Standard split
2009-03-10T21:03:39Z
A point that I have been wondering about recently is just how many VWs exist in the UK that have been here since the days when split-windows were still being built.

What has got me interested in this point is that my '47 VW may have been in England since 1950 :beer:

The earliest UK resident VW still here though I think is Colborne Garages '47, been here since 1948.

It makes me feel that my '47 is a bit of a British car having been here almost its entire 'life' and having been built under British control too.

Reckon I can justify a Union Jack flag on it πŸ˜›

Can't imagine though the anti German comments these cars must have attracted here, not so long after the war 😞

Any others like these two – I suspect there could be:?



Rattletrap – the Volkswagen Beetle that has covered an incredible mileage equivalent to over 35 times around the planet :omg:
Running nifty since 1950… the King of Volkswagens:beer: Why not make friends with this famous little VW – he's on facebook!
:d
The great Rattletrap debate: http://forums.pre67vw.co...aspx?g=posts&t=16378 
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pre67vw
2009-03-10T21:09:17Z
Standard split wrote:



Can't imagine though the anti German comments these cars must have attracted here, not so long after the war 😞



Yep, I reckon owning a VW was pretty hard work in the UK in the early 50's for this reason. But then again VW used a jewish advertising company in New York for their US adverts, so anything is possible :lol:
Rob Amos
Happiness is a stock VW
Mike Peckham
2009-03-10T21:38:41Z
Standard split wrote:


Can't imagine though the anti German comments these cars must have attracted here, not so long after the war 😞



My Uncle John scrapped two split window Beetles in the 50’s for their floor pans and running gear, these he cobbled together to build a low slung race car. It caused a few raised eyebrows apparently at the Bexhill motor racing club, my Father was building Elvas at the time that relied on Ford motors, these were seen as far more acceptable and Uncle Johns VW based runner more than a little eccentric, not to mention politically questionable... But it wasn’t long after that that cannibalising good VWs for their chassis was all the rage so I guess he was a bit of a trail blazer!

The most interesting part of his creation was the engine, which was a 25BHP unit with a twin carb set up using the original Solex carbs and mushroom air filters.

My Father (the Elva man) was apparently very scathing of the German car his brother was so fond of in the 50s', but experienced an epiphany when he realised that the engines were so closely related to those he was familiar with from his RAF days.

Consequently, by the time I came along he owned a 1960 Canterbury Pitt Camper Van Reg; 4771 R, later to be replaced with a '64 Devon and then a '71 Danbury. Not surprising then that my first car was to be a '55 Beetle.

Now at nearly 90, Dad remains an aircooled VW enthusiast and his post war scepticism is long forgotten! :wink:


Mike





July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
Rich Oakley
2009-03-11T09:11:49Z
Certainly during the late 40's, there were several hundred VWs in the UK.

How many of these early imports survive? Hard to say, but I can give you specifics on a few cars...

Rod Sleigh's '46 was imported in 1949
One of Richard Cotton's old '47s was imported in 1950 (whereabouts unknown now, but I saw it a few years ago)
Kev Maddock's '47 has been here since 1947
Martin Southwell's was imported in '49
Derek Smith's old '47 (now in the US) was imported in '49
Paul Norman's old '47 (also now in the US) was imported into the UK in '47
Brian Screaton's old '47 was brought into the country in '49

etc etc etc... I could go on, but I won't. As for 'late model' splits (49 and later), there were loads and loads imported to the UK, either on temporary registration licences or permenantly by British servicemen.

In answer to your question 'how many VWs exist in the UK that have been here since the days when split-windows were still being built?' I estimate 20+.

47 Beetle, 56 UK Karmann Cabriolet, 56 UK Beetle, 57 UK Type 2, 59 UK Beetle, 66 UK Fastback.
Standard split
2009-03-11T09:45:04Z
That's all very interesting Rich.:d

I used to think Colborne's JLT 420 was the earliest survivor.

I used to have a RHD early '52 DeLuxe, MRT 308, imported into the UK in 1952 from new. That is in Northern Ireland last I heard of it.


Rattletrap – the Volkswagen Beetle that has covered an incredible mileage equivalent to over 35 times around the planet :omg:
Running nifty since 1950… the King of Volkswagens:beer: Why not make friends with this famous little VW – he's on facebook!
:d
The great Rattletrap debate: http://forums.pre67vw.co...aspx?g=posts&t=16378 
Rich Oakley
2009-03-11T09:54:02Z
Standard split wrote:

That's all very interesting Rich.:d

I used to think Colborne's JLT 420 was the earliest survivor.

I used to have a RHD early '52 DeLuxe, MRT 308, imported into the UK in 1952 from new. That is in Northern Ireland last I heard of it.



Yep, Fred's got that one now.
47 Beetle, 56 UK Karmann Cabriolet, 56 UK Beetle, 57 UK Type 2, 59 UK Beetle, 66 UK Fastback.
Mike Peckham
2009-03-11T10:24:58Z
Standard split wrote:



I used to have a RHD early '52 DeLuxe, MRT 308, imported into the UK in 1952 from new. That is in Northern Ireland last I heard of it.



Wasn't that car once featured in a comparison test against a Morris Minor in a Classic Car Magazine? I seem to remember the number plate.

The outcome was something like "the VW wasn't a better car - just more appropriate for the worlds roads..."

Mike
July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
pre67vw
2009-03-11T10:46:30Z
Mike Peckham wrote:



Wasn't that car once featured in a comparison test against a Morris Minor in a Classic Car Magazine? I seem to remember the number plate.

