On this page we are trying to answer the mostly heard and asked questions concerning both the VW Fridolin and VW Fridolin-IG.
If you however do not find your special question answered here, please feel free to send us your inquiry using our contact form.
1. I would like to have a VW Fridolin. Where can I find one?
Not that simple. To be honest the VW Fridolin has become so rare by now, that restorable cars are surfacing very seldom. Every now and then a car is being offered in Ebay, apart from that you just have to keep reading classified ads and oldtimer magazines.
Please do not ask us for available cars. We are not car dealers. We just act as agents and try to help with related information. Primarily this is being offered to our IG members. To collect offers and requests we set up a classified ad area on our website, which is only available to these persons. A car will only be offered to non members, if it has not been sold within the IG after a certain period.
And please refrain from cherishing high hopes. During the last three years we had only one car that has been sold directly. Maybe it would be of more benefit for you to find out, when a Fridolin is being offered at all. We will post new information to our message board, but you will have to become a member of the IG to be able to access these resources.
2. Where does the odd name "VW Fridolin" originate from?
Officially the Fridolin was never named like that, but was rather mundanely called and sold as "VW 147", "VW Type 147", "Kleinlieferwagen" (small delivery van) or "Kleinfourgon" (in switzerland) by VW and Westfalia (where the Fridolin was built).
The much more intuitive nickname "Fridolin" originates - at least according to the most heard rumour - from a worker at Westfalia, who allegedly said at the sight of the car "...it looks like a Fridolin!".
Now the entire IG has racked their brains for a long time, what kind of "Fridolin" this might have been the worker ment in his comparision - a colleague or something like that drops out for obvious reasons. ;-)
Recently while doing an internet search we bumped into the "Motor handcar MKB 52", which on the one hand has the nickname "Fridolin" as well and on the other hand is a spitting image of the VW 147: Details of the Motor handcar MKB 52
Further matches are the VW engine used in the handcar and its year of manufacture 1962, which fits the construction period of the "VW Fridolin" (1964-1974) well.
If you have more information on this or another explanation, how the VW Fridolin got its name, then please contact us!
3. How many of the 7340 built VW Fridolin did probably survive and how many of those are a) known b) probably left in Germany?
Since a couple of years constantly approx. 40 cars of Type 147 are registered at the Kraftfahrt Bundesamt (Central Car Registry) in Flensburg, Germany. Additionally there are approx. 30 Fridolins known by us, that are not being registered for a long time. Over that approx. 10 former PTT (Swiss Postal) cars are being driven in Germany. In total this makes around 80 known cars in Germany.
Our guess is that there are 50 more Fridolins in Germany, which we do not know of.
Over that we have heard of approx. 25 cars outside of Germany. The estimated number of unknown cars may be very high; we assume that there are additionally 50 cars mostly in Switzerland and the US.
So the overall total could be 200 still existing cars worldwide, with approx. half of them being known for sure. 200 of 7340, thats no bad quota in our opinion.
4. What do I have to pay for a (good) VW Fridolin?
Some while ago, Fridolins in good or fair condition were being offered for quite low prices. Restauration objects did cost just a few hundred Euros for quite some time. The consequence was that many cars were taken apart just to collect some spare parts. For a few years we are now experiencing the exact opposite. Cars offers are very seldom and the demand is growing. Meanwhile cars having a condition somewhere between "spare part source" and "rescueable with lots of time and skills" are being sold for a minimum price of 10000 Euro ($11000 USD). The prices for good original or restored cars are mostly exceeding 40000 Euro ($45000 USD) and there is no real upper limit. And there is no ending of this development in sight.
We're watching market prices since more than 25 years. Members of the IG can see the results of our investigation in the closed area.
5. What about the supply for spare parts?
Not really trouble-free, but there is no "impossible" here. NOS VW parts are gone for good for quite a long time. But many VW Fridolin parts - especially on the frame and chassis - come from the Beetle, and those parts can still be found at the appropriate shops. You just have to be careful, because the part assignment by model year can contain some pitfalls! (Example: the steering wheel was taken from the split window Beetle, but with a special tappet to switch off the indicators after turning).
On the car body there are some parts of the T1 and T2 (VW Bus/Transporter), with the above limitation. A few parts can be found on the Type 3 (VW 1600), but there are fewer identical parts than many people think.
All VW Fridolin-specific parts have to either be recreated or obtained in used condition.
6. I am in need of spare parts and just heard that you have a stock. Can you help me? Is there a part list?
Yes, we have a stock of (mostly used) parts and we hope to be of any help. Although there is no list - this would be way too elaborate.
Please drop us a note of what you need, we then check what is available and in what condition. But please do not expect miracles. We have disassembled approx. 30 cars during the past years and were really thorough doing this, additionally we were able to obtain some stocks of used parts. We even bought a collection of NOS VW parts back then, but this has mostly vanished until now. Unfortunately on many "part supplier" cars the interesting parts are in a really bad condition, so some of the parts in demand are missing in our stock.
7. I transferred my member fee some while ago, but have not received my account for the member area so far.
Theoretically the transfer may have failed, but this does not happen often. It could rather be, that the administrator of the IG account is on vacation. In this case you will get your account data with a certain delay, but you will not lose a single day of your paid membership period. This will be counted from the next day after we sent you the account data.
Most likely we can not identify your payment. Please make sure you sent us your full name (of the transfer) and your email address.
8. I have been a member of the IG before, then paused my membership and now transfered a member fee recently. My login for the member area has not been reactivated, do you know why?
First of all, the same possibilties apply as for the previous question.
If your previous membership has ended some while ago, there is another more likely reason. We are saving your member data only for one year, after your membership has ended. Then we delete the whole member record, to avoid having obsolete data. So after more than one year we are not able to identify your member fee transaction. In this case please re-register.
9. I have contacted you using the contact form/by email, but got no reply. Why?
Normally we are answering all inquiries and emails within few days.
Maybe the person in charge is on vacation at the moment? We will announce this on the "News" page, please have a look. In this case please be patient, the answer will come for sure.
Maybe you did not provide your email address? Then we are not able to answer :-( (Been there...!)
Maybe you just wrote, that you own a VW Fridolin. Good to know and we are really glad for you . But if you want an answer, please ask us something. ;-)
Maybe you did ask something that is already being covered in this FAQ. This happens a lot concerning topic 3 and 4.
Please read these topics carefully, instead of being mad about us not answering.
10. I want to join the IG. What do I have to do?
You can find out if you activate the "vw fridolin community" item in the menu on the left.
11. I do not own a VW Fridolin (yet), but I am interested in the IG. Can I join too?
Yes, sure. We are pleased with every new interested person!
12. Why is snooker the perfect sport for Fridolinists?
Because the maximum possible score is 147 :-D