning of of 1956 to center 1959 altogether only 49 vehicles were built both type, whereby the model Beeskow überwiegte.

I would like to describe now in the following at some details the production methods at that time.

The two front fenders of the model Lawrence were made of 16 parts of a board aluminum plate by 1.2 mm of strength. The parts were roughly cut out and smoothed then with a built planishing roll. Subsequently, they were driven separately by hand without the use of Preßmaschinen over a wood model. We needed for this as tool only one chunk and a sand bag from leather, which were held the workpiece and worked on with a ball hammer. For larger surfaces an ash club was available, which over an eccentric cam and a leaf spring strained thereby was again back moved. This ash club was then adjusted in such a way that it hit permanently the leather and bag lying on the workpiece. When consequence of this manufacture way of the body parts results also completely obligatorily the use of aluminum plates, because with the thick steel sheets then usual in the automotive manufacture one could not at all have realized this economical manufacturing way.

The aluminum plates were break formed then in the model or cut off alternatively overlapping put, a part straight, then on the other part exactly parallel for this a tear was made and cut off exactly after this tear straight. Finally the individual parts in the vice were clamped and heated up with a burner and left run. Alternatively the parts were scored also with one another and welded then only. We welded the aluminum parts with one another thus without a fluxing agent and without an additive. There is no simpler procedure to manufacture complicated rounded geometry properly matching.

Except the wood models the company Rometsch did not transact investments for its vehicles, since all machines were built for before all by the coworkers, the apprentices. There were no designs, but only models and sketches. There we held for example the door handle simply only by the carcass door, until its place assured us, and then also came it. Therefore are also no two exactly resemble cars built.

In order to keep the costs low, at the vehicles attachments were used by other vehicle manufacturers. Only like that it was possible to realize a satisfying exterior at a favourable price without the vehicle looked cheap. It gave spare parts catalogues already in former times, and we have simply after the “those could fit” - method from these catalogs orders. For example we used, later a round Ford tail lamp for the model Beeskow only - in the tail fin well RA was suitable a sharp-edged Fiat light better. The license plate light came from VOLKSWAGEN, while the turn signals came again from Fiats.

Only the windshields had we ourselves to make, since no other production item fit here. While Beeskow manufactured the windshield still ten-by the piece and because of delay had to always reject the first nine, I had let build always twenty pieces at one time and eleven windshields of it to use be able. The side windows together with their window lifter were against it production items, which we ordered after the desired height from the catalog and designed doors and side parts in such a way then that these fit. The Rückscheibe was from warm-ductile plexiglass, which did not raise us with the production problems.

The door from four break formed aluminum plate parts in front, in the back, above and down, one together-scored. The door lock came together with the necessary mechanics from the company Happich.

The model Lawrence had as one of the first vehicles a padded instrument panel. The wedge-shaped upholstery for this was nothing else as a sealing profile for a Cabriolet, again from the catalog of the company Happich, which we fastened with imitation leather referred and with an angle. They see to something, we at that time did not gehext, but only with something Köpfchen and simplest procedures from existing production items did not develop.

I hope, I gave to them hereby a small idea of the small series automotive manufacture of the 50's and to them to mediate to be able, with what thought out and nevertheless simple methods we at that time economically cars build knew. Which one could do in the 50's, is naturally also today still possible. Give they me five coworkers, who want to build gladly cars, and we also today still develop them within a half yearly small series an autoproduction line.

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pbaptist Offline
#25 Posted : 13 July 2009 08:52:49(UTC)
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Hallo Eric,

That is a big discussion you have with yourself BigGrin

The book "Die Edel-Kafer" is really interesting to read. I read it last weekend. It looks like Wiersch copied the production numbers from the article about Günther Kaulmann speech in 1994.

All numbers like the 280 build Beeskows, the production of 4 and later 5 cars a months and the 49 cars build between 56 and half of 59 are all from this article about the speech.

