Down on the Street: Classic VW Beetle

I’ve been seeing this old Volkswagen Beetle for a while in a garage on the USF campus, and since university is in sort of a slow part of the year with fewer cars around to get in the way, I decided to go take some quick photos. More and more, Volkswagens are being brought into the stance and empty roof rack crowd. It’s so refreshing to see one that’s been left clean and original to how it drove out of the dealership, nearly sixty years ago.

From the shape of the rear window, this Type 1 came over from West Germany back in the ’50s, a pretty rare sight. I mean, you still see Beetles here and there, but they almost never have this window. From what I can find on the internet, Type 1’s with the small window without the split were offered by VW between 1953 and 1957. Back then, the name “Volkswagen” was not such a household name, and not many people in the states wanted to spend money on a German car, holding a grudge against products produced by the former Axis powers. It wouldn’t sell too well until later on when the counterculture of the sixties came along, making this a very rare car in this country.

It’s even got the original wheels! The door might look like it’s open, however according to my friend Zack Jones, it just needs new hinge panels. From what he tells me, the lower hinge has rusted because water collects at the base of the frunk (front trunk) and when that happens it has nowhere to go, so it has rusted. It’s apparently a common issue with the older bugs.

The Beetle seems to be the car of my parent’s generation. My mom had one (an orange Super Beetle) and so did my father in law. And along with it’s sibling, the Microbus (aka Type 2, Transporter, Kombi etc.), it’s a vehicle that would go on to become a lovable icon of cars in the sixties. It’s also special to me in that it’s such a simple shape, it’s probably one of the earliest cars that I tried to draw.

Another cool detail that I noticed on closer inspection was that the owner is apparently a fan of the good old German industrial group Einsteürzende Neubauten. A fellow rivet head!

This was a very cool and very unique car and I hope to run across the owner some time so that I can find out more about it. Maybe then I can get some nice interior shots. Oh well, until next time, happy hooning.


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