The vehicle is from Volkswagen Classic’s car collection and will be restored from scratch by the two apprentices from Osnabrück. “We got the body, freshly painted and with a new underbody, but that was it. And then we learned the ropes little by little,” says Fábio Lopes, 20.
This Wednesday, April 10, when the Techno Classica 2019 begins in Essen, Lopes and Wiethölter will be there. They will carry out the finishing touches. Eighteen-year-old Marvin Wiethölter has no doubt that they will bring the Type 3 completely back to life. He has already conducted a few initial, short test-drives on the Osnabrück plant’s grounds with the Type 3. “It runs. And it runs beautifully too,” says Wiethölter.
The two apprentices and their project are being supervised by Marcel Leifer (28), the person responsible for supervising apprentices at the Automobile Collection Osnabrück, and his colleague Klaus-Dieter Ulrich (63). Ulrich is the Coordinator of the Automobile Collection. Since 1973, he has worked at the former Karmann plant in Osnabrück, which became part of Volkswagen in 2009. The collection of around 140 historic vehicles also figures in the training of new employees at the Osnabrück plant. The apprentices learn the basics of car construction here – before they start building the cars of the future.
Fábio Lopes and Marvin Wiethölter are both undergoing vocational training to become motor vehicle mechatronics technicians for systems and high-voltage technology. They are already being trained specifically to work on electric cars during their apprenticeship, thereby acquiring important qualifications for the future. “As soon as we get e-cars, we can be directly assigned to them,” says Marvin Wiethölter.
However, it’s worth taking a look back: “Motor vehicle mechatronics technicians first learn the basics of how a car is put together,” explains Leifer. “It’s all a bit simpler here. When they get to the assembly later, everything in production is naturally more complex and modern.” Not every apprentice from the generation that grew up with smartphones can get really get into it right from the start, says Leifer. “But we also very often have apprentices who once they are here don’t ever want to leave the department.”
While restoring the car, the future motor vehicle mechatronics technicians have experienced the need to improvise. “Lots of parts can still be ordered on the Internet. But some just don’t exist anymore, and we had to reconstruct those painstakingly, from the seal to the screw,” Marvin Wiethölter explains. “When we put in the engine, we had to build completely new mountings,” Lopes remembers.