Mike Peckham
2008-07-31T12:04:52Z
An update I feel is on order, having introduced myself to the forum a little while ago and then said nothing since.

A lot has happened since then in fact. To start with I looked at Rich Oakleys lovely South African 58, it’s a lovely car and unsurprisingly it was snapped up quite quickly after I saw it, but my heart was really set on an Oval and a Black one at that. My first and most significant Beetle was a 55 (56 Model) Oval, De-luxe Saloon in Black with a Red interior. It was beetles of a similar specification that I lusted after when visiting the shows so I was very interested to hear from Nick at VW Heritage when details of just such a car had been submitted to them for inclusion on the Cars for Sale section of their website.

Pictures were studied and after a couple of emails and telephone conversations with the seller a trip to Northants was arranged to view the Bug. Nick and I made the trip up from Sussex a couple of Sundays ago and took a look at the Beetle which turned out to be everything I was looking for and probably a bit more!

The most important thing for me was the soundness of the body work and the general originality of the car. There have only ever been one or two minor welding repairs and all the important areas – quarter panels, A posts, chassis, doors and sills remain incredibly rust free. The body work is straight, there being no evidence of any past accident damage and it drives beautifully.

On the down side, the gear box jumps out of third in over run and the original 30BHP engine has at some point been replaced with a later Mexican lump (yuk!).

But I was in love, the work needed to bring the car up to good standard is just about the amount that I wanted in terms of taking on a project and in the mean time the car is driveable and road legal.

So a deal was done and Nick and I made the return trip to Northants to pick up the Beetle last Sunday. It must be 20 years since I have been behind the wheel of an Oval so the 140 mile trip back to Worthing, mostly on the motorway was faced with not a little trepidation! I needn’t have worried though because the Bug motored along effortlessly, although it’s difficult to know at what speed because the speedometer is wildly optimistic! The steering was tight and precise, there were no rattles or creaks and everything worked as it should, I was in Oval heaven.

The semaphores were a little worrying though, when I last drove 50s beetles back in the 80s I had working semaphores but I think the roads were quieter and slower and I also think there must have been more old cars around as the little trafficators, whilst thought of as cute, were not entirely unknown to motorists back then. It was very evident though that to drive safely with trafficators in 2008 you have to supplement with hand signals and constantly be on the guard – and assume that others on the road simply haven’t seen them, add this to the mammoth oval blind spot and driving really becomes quite entertaining! It was surprising though just how quickly I dropped back into it, I even found myself double-de-cluching into first.

Closer examination of the beetle since it has been back home and safely ensconced in its new garage has revealed no hidden nasties, in fact the car gets better every time I look at it. The history of the car is a little sketchy though it seems that it was owned for some considerable time by either the original owner or an early owner, it seems to have come on the market several years ago and in that time it has been through several sets of hands so is known to others on the scene. Overall it has faired very well and despite changing hands several times remains very original and unmolested. The only pity is that it clearly had one or two period accessories fitted such as door pulls and passenger side sun visor and these have been removed and presumably sold on, there is also a tantalising half story about the original engine having been with the car until very recently. Alas though I think it is now gone for ever.

So, I am already starting to collect up the parts needed to embark on a “sympathetic restoration”, my intention is not to make this car a concours contender but to keep as much of it as possible original whilst tidying up all the rough edges and preserving it for the future.

I’ll keep you up dated…

Mike

July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
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Rich Oakley
2008-07-31T13:46:12Z
Mike,

Really pleased to hear that you have found the car of your dreams! Are you planning to drive it to work at any point? Would love to see it whilst you're in the area.

Happy motoring!

