A beautiful rear end is always worth a closer look….

Dear VW-friends,

do you remember that post  “20-15448” about the poor remaining piece of the front engine compartment section where the chassis number is embossed? Have a look again to understand the progress the Samba is performing since then, because today I will report about the rear end again. Just to give you an idea where we started, here is a picture from the day the Samba was found.

Doesn´t look too bad? Well the truth under all this mud tells a different story…..

Check out here the same section´s other side on the loading bed of my ´79 pick up the day we moved the Samba remains to Bonn.

There are even remains of the interior lining! You know what we will do with them, don´t you? But that´s something for a different post….

Now take a close look on the same section after cleaning. It´s not the worst part of the Bus, but still a really big task to restore it.

Do you see these very little remains of the original square weave attached to the left side of the upper trim?

You will agree that this piece is definitely worth restoring, won´t you? But can you imagine how much work is involved here? To say it with Mark´s words:  “this was a TON of work…but with the result I am very very happy”. No doubt, Mark! The following pictures proof it in an impressive way again:

If all 69 year-old rear ends would look as nice as this one….

Gentlemen, please place your engine here!

This beautiful bulkhead almost screams for the original VIN-tag now, don´t you think? We could rivet it on, it still exists, but please forgive me, I won´t do it. It´s just too fragile. Have a look at it and you will agree. If it would come off and get lost while driving, I would be very sad. And believe me, this Samba will drive, he won´t be a trailer queen!

But finding a real good blank VIN-tag is nearly impossible. There are reproductions on the market, no big deal, but they are easy to identify as fakes. This one here matches the original so close, I can´t tell a difference. Maybe it actually even is an original, since I found it on Ebay and have never seen another one before or after this.

Changing a VIN-tag is a legally sensitive matter, that´s why I show it very publicly what I am doing here and why.

Now that I see the rear end is restored so nicely, I feel motivated again to search for punch numbers in the correct writing style. I already tried it last year but gave up on it, because I spent hours and hours searching without finding the right ones. Maybe some of you have any ideas?

By the way, does anybody have a correct spare wheel tray for sale? Yes, I know Etienne made a real nice reproduction, but the hole for the filler neck is too small for 1951.

Here is another little post scriptum regarding the “Cologne petrolheads”. A historic picture of another early Cologne BD-Samba. Again, not mine, but sooner or later I will find another picture of mine, that will tell me a little bit about its history following its days at Fleischhauer.

An old German occupation license plate and a “modern” DIN license plate on the same picture means this picture is dated between Juli 1st 1956 (the first issue date of the DIN-plates) and June 31st 1958 (the last day of the transition period).

have a good start into your week!


PS:  This here is totally off topic, I know, but there is more in life then rescuing rotten Volkswagens and these are difficult times for many people who are not as lucky as we are in our relatively unaffected VW-world. You may know that beside the vintage Volkswagen I do have another passion and that´s writing and reading poetry on stage. Many of my colleagues, who try to live on performing arts, are in trouble these days, so please like and share this initiative here.

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