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English   75 years Neoplan
16.04.2010 von admin

The war years and economic recovery

Gottlob Auwärter jr. has 45 employees on his books when war breaks out in 1939. They are in the business of manufacturing omnibuses with wood-frame bodies and metal panelling. But now half the workforce is drafted into Germany's armed forces. Gottlob Auwärter jr. is instructed to direct the efforts of his remaining workforce into the construction of what were commonly termed 'Panjewagen', carts drawn by the Panje breed of horse, destined for use by the army. In 1942 his business is shut down and Gottlob Auwärter jr. and the journeymen are moved to near-by Echterdingen airport, where they are detailed for aircraft repair work. In 1944 he returns to his workshop where he and his brother Otto and three remaining journeymen convert vehicles to run on wood-gas. Bombing raids are frequent but the workshop survives largely unscathed, and after Germany capitulates Gottlob Auwärter jr. can press ahead with his efforts to get his company up and running again as speedily as possible.

One of the first buses made by Auwarter with a wooden chassis on Opel Blitz base with 75 hp engine.

Despite all his endeavours and tenacity, it is no easy matter to get the company off the ground this second time: money and materials are both in short supply. The bills for the last shipment of carts to the German armed forces are unpaid and are going to remain so. The Allied troops now in occupation in this part of Germany requisition every vehicle they can find, again with little thought of reimbursing the owners. Six buses are all that Gottlob Auwärter jr. can manage to hold back from the requisitioning French troops. This tiny fleet is the nucleus he rescues in order to rebuild his company. Gottlob Auwärter jr. starts off by repairing used vehicles, but very soon he is concentrating on the production of buses: from the early nineteen-fifties onward people in Germany begin to travel around again and the demand for buses and coaches is increasing by leaps and bounds. Competing with some 80 other bus manufacturers in Germany, all looking to win customers' favour at this time, Gottlob Auwärter jr. succeeds primarily on account of his ability to develop technologically advanced designs of his own.

He turns his back on the wood-and-steel bodies then typical of bus design and opts instead for a strong all-steel construction – a radically new departure in bus design at that time. To save weight, Gottlob Auwärter jr. uses light-alloy sheeting on the newly developed steel framing. Large windows carried through the curvature at the edge of the roof are a characteristic of his bus designs, a feature repeated again at the front and rear of the buses. Rubber buffers between chassis and body make the ride all the more comfortable for the passengers. The buffers isolate the body from the twisting action of the frame and the vibrations of the heavy diesel engine.

Krupp-South works L 50 of 1949 with bodywork of Auwärter

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