But, the book also gives some more information. On page 41 and 42 is mentioned that customers could give special orders. For three cars build in 1954 the special wishes are given. This is for car nr 178, 180 and 182. So, this give the prove that these bodynumbers do exist. We already know of car 172 and 174 and it did start me wondering if the odd numbers were used in 1954. (maybe the Dutch Rometsch will prove this)

We know all the lawrences body numbers are in the 500 series, but what about the other Rometsch build car?
We really need to start looking for Rometsch body tags for the
4 door taxi-cab-beetle (#?, build between 1952-1953?)
Goliath GP 700 Sport Coupe (25x build in 1951, only one known left in a museum in Berlin)
Hansa 1500 Sportcabriolet (#? build between 1952-54?)
Hansa 1500 Sportcoupe (2x build)
Fiat 1400 Sportcabrio (50x build between 1951-1953?)
Fiat 1100 TV Coupe (50x, beginning 1954)
Fiat 1200 Sportcoupe (#?, beginning 1959)
Opel Kapitän Coupe (4x 1956),
DKW Kleinlieferwagen (#?, 1960)

Patrick




Edited by user 13 July 2009 08:54:51(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

overrestored Offline
#26 Posted : 13 July 2009 08:59:27(UTC)
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Thanks for that info on pages 41 and 42 of Wiersch's book... I forgot this was there! this kind of info is exactly the info I want... I am pretty sure it is taken from Christian and Traugott's archive. This is the info that we need to compare to our list of body numbers.

Christian... feel free to say hello! :-) if we could just have a list of the body numbers from your list... that would really help us!

Edited by user 13 July 2009 09:01:07(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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pbaptist Offline
#27 Posted : 13 July 2009 19:10:55(UTC)
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Today I read all the old topics in the coachbuild forum,

The discussion about the number of Rometsches was also active in 2007:

http://forums.pre67vw.co...aspx?g=posts&t=12548
http://forums.pre67vw.co...aspx?g=posts&t=10131

As the last Rometsch Lawrence build had body Nr 585 (the red one in the Grundmann collection) it is likely expected that there were only 85 Rometsch Lawrences build. In my "Lawrence registry" I now have identified 25 different cars that still exist.

That means that the production of the Lawrence model is far less than the Beeskow model were the estimates are between 170 are 280.

Patrick


Edited by user 13 July 2009 19:13:53(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

phil leadley Offline
#28 Posted : 14 July 2009 07:37:53(UTC)
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Concerning total number of cars built at Rometsch. When we interviewed Fritz Rometsch in June of 1987, his response was 500 cars, including pre-war
cars. He should know! But I doubt he was completely honest with us. For reasons known only to him he was'nt comfortable divulging info with us.
When questioned about wartime and post wartime production, he was reluctant to share his memories with us. We understood completely. I asked him if
they ever built a beeskow with two horizontal trim pieces on the nose of the car. His response was no, yet on the wall of his office was a photo of just such
a car. We found Fritz to be a gracious and generous host, but some what secretive. After a lengthy tour of the facility, and demonstration of production
techniques. I doubt even 500 cars were produced, the tooling, working conditions, rejection rates not withstanding. The effort to hand fabricate even one
major component is beyond the comprehension of the unskilled. Those guys were really talented, just ask your local panel beater to make you a door!

Be thankful for what you have, few others have a hand fabricated coachbuilt car on an affordable chassis. I hope the work that Maribeth and I did helped
save a few cars from the crusher. I'm sorry I could'nt maintain the Rometsch Registry after my wife passed away, a lot of me died also.
Fortunatly others have picked up the torch and far surpassed my efforts (Thanks Eric).
pbaptist Offline
#29 Posted : 14 July 2009 08:06:43(UTC)
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phil leadley wrote:
Concerning total number of cars built at Rometsch. When we interviewed Fritz Rometsch in June of 1987, his response was 500 cars, including pre-war
cars. He should know! But I doubt he was completely honest with us. For reasons known only to him he was'nt comfortable divulging info with us.
When questioned about wartime and post wartime production, he was reluctant to share his memories with us. We understood completely. I asked him if
they ever built a beeskow with two horizontal trim pieces on the nose of the car. His response was no, yet on the wall of his office was a photo of just such
a car. We found Fritz to be a gracious and generous host, but some what secretive. After a lengthy tour of the facility, and demonstration of production
techniques. I doubt even 500 cars were produced, the tooling, working conditions, rejection rates not withstanding. The effort to hand fabricate even one
major component is beyond the comprehension of the unskilled. Those guys were really talented, just ask your local panel beater to make you a door!

