Volkswagen Beetle is not just an ordinary car, it’s an icon. More than 21 million of these cars have been sold since the start of its production in the 1940s until the end of 2003. It has become the most produced car without any significant change in design in the history.
The Czechs can boast with the oldest surviving Beetle. This Beetle is now parked in the garage of the veteran lover Ondrej Brom who was working on the demanding restoration of this gem for several years. Restoration is finally done and everything about the restoration process, history of this specific car and VW history is written in black and white in 350 page book which is now offered via Kickstarter.
|The poor thing was beaten up and repaired many times during the socialism in Czechoslovakia when parts were rare but the final result of over 5 years of renovation is simply mind blowing!|
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
“I have met with this car for the first time in 1988 when I was still a student,” recalls Ondrej. “I have noticed this car at my brother’s friend Ladislav Rojka. The poor thing was parked beneath a giant tree, under the layer of clay halfway through the wheels. It was an ungrateful and sad sight.”
Nine years later, when he found out that the wreck is for sale, he immediately rushed there. He had only four thousand Czech crowns in his wallet.
“The price was 60 thousand Czech crowns. So I asked the owner if he could wait until I get to the bank. Thank God he agreed,” says Ondrej.
THE HISTORY UNRAVELED BY THE POLICE TECHNICIAN
He had no idea what an unique car he acquired when he purchased the wreck of this Beetle. He knew he was the new owner of the original KdF war type, but further information about his car remained a mystery. There were no production labels to be found, let alone a body number that could reveal more.
In order to find out the history of this Beetle, Ondrej had to literally do the detective work. He searched for a ways he could recover the serial number of the car from the body that was covered by many layers of the paint. He consulted with experts, tried special X-rays, even tried to call the Ministry of the Interior. Eventually, he remembered that he has a friend with the criminal police who worked as a technician.
|Layers of pains and asphalt hiding everything from the body number to the original black paint.|
“My police technician friend came to my workshop with a number of strange things – variety of test tubes and containers full of liquids, droppers and brushes – I felt like in a small chemical lab. He gradually applied the chemicals to the hood of the car. Me and my wife were watching and examining the location where the serial number should be,” recalls Ondrej.
Eventually, the number 20 revealed under the layers of the paint. After the long dive in the archives it was clear, the first owner of this KdF was the famous Berlin composer Paul Lincke, who lived in Marianske Lazne, Czech republic since 1943. However, all the Sudetenland Germans including him, were relocated after the WWII. But the car remained in Czechoslovakia and was taken by the state health official Zdenek Krasny. Tesar family owned the car after him.
“Unfortunately the fate of Lincke’s car between 1958 and 1997 can not be documented well. What I have learned from the memories of Antonin Tesar the younger is that the sale of the car happened sometime in 1958. However, I was not able to find out who bought the vehicle. Everything is under the dust of times and fog of a strange totalitarian times in Czech republic,” says Ondrej about the history of the car.
|Paul Carl Emil Lincke, first owner of the car back in 1941.|