The outcome was something like "the VW wasn't a better car - just more appropriate for the worlds roads..."

Mike



Do you mean this? http://forums.pre67vw.com/Default.aspx?g=posts&m=24075#24067 
Rob Amos
Happiness is a stock VW
Mike Peckham
2009-03-11T11:01:14Z
pre67vw wrote:



Do you mean this? http://forums.pre67vw.com/Default.aspx?g=posts&m=24075#24067 



I hadn't seen that, but no. This was an article that was written about a privately owned Black Split Window Beetle that had been imported to the UK when it was either new or nearly new. It was up against a Minor and I think it was photographed outside Stanford Hall, although I can't be sure now.

Would have been about 83ish - maybe a bit later...

Mike
July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
Rich Oakley
2009-03-11T11:58:16Z
Mike Peckham wrote:



I hadn't seen that, but no. This was an article that was written about a privately owned Black Split Window Beetle that had been imported to the UK when it was either new or nearly new. It was up against a Minor and I think it was photographed outside Stanford Hall, although I can't be sure now.

Would have been about 83ish - maybe a bit later...

Mike



I don't think you were dreaming. I think that article may have been in VW Motoring. MRT 308 was an original British car from the outset (a special order car for the UK) and not 'imported'. It is one of only two 'split dash' UK ordered cars known.
47 Beetle, 56 UK Karmann Cabriolet, 56 UK Beetle, 57 UK Type 2, 59 UK Beetle, 66 UK Fastback.
Mike Peckham
2009-03-11T12:14:04Z
Rich Oakley wrote:



I don't think you were dreaming. I think that article may have been in VW Motoring. MRT 308 was an original British car from the outset (a special order car for the UK) and not 'imported'. It is one of only two 'split dash' UK ordered cars known.



Thanks for that Rich - that sounds about right except that I think the article might have been in "Classic and Sports Car" magazine, I don't think it was in Safer Motoring.

I remember the owner saying of the beetle that he had spoken to the guy that had driven the car from the docks to the dealership when it had first arrived in the UK. I got the impression it was a new car at the time so that would tye in with what you say.

Mike
July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
Standard split
2009-03-11T14:26:58Z
The article was in 1982 Practical Classics magazine. It was my car at the time so I took part in the test. I swapped with the Minor owner, he drove the Beetle and I drove the Minor.

I remember how surprised he was at how well the old Beetle drove. The Minor was about the same age as the Beetle, and I to be honest, thought it was awful compared to the Beetle – slow, gutless and uncomfortable. Worse, it seemed very cramped and less comfortable. The Minor I thought was ugly too. especially at the back. Issigonis must have lost interest by the time he got round to finishing the design.:twisted:

The Practical Classics team were hopelessly in love with Minors back then, and I'd say pro-British and a little anti-German.

That's why their conclusion on the comparison is nonsense. The Beetle sold better than the Minor because it was, well, better 😎



Rattletrap – the Volkswagen Beetle that has covered an incredible mileage equivalent to over 35 times around the planet :omg:
Running nifty since 1950… the King of Volkswagens:beer: Why not make friends with this famous little VW – he's on facebook!
:d
The great Rattletrap debate: http://forums.pre67vw.co...aspx?g=posts&t=16378 
Mike Peckham
2009-03-11T16:18:13Z
Thanks for confirming that; I’m pretty impressed I remembered the number plate after 27 years! I was fascinated by the article and not a little frustrated at the obvious bias towards the Minor. Wasn’t it a 4 door Minor too?

I was also deeply envious of you owning such a nice Split…

Mike



July 1957 UK supplied RHD Oval. 1972 World Champion Beetle. 1978 UK supplied RHD 1303LS Cabriolet. 1973 UK supplied RHD 1303s.
Standard split
2009-03-11T18:07:08Z
Yes the Minor was a four door, Mike. The front doors were very narrow and made getting in cramped, whereas we all know how wide a Beetle's door is.

I was lucky to own MRT 308 – especially as I was at college :!:

Wish I still owned it today, it had a full history with it 😎


Rattletrap – the Volkswagen Beetle that has covered an incredible mileage equivalent to over 35 times around the planet :omg:
Running nifty since 1950… the King of Volkswagens:beer: Why not make friends with this famous little VW – he's on facebook!
:d
The great Rattletrap debate: http://forums.pre67vw.co...aspx?g=posts&t=16378 
Rich Oakley
2009-03-11T19:16:24Z
Standard split wrote:

Yes the Minor was a four door, Mike. The front doors were very narrow and made getting in cramped, whereas we all know how wide a Beetle's door is.

I was lucky to own MRT 308 – especially as I was at college :!:

Wish I still owned it today, it had a full history with it 😎



John,

That's one you should have kept!

Rich.
47 Beetle, 56 UK Karmann Cabriolet, 56 UK Beetle, 57 UK Type 2, 59 UK Beetle, 66 UK Fastback.
Standard split
2009-03-11T20:29:27Z
Rich Oakley wrote:



That's one you should have kept!

Rich.



Too right – First VW built for the UK, full documentation, photos of import in 1952, all tax discs from then on, first, second and third UK reg docs – it had the lot.

I'd swap a KdF to get that back - fantastic car :d



Rattletrap – the Volkswagen Beetle that has covered an incredible mileage equivalent to over 35 times around the planet :omg:
Running nifty since 1950… the King of Volkswagens:beer: Why not make friends with this famous little VW – he's on facebook!
:d
The great Rattletrap debate: http://forums.pre67vw.co...aspx?g=posts&t=16378 
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