Be thankful for what you have, few others have a hand fabricated coachbuilt car on an affordable chassis. I hope the work that Maribeth and I did helped
save a few cars from the crusher. I'm sorry I could'nt maintain the Rometsch Registry after my wife passed away, a lot of me died also.
Fortunatly others have picked up the torch and far surpassed my efforts (Thanks Eric).


Phil,

Great story and great to see you here in this forum.

I guess you were already into the rometsch when I was only playing with toy cars. (I still do play with toycars BigGrin ) Did you find this forum due to the discussion on http://vwplusvw1500.blogspot.com/search?q=rometsch

As you know Eric and Oystein are taking care of the Beeskow model and since last week I take care of the Lawrence models. Till now I find about 25 different lawrences on pictures and trying to get the bodynumbers. I hope you can help me with that. Do you still have your own convertible (the white with licence VW nut)?

Regards
Patrick

SplitPersonality Offline
#30 Posted : 14 July 2009 17:16:40(UTC)
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Phil - fantastic to hear from you and to see you on this great forum! We are all deeply grateful for the important work you and your Maribeth did as keepers of the Rometsch flame. Thank you! I am sure you can shed light on many dimensions of the history and survivors of these fantastic cars and I know you have passed on a lot of it to Eric. Again - thank you. One short question: How many cars of the two models did you have records of? Since 2001, myself and Eric have joined efforts and keep the flame burning over at "www.rometschregistry.org" We would appreciate your inputs! Again - Thank you for the foundation.

Edited by user 14 July 2009 17:21:17(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

overrestored Offline
#31 Posted : 14 July 2009 17:33:18(UTC)
overrestored


Rank: pre67vw Junkie

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Damn...

HI PHIL! Very nice to hear from you. I am happy to have you back "in the scene".

Maribeth and you are LEGENDS around here! I remember walking into Rich Kimball's office... and Maribeth would be there... and talking to her about the registry... it was like opening a box in one of those "Indiana Jones" movies... only to be opened if you were wearing cotton gloves and said the magic words!

The VW coachbuilt scene in the USA was a lot less fun after Maribeth passed away... but it slowly is building itself back together.

Thank you for your insights.... I doubt you even know how much the rest of us value your comments. For the new people... Phil and Maribeth ran the Rometsch Registry before there were home computers... before the internet.... before it was easy to find people around the world. Maribeth WROTE LETTERS! Remember those... where you use your hand and a pen to write words on paper... these I fear are ANTIQUES NOW! Her efforts created the knowledge in the USA of Rometsch... which prior to her was just a wierd little "one off" here and there... with nobody really knowing the origin of the brand... or that there were so many of them.



Patrick... I think Phil's car is with Mac Jones in Tennessee USA now.


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overrestored Offline
#32 Posted : 14 July 2009 17:48:45(UTC)
overrestored


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Oystein... nice to see the registry back up. We need to update it though and get more cars in! I found a few mistakes... and many of the cars listed have changed owners now. I know that many of the owners prefer that their information remain private... so perhaps we could somewhere just list the body numbers of the known cars... in a simple list.

We should also "bite the bullet" and add in the Lawrence info that we have.

I am happy to do the work... just let me know

Eric
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SplitPersonality Offline
#33 Posted : 14 July 2009 18:22:45(UTC)
SplitPersonality


Rank: pre67vw Junkie

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Agreed - both regarding legends and webpage updating. Very much so. The registry pages are basically from 2006, but a major upgrade is underway - stay tuned. The intention has never been to publish a whole list of any sort - initially just good samples of surviving cars. I have found that this is the only way to enable an all inclusive registry, where owners supply info. We will see. Let us do the rest via email ? Your help is appreciated.
phil leadley Offline
#34 Posted : 15 July 2009 03:39:37(UTC)
phil leadley

Rank: Regular

Joined: 17/06/2009(UTC)
Posts: 22
Man

Thank You!! one and all. I write this with tears flowing. Maribeth and I tried as best we could at the time, frankly I thought few would remember our efforts.
When we started the Rometsch Registry in 1976, what we hoped for has come to pass. Recognition, not for us, but for the cars. A desireable coachbuilt
car on an affordable chassis, ultra rare, crowd drawing and fun to share with the curious. Lord knows how many times at a concour, people would walk right past a perfect porsche or corvette to come see our Rometsch, too ask-too learn. Priceless.

