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Official 1955 VW Mobile Service Bus

The sole survivor of a fleet to support the sales organization


Back when Volkswagen was setting up an official dealer and distributor network in the American market (after several years of importation by businessman Max Hoffman), the company created a team to travel to dealerships and train service personnel. The team used specially prepared Type 2 Schulwagens, and the only surviving member of that Volkswagen of America fleet has emerged after 43 years of hibernation.

Images courtesy of Volkswagen

Unlike many other companies that tried to sell vehicles in the U.S., Volkswagen understood that a parts and service network was necessary to support the sales organization. Two Volkswagen representatives were responsible for setting this up and, in 1955, headquarters in Wolfsburg sent three tech trainers and two Type 2 busses to America. Certainly, an auspicious beginning, the Mobile Service School fleet quickly expanded to 14 vehicles over time.

This particular Schulwagen was in a barn in Ohio for 43 years until it emerged and was purchased by a VW bus collector. After removing layers and layers of paint and noting the unique set of options, the new owner was able to identify this vehicle as one of the Mobile Service School busses. Volkswagen was able to certify this, confirming it was built and delivered in January 1955.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.



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