||The original Club was started in late 1959 or early 1960. The person that was the driving force behind the Club was Peter Lindeman who was a salesman at Motorville when it was on Georgia Avenue in Sheboygan. He was also the first President.
In 1960 the Club put on a small car show in the Sheboygan Armory on the stage. The ONLY Car show held in that building. The Club made a lot of money. In 1961 they had a second small car show. This time it was in the Sheboygan Falls Municipal Building. The Club made a little money on this show.
In 1962 Gene Smith was elected President. His first Volkswagen was a 1957 and that was the best Volkswagen he ever had. The Club also became affiliated with the Volkswagen Club of America and Gene was elected as Club Trustee to the National Club.
Most of the Volkswagen Clubs at that time were affiliated with the national Volkswagen Club of America. During 1959-1966, the Club was very active. At least 4 rallies a year and trips to almost everywhere. You have to remember, these were new or newer cars at the time. The term "VINTAGE" wasn't in use, yet. They didn't have car shows like there are now. Klaus Michaletz was the Rally Master. He really put on some terrific rallies; time and distance were the most important items to win.
The Club seemed to disintegrate about 1966. Everyone seemed to have too many other things going -- like raising children in the school years. At one time the membership count was over 28. Over the years, there were 2 reunions of the old Club. The first was sometime in the late 1970s and the last one was in 1992. The last one was the start of the interest for Ed Smith to get a Club going again.
About 1996, Ed Smith and Dean Berke started the Club again and it went for about 2 years.
In 1991,on the 60th birthday of Gene, Ed (his number 2 son) gave him the keys, title and the spare tire to a 1966 Beetle and said that the "rest would follow" when he finished it. That was in 1991.
That was what started up his interest in Volkswagens again. In 1999 he started the Club, again using the same Club emblem from the very first Club, which was designed by Klaus Michaletz back in 1960. He also used the same name for the newsletter (Exhaust Notes) which was designed by Jim Charling, who was the editor. Gene is again a Trustee to the Volkswagen Club of America, only as Trustee-at-Large.
|NOTE: The photo to the lower left is depicting car pooling with Ed Tershner indicating that 10 nuts (people) fit in a Volkswagen. The officers in the right photo are (from left to right) seated, Ed Tershner, Treasurer; standing, Jim Jenson, Secretary; seated, Gene Smith, President and Peter Lindeman, Vice President. These officers were the second set of officers elected. The next The color photo was taken in 2004 at the Roswell 2K Car show.|
|What really started the interest was the Volkswagen Company coming out with the NEW BEETLE in 1998.
Now it seems that those that have the new Beetle are starting to get the old air-cooled beetles, too. A person had to be a real Volkswagen lover in the old days; driving in winter without much heat and no air conditioning in summer and no fuel gage.
There are still two members that were in the old Club and now in the new Club and those two are Gene Smith and Jim Tershner. They were charter members in the original Club. There are other people around that were members but they are no longer interested and don't own Volkswagens. The old Club did have about 5 or 6 members back then that had other cars; Volvo, MG, Triumph and others.
To be continued with time - - - - - -
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