Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |   |  British Army Celebrates Its Volkswagen History - Web Exclusive
Subscribe to the Free

British Army Celebrates Its Volkswagen History - Web Exclusive

'The Major and the Beetle' exhibition will be celebrated with a historic Volkswagen car show.

Aug 12, 2010

The unveiling of a new exhibition called the 'The Major and the Beetle' will be celebrated with a historic Volkswagen car show. The event is to be dedicated to the memory of Major Ivan Hirst, REME. The British Army's Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) has a long history with Volkswagen, dating back to the end of the Second World War when the intervention of a young British Army officer changed the future of the German company.

Eurp_1008_01_o+british_celebrates_volkswagen_history+vw Photo 2/2   |   British Army Celebrates Its Volkswagen History - Web Exclusive

Sent by the Control Commission to 'sit on' the bombed remains of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg in August 1945, the 29 year-old Major Ivan Hirst REME and his team decided to restart production instead.

Major Hirst then secured an order for 20,000 Beetles from the Military Government; yet meeting this order would take all the management and engineering skill he had.

Post-war Wolfsburg suffered shortages of food, skilled workers, housing and work materials. Major Hirst's engineering and management skills together with his people skills, his open-door policy and his will to succeed, turned the Volkswagen Factory around and ensured its survival.

Judy Booth is Senior Curator at the REME Museum of Technology located in the Arborfield Garrison, Reading, Berkshire in England said: "Without Major Hirst REME, there may have been no Volkswagen as we know it today. Ivan Hirst was a hero in his own quiet, unassuming way; a man who not only saved a fledgling car company but who's humanity found a path through the problems left behind by the war. This exhibition recognizes him and his work."

Part of the exhibition is a video display and a unique Beetle couch. Created from half a Beetle, it incorporates a seat and built-in audio facility so visitors can simultaneously sit in a piece of history and learn about it.

The opening of the new exhibition will be celebrated with 'The Ivan Hirst Memorial Beetle Meet' on Sunday 26 September at 11:00 at the REME Museum, Arborfield Garrison, Reading, Berkshire. If you have a historic Beetle and would like to attend, go to for more details and to register your interest.



Buyer at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction nabs Supra VIN 20201 - signed by Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda - for $2.1 million, the entire bid benefiting the American Heart Association and the Bob Woodruff Foundation
Rory JurneckaJan 21, 2019
You've just purchased the new NSX but you have too much money left over and you need to spend it on something (we've all been there, right...). That's where AIMGAIN comes in.
RodrezJan 18, 2019
Preview the March 2019 issue of Super Street, with the GReddy x Pandem FC RX-7; a DSM 600HP Talon TSI; an AWD DC2; Shutter Space photo contest roundup; and more!
Bob HernandezJan 18, 2019
In Japan, Toyota is offering a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder in two different states of tune on the Supra
Kelly PleskotJan 18, 2019
The Lego McLaren Senna kit has 219 pieces and, yes, incorporates the transparent in-door panels of the actual hypercar
Conner GoldenJan 18, 2019
Sponsored Links