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January 20, 2017
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Volkswagen - The Air-cooled Era in Colour

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Volkswagen - The air-cooled era in colour

Volkswagen - The Air-cooled Era in Colour
Originally £24.99

By Richard Copping
About the Author

Paperback. 176 pages. 250mm tall x 250mm. 166 colour illustrations.

ISBN: 9781904788928

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Re-lives the spirit of the fifties and sixties
Includes rarely seen and valuable archive material
Includes substantial sections covering the VW of the moment - the Transporter
Unique format and retro style of presentation
Includes the VW 1500/1600 models which are rarely covered in print
An interesting text that questions long held opinions
A collectable treasure in its own right for all VW enthusiasts


The story of the air-cooled era presented entirely in the wonderful style of VW's classic sales brochures.


All incredibly popular sixties design classics with enduring appeal, the original air-cooled Volkswagen cars and Transporters are fully explored in this fascinating book. A unique picture-led chronicle of the Volkswagen story through the fifties and sixties. This book makes extensive use of the artwork from contemporary promotional literature for a real retro feel. A must have for motoring enthusiasts and VW devotees alike.

Independent Reviews

Review by Jim Arnott, March 2006

My first thought on opening this volume was, "The illustrations are of 'coffee-table book' quality but there's meat here too!" This book has absolutely stunning illustrations. Many, many from the advertising of VW's original ad agency, Reuters, covering the early years of the Bug and the Transporter followed by the Doyle, Dane Bernbach art that we Americans are so familiar with. The art in this book is so beautiful that you'll want two copies so that you can cut the pictures out and frame them.

The 'Air-cooled Era in Colour' covers just that. The classic air-cooled era starting in 1949 through to 1969. It starts with a short section on Volkswagen's 'dark past' then moves right into the Nordoff years. Starting with the Export production Type 1 standard, the chapters cover all the VW variations right through to the Karmann Ghia 1500 and 411. Chapters on the Beetle, the Transporters (including more than a few camper variations), the Variants, the Ghias and finally the 411 are not particularly heavy on technical details, but rather address the history of the marque and how the various models evolved.

Author Richard Copping has done an extraordinary job of researching the material and pulling together period art to trace the evolution of VW's product line through the 'classic' years.

All in all, a book with accurate and well written text, delightful, top quality artwork and quite deserving to be in every enthusiast's library.

Review by Paul Guinness for Classic Car Mart, February 2006

Anybody who is a follower of this magazine’s Backward Glance section will know I’m a huge fan of period advertising and classic promotions. So when this particular book landed on my desk, it made my day.

If anybody was going to write this book, it had to be Richard Copping. I worked alongside him on a VW-only magazine a few years ago, and was constantly impressed with his knowledge of the air-cooled period and by his amazing collection of Vee-Dub paraphernalia. And now, at last, both elements have come together to create Volkswagen: The Air-Cooled Era In Colour.

This is far, far more than a collection of period advertising, though. What Copping does brilliantly is intersperse the best of the company’s classic adverts, brochures and illustrations with an easy to read and highly informative history of the marque’s entire air-cooled era. Add into the mix a few technical specification panels and a some terrific press quotes (‘In spite of a few disbelievers who can’t quite see why anybody would want to ride around in one of those funny looking things, there seems no doubt that the VW wagon is here to stay’ – Hot Rod Special, 1963) and you’ve got an entertaining and fascinating combination.

This title comes highly recommended. Copping has done a superb job. And whether your passion is VW Beetles, Type 2 Vans or Karmann Ghias, it’s a book that deserves to be near the top of any Vee-Dub fan’s wish list.

Review by Jon Thompson for Split Screen Scene, January 2006

"Volkswagen, the air-cooled era in colour" is a big format, lavishly illustrated colour presentation of 176 pages. Basically telling what the author considers to be the story of the first golden era of Volkswagen. The years with Heinz Nordhoff as Director General, 1948 to 1968.

Richard Copping tells the story of all the models and variants through this period with nice reference to history and opinions of the times. By using the company literature, advertising and brochures with his own text threading the pieces together. So if the truly beautiful artwork of this period was not enough, you get insightful text and facts and figures as well.

I would have said even if you were an avid collector of period literature, you could still find something fresh and new in this book. For me, this has a little of everything. The book covers models not often seen in print, some of the most gorgeous Karmann Ghia artwork I have ever seen, as well as all the early Bus and camping interior sales brochures nearer to my heart. All together in one neat package.

Far more than a two dimensional, technical history book, "Air-cooled era" gets the balance of artwork history and emotion just right. It has to be the freshest and most welcome book currently available on the VW scene, a real treat for any air-cooled fan.

Review by Trevor Wilson for Wheelspin, The Magazine for the London and Thames Valley VW Club, January 2006

Just launched by Veloce Publishing is ‘Volkswagen, the Air-cooled Era in Colour’. It’s an impressive collection of illustrations and photographs from VW’s classic sales literature from the 1950s and 1960s– some of it rarely seen before. Having just looked through a review copy of this brand new book, I can honestly say that this is a must for anyone into aircooled VWs. It covers all the models available at the time including Beetles, Karmann Ghias, 411s, Type 2s and Type 3s.

Ever seen publicity images of a Notchback convertible? Want to know what VW said about the sporty Karmann Ghia? Want to look at how the early Devon campers were promoted? It’s all here for those of you who don’t own a huge collection of period VW brochures – and who does?

Each page cleverly sets out images used by VW, together with excerpts from the original text, and commentary from the author Richard Copping. As Veloce puts it: “not just another VW history” – and it’s more than just a great collection of over 250 colour and black-and-white images and adverts! The book is presented in a retro style and includes more than you would expect on Type 2s and Type 3s (over half the book for those two!).


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