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These original KdF Wagen factory instructional posters were created by Thomas Abeking, the same artist that made the rare TRANSART (see-through brochures) and other KdF Wagen graphics. These KdF Wagen posters were only given out to important domestic (within Germany) KdF Wagen repair shops and also used internally by the Volkswagenwerk factory for instructional purposes. The KdF Wagen instructional posters were printed in approximately 1939 and early 1940s. The instructional posters are truly a Holy Grail item of the KdF era and a fundamental puzzle piece of Dr. Porsche's beginnings.

The KdF Wagen instructional poster series depicts:

1. KdF Wagen Engine in Detail  (60cm X 85cm)
2. KdF Wagen Engine Cutaway and Internals  (60cm X 85cm)
3. Transmission and Rear Axle  (60cm X 85cm)
4. Floor Pan and Chassis  (85cm X 60cm)
5. Suspension and Front Axle  (85cm X 60cm)
6. Dash and Instrument Panel  (85cm X 60cm)
7. Brake System  (85cm X 60cm)
8. Electrical System  (85cm X 60cm)
9. Heating System  (85cm X 60cm)
10. Jack or Lift Points  (60cm X 85cm)

Thomas Abeking was born in 1909 as the son of the painter couple Hermann and Elly Abeking in Berlin. Abeking began his education with a graphic and architectural study at the arts and crafts school in Berlin-Charlottenburg and with various private teachers.

From 1937 to 1947 he was also responsible for advertising and documentation at Volkswagen GmbH. Between 1945 and 1947, he was the second director of the Town Planning Office in Berlin-Kreuzberg. From 1946 he was a member of the Berufsverband Bildender Künstler Berlin. In 1947 he founded a building and art publishing house in Berlin. In 1952, Abeling move to Frankfurt a. Main and in 1953 to Cologne. Industrialization artwork and documentation continued to be its main work area. From 1956, he also worked for the German Armed Forces, dealing with the preparation of guidelines for technical military documentation. From the 1970s, he was based in Bonn-Bad Godesberg. Parallel to his artwork, documentation and advertising office, he founded the Thomas Abeking Verlag für Technische Dokumentation GmbH in 1978, which employed about 20 people.

These particular posters shown were discovered in the attic of an old house in the former East Berlin, the occupied region during the era of the Berlin Wall. The original owner of the old house supposedly worked as an engineer at the KdF Wagen factory and took the posters home when he retired. They have been "in storage" since the early 1940's and surfaced recently when the new owners bought the old house and started to clean out the attic and basement.

Only a handful of complete sets are believed to exist today with only a few sets, including this set, in private party ownership. Some of the known sets are also on display in museums in Germany.

Abeking also contributed the graphics and drawings for the book Der KdF-Wagen von A bis Z.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: VOLKSWAGENWERKS
  • Length: 60cm x 85cm, 85cm x 60cm
  • Production Era: 1939 - early 1940s
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials: Paper
  • Color: Various
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