Short post about the short side

Dear VW-friends,

first, I have to do a little postscriptum regarding the last post “Cologne petrolheads”. I missed to share with you this picture I found on EBay showing a bunch of Cologne petrolheads “on tour” in a BD-Samba. Have a look.

A Cologne BD-Samba, yes, but not mine! This Samba here is built between 1953 and 1955, because it doesn´t show the “deep skylights” anymore. Beside this, my Samba was K-ER 571, not  K-D 402.

I don´t know what happened to K-D 402, neither if it survived. But we know that K-ER 571 survived somehow and this is where our little story starts today. It´s just a short post about a short piece of the Samba, the right side panel called “short side” opposite the “long side” on the left, the side without cargo doors.

The “long side” of the Samba survived in a relatively good state (please see previous posts), but the “short side” did not. See here how poorly the “short side” arrived after we dug out the Samba in May 2017:

May 2017, this was the condition the Samba arrived in Bonn at my warehouse: on the loading areas of my two ´79 Baywindow pickups. See here how poorly the short side was…

You did realize that there is something missing on the “short side”, didn´t you? Have a look on the next picture and you know why. This is the day we assembled the remaining pieces of the Samba in our yard to a more-or-less Bus to give the media an idea what this pile of rusty metal was supposed to be.

You have to look closely at this picture to realize, that the short side was torn into two halves! The front part hangs on the hinge column of the rear cargo door!

But what was the reason the “short side” was in such a worse state than the “long side”? The following picture, showing the Samba in its Eifel graveyard, tells the answer:

This picture is from the day of the rescue. Do you see that the right side of the Samba sank into the ground up to the beltline? Here the slope slipped into the Bus over the decades!

OK, these two very little pieces of surviving metal were all Mark Spicer had at hand to start another mission impossible. Sure, it would have been so much easier and way cheaper to order at “funky green” just a brand new short side, but I stated it clearly in the beginning of the project and I will stick with it until the Samba will be on the road again: EVERY surviving piece of the Samba will be integrated into the Bus we are reconstructing here, no matter how rusty or rotten it is.

So, ladies and gentlemen, take a deep breath again to see the result of Mark´s stunning work and keep in mind from where he started:

For 99,9% of mankind this is just a piece of rusty metal, but after reading this post YOU know better now. This picture proofs Mark Spicer´s excellence in welding again and in a breathtaking way, doesn´t it?

It´s a little hard to see in the picture, but the “short side”  is absolutely straight now, ready for installation, as good as a NOS-sheet metal. As Mark stated in his last email to me:  “We have a lot to do still, but we are nearer the end than the beginning by a long shot.” Unbelievable? No, not to the loyal followers of the project….  

Before I release you now into a new week, here are two more small photo finds. How do you like this one here?

I like this picture better than the one at the start of this post. First, this IS a ´51 Samba for sure (due to the white roof!), second, I prefer a bunch of drunk girls over a bunch of drunk guys! Unfortunately again not my Samba, although the license plate is close again: BN-C 871. But a Samba from Bonn, the world´s current capital of ´51 Sambas, is pretty cool, isn´t it?

Hey, here are the Cologne petrolheads again to teach us an important lesson: if the boundaries of life make you feel exhausted again, just remember that there is always an exit scenario in life. At least one.

OK, I admit, I like this picture the most of the three. While Covid is killing our social life this picture reminds us of better times in a distinguished way, doesn´t it?

Have a good start into the week!


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