A tribute to our loyal readers

On the occasion of DER MASS:STAB’s 40th birthday, an anniversary truck will once again be available. The MAN TGX GM with a curtain canvas semitrailer is operated by the shipping company Wandt in Brunswick. In December, this anniversary truck will also be released as a model.

Of the beginnings of DER MASS:STAB

It is actually 40 years since DER MASS:STAB was first released with 36 pages – at that time, still partly with black-and-white pictures, as printing was very expensive. It was not just “only” an in-house paper, but a model magazine with new presentations, tips on conversions, and reports on the original vehicles. The aim was to satisfy the collectors’ great interest in information and to answer all their questions.  Until then, there were only club magazines that presented the new releases. At the beginning, DER MASS:STAB was a joint project of Albedo and Herpa.

DER MASS:STAB grew rapidly. After only four years, the circulation exceeded 20,000, and the frequency of publication was increased from four to six issues per year. The number of pages also rose steadily. Subjects included the great attention to detail, for example in 1986 with the model of the Ferrari Testarossa, which consisted of 23 individual parts. Other topics, however, have disappeared, such as reports on the German touring car championships or the classifieds section.

The model building industry is changing

Today, collectors trade their pieces on online platforms. In 1997, there was the only scandal about DER MASS:STAB – not that the editors had made a nasty faux pas, but an ad client had advertised with a lady dressed only in silver underwear.  On February 1, 1996, Herpa went online, and now – 27 years later

– DER MASS:STAB is also taking this step and developing further into a professional online magazine, with the same quality and scope. But with greater coverage, free of charge for everyone, and with new technical features, such as moving images.

Scantily clad in silver, provocative underwear – for some readers, that was impossible. This ad from 1997 was the only “scandal” in DER MASS:STAB’s entire history.

“The anniversary truck should be one of Wandt’s!”

DER MASS:STAB has an eventful history that should be honored accordingly, because faithful readers are what has made it a success. What would fit better than a truck that honors that? When Gerhard Wandt heard about the idea, he was immediately on board. DER MASS:STAB’s anniversary truck

should be one of Wandt’s!. “The relationship with the Wandt shipping company in Brunswick is one of the best I can remember during my 27 years at Herpa”, says product manager Matthias Wolff. After all, Herpa has already realized 113 vehicles of the shipping company as models.

Herpa gets to work

No sooner said than done – Herpa graphic artist Heidi Murkowski started working on the designs. The truck is supposed to show what DER MASS:STAB stands for. The focus is on Herpa’s high-quality models and the history of the magazine. For this, they were working hard in Herpa’s photo studio.

The task was to pick the right models. Then, these as well as numerous magazines from the in-house archive were photographed. In this process, it’s all about the right position. Ultimately, the two side tarpaulins of the truck are created from hundreds of individual photos, some of which differ only by nuances.

The anniversary truck takes shape

The motif shows, alongside Herpa models, the two anniversary issues – issue 1 from 1982 and issue 1 from 2022. On the side at the end of the semitrailer are numerous magazines from the various years, lined up as if on a shelf. The cover faces the rear, which can be seen on the sides. On the driver’s side, you can see the magazine bindings, and on the passenger’s side,

you can spot the individual pages of each magazine. Accordingly, the rear of the truck must also be a cover page, namely that of the last printed issue in the anniversary year. The model can be seen on this cover. A scheduling challenge, because in order to be able to design this model, the original had to be completed.

DER MASS:STAB editor-in-chief Mathias Neigenfind, Herpas product managers Matthias Wolff and Stefan Blank, Gerhard Wandt, Anthony Wandt with young forwarders, and Ingo Seekircher (from the left).

“An eye-catcher for collectors”

Ingo Seekircher drives the new DER MASS:STAB truck. The 47-year-old started at Wandt when he was 17 – he has driven lots of trucks. “After five years, his trucks still look like new”, says senior manager Gerhard Wandt, praising 47-year-old Seekircher. THE MASS:STAB truck, however, is something special for Seekircher. “I’m constantly asked about the truck, especially the rear end”, Seekircher says. “The semitrailer is simply an eye-catcher, especially for collectors.” He himself is also a model collector. At the moment, he is still driving the predecessor tractor MAN TGX XXL Euro

6c; the new MAN has already been ordered, but – like with everything at the moment – there are delays in delivery. The Herpa model, on the other hand, already features the new MAN TGX GM. In return, Ingo has attached a homage to the old days to his current tractor unit – the sign for long-distance freight transport. In the past, this required a separate permit. The Herpa semitrailer is mainly used to transport beverages – mainly for Oettinger and Jägermeister – but also car parts. Basically, everything with a destination that can be reached in four hours.

The driver of the anniversary truck, Ingo Seekircher.

A family business with over 80 years of history

The Wandt shipping company has focused on its region. On average, a tractor unit is sold again after about 4.2 years; semitrailers operate for Wandt for about twelve years. When it comes to design, Wandt is somewhat minimalist, as junior manager Anthony Wandt puts

it. “We don’t want a white fleet, though.Our tractors are bicolor, which is our distinguishing feature.” The company’s green is a special color. And every now and then, the semitrailers also feature a colorful design.

All beginnings are difficult

On February 6, 1939, Adalbert Wandt, a trained master baker, founded what is now Wandt Spedition Transportberatung GmbH in Brunswick with just one Büssing truck.

Until his military service, he put two more vehicles into operation. His wife Gerda managed to lead the company successfully through the turmoil of the war.

Gerhard Wandt with the old permit for long-distance freight transport. Meanwhile, such permits no longer exist; the sign on the MAN tractor unit is a reminder of this.

Wandt develops

After the end of the war, the company continued with new vehicles, focusing on short-distance freight transport. In the 1950s, the new depot is built with its own gas station, a workshop, a vehicle wash and a house for the entire family. In the 1970s, the second generation joined the family business, followed by the third generation in the 2000s with siblings Aline and Anthony Wandt. In the 1990s, the transformation from a pure haulage

company to a shipping company began, and logistical projects were added. Today, the company manages four warehouses and offers a wide range of individual and combined services. Wandt relies on well-trained employees, well-equipped vehicles, and a friendly working atmosphere. All this has guaranteed the company’s successful history of more than eighty years.

The love of miniature models forges a bond

Senior boss Gerhard Wandt likes to collect truck models himself. When he got hold of a sample in 1980, he had the idea of having models of his own company manufactured. In 1984, the first Herpa model was released, and since then, he has had series and special models produced on a regular basis.

Wandt not only collects them, he also uses them as gifts for customers and collectors. “The cooperation with Herpa’s product manager Matthias Wolff has always worked out well”, Gerhard Wandt is pleased to say. And so, the DER MASS:STAB truck is already the 114th model.

Text and Photos:
Mathias Neigenfind

Numbers, data, facts

Tractor units (total trucks): 43

Semitrailers: 80

Employees: 150

Apprentices: 26

Storage area: 25.000 m2

Total kilometers driven per year: approx. 3.2 million