Arnold GmbH & Co KG was founded in 1906 by Karl Arnold in Nürnberg, Germany. They did quite well and by 1940, they had four Company locations. Only the location in Mülhouse survived WWII and from November 1945, production slowly was resumed from this location. Later, the other locations were rebuild. In 1952, ARNOLD was the first in Germany to produce hard plastic bodies, from the injection mold process, for their toy cars. This was the start of a very prosperous era for plastic toys and the beginning of the end for tin plate toys. As from 1960, ARNOLD concentrated themselves mainly on production of trains (N-size) and accessories for trains.
This is a very nice tin lithograph driving set produced by ARNOLD from the 1950s. There are small plastic cars such as a Karmann Cabrio, Oval Window VW, Karmann Ghia and a VW Bus that drives along the moving road. The set came in two versions. Motorized (battery operated) roadway and hand crank roadway. The motorized version has a switch on the control panel. The hand crank version had a mechanical crank lever (an "S" or "Z" shape) on the side of the driving set. The crank lever was easily lost so a large key (in the photo) would work as well. The overall size of the driving set is approximately 37cm Long x 11cm Wide x 9cm High and has very colorful VW lithographed graphics on all four sides.
Operation: The plastic roadway moves away from the driver and has various VW models and pylons attached to it. The control car sits halfway down the roadway headed in the opposite direction. It has a magnet in the bottom and moves left and right with the large steering wheel on the control panel, which is attached to a small metal plate under the roadway. The object of the game is to miss other vehicles and pylons as they come at your control car on the moving roadway.
On the roadway of the driving set is a red Oval VW Sedan, a green VW Single Cab and 5 pylons. The control car is a red VW Karmann Ghia. There were also VW Cabrios available to drive on the set as well. The cars are all plastic body, no chassis with black wheels sets that attach to tabs on the underside. All are approximately 31mm in length.
There appears to be the same cars in this ARNOLD driving set that are also included in driving games made by the German Company PERMA. These little cars were also available separately with no magnet and no indication that they were ever attached to anything.