I can only take a little credit (or blame) for where Rometsch VW's are today, countless others MADE those cars, we are but the caretakers of them now.

Please enjoy them, share them and let not profit define your pleasure. Sounds kinda Biblical huh?

Again, Thank You
pre67vw Offline
#35 Posted : 15 July 2009 09:34:24(UTC)
pre67vw

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overrestored wrote:
Damn...

HI PHIL! Very nice to hear from you. I am happy to have you back "in the scene".

Maribeth and you are LEGENDS around here! I remember walking into Rich Kimball's office... and Maribeth would be there... and talking to her about the registry... it was like opening a box in one of those "Indiana Jones" movies... only to be opened if you were wearing cotton gloves and said the magic words!

The VW coachbuilt scene in the USA was a lot less fun after Maribeth passed away... but it slowly is building itself back together.

Thank you for your insights.... I doubt you even know how much the rest of us value your comments. For the new people... Phil and Maribeth ran the Rometsch Registry before there were home computers... before the internet.... before it was easy to find people around the world. Maribeth WROTE LETTERS! Remember those... where you use your hand and a pen to write words on paper... these I fear are ANTIQUES NOW! Her efforts created the knowledge in the USA of Rometsch... which prior to her was just a wierd little "one off" here and there... with nobody really knowing the origin of the brand... or that there were so many of them.



Patrick... I think Phil's car is with Mac Jones in Tennessee USA now.




I often hear about the work that Maribeth did for the Registry from my friend Yan Rami, I think it's kind of cool that her memory lives on in this way.
Rob Amos

Happiness is a stock VW
jof Offline
#36 Posted : 15 July 2009 12:33:44(UTC)
jof

Rank: Guest

Joined: 27/07/2007(UTC)
Posts: 17
Location: Germany

overrestored wrote:
Right after Kaulmann starts we have the new car... called the Lawrence modelle. But Burt Lawrence... who the hell was he... nobody has ever heard of him before or after! Did he even exist... or was he a fictional "american designer" created by Kaulmann?


Interesting idea, so this is the next thing I am going to ask Baldur (my friend who worked at Rometsch until 1961): who is/was Bert Lawrence ("Bert" is the correct German spelling). BTW there is paperwork signed by Bert Lawrence (shown in "Die Edelkäfer") from the Grundmann collection. And they have the receipts of payments Lawrence received: In January 1956 Lawrence had to deliver his designs for the new Rometsch, and he was to receive 1000 DM for the Cabriolet and 1000 DM for the Coupe and an extra of 50 DM for every Lawrence being sold. The last payment is from October 1957, so one could figure the number of Lawrences by the payments made.

I look at the payments published in "Die Edelkäfer" from 3/1956 until 6/1957: 200+50+100+100+100+100+200+50+50+50 = 20 x 50 DM -> 20 Lawrences sold during that time...?

Maybe it was the same with Beeskow? In 2005 I was in contact with his Beeskows wife, planning to visit Beeskow in his old people's home to do a research on Karmann Ghia, but he died before the visit could take place. I called Beeskows wife only once more after that (which was a this year), and she told me that his famous book with all the cars he designed has been sold to the Audi museum (?). I don't know what paperwork is left there (since Beeskows moved away from their home at Osnabrück some years ago), but maybe I should give it a try? The phone number is right here...

Back to H.O. 2009:

When we entered the Rometsch-part of the Grundmann museum, Baldur looked at a book locked in a display case showing only 2 pages and Baldur said "this is the design book of Kaulmann"...