Rich.
47 Beetle, 56 UK Karmann Cabriolet, 56 UK Beetle, 57 UK Type 2, 59 UK Beetle, 66 UK Fastback.
Chris
2008-07-31T21:41:06Z
Mike,

Post some pictures.
:wink:
A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
mrsherbie
2008-08-01T00:46:23Z
Great story. It is so good when a car just keeps feeling better every day, rather than worse!
If the weather is good maybe the Sussex VW Owners Club show on the 10th Aug would be a nice drive? :d
"it'll wreck the patina you haven't worked so hard to create" - 50Karmann
Mike Peckham
2008-08-01T11:51:51Z
Rich, taking it to work at the moment might be tricky as I use the car all day to drive round the district, and I don’t think Beaky 3 (she’s been Christened :wink: ) is up to that yet. But there’s no reason why I shouldn’t pop over one evening, good excuse for a run out!

Just checked out the Sussex do, looks good. All being well I’ll be there. :d

Mike

ps: Just tried to upload a couple of pictures but haven't sussed out how to do it yet - can anyone tell me how? ...

July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
six-o-one
Mike Peckham
2008-08-01T19:11:24Z
Some pics of "Beaky 3"
Mike Peckham attached the following image(s):

July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
Mike Peckham
2008-08-01T19:28:19Z
And here's me (on the right) with JFX 892 my first beetle, bought from my next door neighbour in about 1980 for £50! The 61 on the left I paid £15 for!! But it had no MOT and was as rotten as a pear...

Mike Peckham attached the following image(s):

July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
Rich Oakley
2008-08-01T20:33:33Z
Great pics Mike. I've seen "Beaky 3" before. Very nice, original car.

The early 80s picture is fantastic!

47 Beetle, 56 UK Karmann Cabriolet, 56 UK Beetle, 57 UK Type 2, 59 UK Beetle, 66 UK Fastback.
RockStock
2008-08-01T20:48:46Z
yes, ace 80s pic - kool kid, ahead of your time!
StockRocks
64rotbox
2008-08-02T00:47:05Z
That old photo was printed in Volksworld a hell of a long time ago, wasn't it? I've definitely seen it before.
You can call me Al.
Mike Peckham
2008-08-02T06:41:31Z
I think it was published in VWMotoring in the late 80's, I had a letter published at the time and this photo accompanied it, I can't remember now what the content of the letter was, in fact until you mentioned it i had forgotten that I had ever written to VWM! I have some other photos taken about the same time, of my cars and also of vintage Bugs at VW Action in about '81 - '83, not sure where they are at the moment but if i can dug them out I'll scan and post them. :wink:

Mike
July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
jonathan.28
2008-08-02T12:53:18Z
Hi Mike
I love the 80's photo.
I grew up in Worthing in the 80's so it gave me an ee'rie familiar feeling!
I hope you manage to dig out the other shots.
Mike Peckham
2008-08-02T14:00:10Z
Jonathan, sorry to disappoint, but during the early 80's I was living in a village just South of Bedford and that's where the photo was taken. I moved to Worthing in 1984 and apart from a dalliance with a '53 Sunroof Oval, my Volks driving thereafter was mostly confined to 70's Bugs a Camper and a brace of Type 3 Variants.

On another note, according to the DVLA website JFX 892 is still road taxed, if any one sees it about I would love to know where it is... :wink:

Mike
July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
pre67vw
2008-08-02T14:49:11Z
A village just South of Bedford? Which one?
Rob Amos
Happiness is a stock VW
Mike Peckham
2008-08-02T17:02:22Z
Cardington :wink:
July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
pre67vw
2008-08-02T17:39:42Z
Interesting! My parents were married there, I put my first Beetle into a ditch just up the road in Cople probably around '84-85.
Rob Amos
Happiness is a stock VW
GKL 7
2008-08-02T19:12:25Z
pre67vw wrote:

put my first Beetle into a ditch



Clumsey :wink:

pre67vw
2008-08-02T19:59:12Z
Originally Posted by: ' 



Clumsey :wink:



Yep, roof nearly all hammered out though and I continued to use the car for many years... :wink:
Rob Amos
Happiness is a stock VW