Here folks, is the story of one amazing 1956 oval window VW. Possibly the cleanest, coolest and most pristine Oval window I’ve had the chance to get close to. This is the true story of man and his machine. The story of Das Wolfsburg 56′ Oval Window VW:
Back in 1956 the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany produced 321,523 beetles. Since it’s production, this factory sliding sunroof version has lived a very special life. Built for the road laws of Germany, May 13, 1956 the beetle arrived in Berlin, factory specific for the European market. Outfitted with European bumpers (no American style over riders) Kilometer speedometer, special railcar carrying tie-downs on the bumper brackets, and the lack of turn signals being replaced with factory issue semaphore markers between the doors and quarter glass windows.
Little did this Wolfsburg Oval window know it would eventually find it’s way to an American military crew member who would become quite taken by the vehicle and brought home after his deployment. Headed for its new life in Hollywood, California full of sunshine and movie stars for many years, until being retired to it’s second chapter.
In 2001 the vehicle began a full pan-off restoration. It’s years of parking lot dings and surface imperfections were soon to be erased. Original factory paint color Coral Red was reapplied to its body, every nut and bolt was replaced to factory specifications. Soon after, the 56′ found a new owner in Boise, Idaho. Safely sheltered from the rain and snow. Though seldom enjoyed in the sunshine. Often locked up in a garage more than racing down the open roads the time finally came for the 56′ to find a new home. A more advantageous lifestyle like back in the Hollywood days. In March of 2009 the sedan was trucked back to California where it began it’s third chapter.
The stock height was causing the new owner some serious altitude sickness. So to remedy the illness the doctor ordered the German front end be narrowed 4 inches for a much more aggressive stance. The tiny stock air-cooled 53hp motor was replaced with a fire breathing (for a Volkswagen) 2 liter, 2017cc motor pushing almost 180 hp on the dyno. The engine work was machined by CB performance in Farmersville, CA. The Dellorto carbs were shipped off to Air-cooled Engineering in Salt Lake City, where they were rebuilt to factory specification, run on the dyno and temperature tested before returning back to California. Now we’re talk’n.
Almost ready to ride, the engine tin was powder coated shinny gloss black, with small highlights being polished or chrome plated. The attention to detail continues with an exhaust that was custom built by AL’s headers in Orange County and wraps around the rear tire, to exit under the fender. The interior was refreshed with German square-weave wool carpeting. This time it’s new owner knew how to treat it right. Added many functional 1950’s European motoring accessories that he had been collecting for years. An original locking shifter, with shift extension, seat recliners, 8-day windup dash clock, pop-out vent quarter windows, bumper push bars, interior kick plate to protect interior paint, and the sweetest accessory of all time, a fully restored Hazet spare tire town kit that is date coded 1956 with its matching correct tools. So many rare qualities. One super cool ’56 Oval Window.