And, as I said before, when Baldur saw the "wooden knock models" he could easily explain how and where they were reinforced with steel (without having looked at it), and he explained to all of us how they made the front bumpers, the window trim, and how they put/welded together a fender out of parts - so his memory still works great.

One important thing is of course to check the Grundmann collection - they saved a lot of material, I would love to make some research. When I got this right, after the death of Friedrich Rometsch they just closed/locked the door of his bureau and left it like that for decades...

And many people who went to Rometsch when the business still existed were refused by Quillfeld (who inherited all the stuff), except Björn and Christian...

Maybe there will be a chance for a few people to go to the Grundmann collection just for the reason to do a proper research and documentation...?

Regards Jörg

Edited by user 15 July 2009 12:50:20(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

SplitPersonality Offline
#37 Posted : 15 July 2009 19:33:18(UTC)
SplitPersonality


Rank: pre67vw Junkie

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Great inputs by many in this thread - great contributions. Jorg - your contact with Baldur is very valuable, keep us informed. As in the past - there seems to be a lot more info on the Lawrence. And Phil's comment on inflated numbers and sometimes lack of memory from those who knew is very valid. I remember in 2001 when Mr Beeskow with confidence told us that the windshields were Goliath and the bumpers were Ford Taunus... Now we positively know this was/is not correct.
SplitPersonality Offline
#38 Posted : 15 July 2009 19:42:14(UTC)
SplitPersonality


Rank: pre67vw Junkie

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A comment on the valuable paperwork that is now the posession of the Grundmanns: There is nothing "secret or mystical" with this - on many occasions they have opened the archieves to many of us. On a need to know basis for owners and authors. A good practise. There are 2 large binders with build logs/sheets for about 40 Beeskow VW-based cars that are extremely valuable. In addition there are thousands of letters and receipts that together could answer a lot of our questions, but that is a big task.

Edited by user 15 July 2009 20:05:03(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

zelensis61 Offline
#39 Posted : 15 July 2009 19:49:46(UTC)
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Hi Jorg,
I was there with you I guess in the Grundmanns place and listen to Baldur his explanations on the work with the bumpers and models.
I showed your man the office of Mr Rometsch. He was dilighted for that.

I am sure Christian give acces to the files if you ask for it, He is super nice guy.
And I think also that Dr Bernd Wiersch also got full acces for his book.
Keep the registry's alive. Eric and Oystein. You do a great job, I know .

Best regards. Peter
Zelensis and Hebmuller info is always welcome.
ZELENSIS, coachbuilt body from the 50's on a vw platform made in Belgium. Peter the heb detective

overrestored Offline
#40 Posted : 15 July 2009 22:55:31(UTC)
overrestored


Rank: pre67vw Junkie

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I remember going to Rometsch... in the early 1990's... and the owner at that time... I guess it is the fellow that Jorg mentioned met us after we had called and asked for visit. Myself and Blue Nelson were talking to him in the upstairs office. He was showing us the little double decker bus toys with the Rometsch signs on them... cool. I didn't have the coachbuilder badges for my car so I was asking him about them...... and this fellow reached into his pocket and got a key... he unlocked the desk drawer and handed Blue a stack of them... Blue handed me 4 of them. all of these are back on beeskows now... two on my car... and two on a friends car. I really needed those parts... That was a great moment...

So after this we were given a great tour... we were introduced to the factory workers... now just body shop guys... We were able to view a lot of the bucks and english wheels... and were looking at the various paperwork and literature when another american showed up... he had heard Blue and I talking on the phone about going to Rometsch at Bad Camberg... in Willi's office I guess... and decided to come along too...although he didn't ask us permission. It was the day after bad camberg weekend.

I don't like to speak badly about people... so I will leave his name a mystery. But immediately after he showed up he became loud and demanding and a true "ugly american" in the way he talked to the owner of the shop. He was talking like he knew everything... and was just really rude.

and without going into further detail...

all the americans were then asked to leave.... the owner of the shop thought we were all together. I hated that.

I was truly upset by the behavior of this uninvited guest.

I think that person may be the reason that the new owner of the shop never really liked to talk to anyone after that.

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