CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FORTE
Ah, kitschy museums, you make me smile! In Europe you can see some of the most amazing works of art in museums that are incredible – The Louvre, The Uffizi Gallery, The Rijksmuseum – all amazing! But sometimes a little intimidating. Then you come across a museum that is a little bit more accessible. No on-line ticket purchases with estimated wait times, no audio guide, no crowds. That was the VW museum in Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg, Germany is a town who grew up with Volkswagen. Volkswagen means “peoples’ car” and was meant to be an affordable car accessible to the masses through an enforced savings plan. The town was originally named KdF Stadt. KdF stood for “Kraft durch Freude” or “Strength through Joy” one of the tenants of the German Labour Front. The factory town was built with the sole purpose of building cars, providing housing and other infrastructure for the workers. Oh, how very socialist!
Volkswagen survived the war and occupation. Many companies based around the world had a chance to purchase the company. Henry Ford could have received it for free, but famously turned it down. Now Volkswagens are produced and driven all over the world, but the headquarters still remains in Wolfsburg the town once known as KdF Stadt.
The VW museum is in an unpretentious concrete block building. When we visited we were four out of less than a dozen visitors. The front hallway has panels describing the major milestones for the company (some English). Then you arrive in the main room and find it filled with all kinds of VWs – Bugs, Campers, Prototypes, One of a Kinds, racing cars, and more!
Car enthusiasts will enjoy tracing the history of this iconic car and watching it develop, get speedier and add features. If you’re like me, then you’ll probably get more of a kick out of the Bug that was converted into a hot air balloon basket or the Bug covered in postage stamps. For a bit of nostalgia, they have one of the Herbie cars too!
We appreciated this fun stop as we headed across Germany. It was a great break from the road, a fun place to see some interesting cars, and a bit more personal since we drove our VW Jetta to get there!
Tips For Your Trip:
Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen
Dieselstraße 35 38446 Wolfsburg
Tuesday – Sunday 1000-1700
(Closed on 24 December and 1 January)
€6.00 (Stay as long as you’d like. We were given a lapel pin for each