Girls, they wanna have…..carbs!

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


when disassembling the engine I found some parts not original for 1951 as the manifold and the aircleaner (very normal! Which engine still had the T-aircleaner when the –technically- so much better oil-aircleaner was available?), other parts are surprisingly very correct, for example the generator and the D-regulator (I will feature these next week) and the carburetor which we will have a close look on today.

The carb is still the Solex 26 VFIS and it got the correct 8mm connection for the fuel line. So far, so good, but the rotten outer surface did not make me hope that it will be an easy job to rebuild it or maybe it is beyond being repairable at all. But it´s worth a try, just because it is one of the few original pieces of the Samba still existing.

When it comes to complicated matters regarding anything related to Solex carbs there is one place in the world to go: Annette Hue´s IOZ-workshop in Koblenz / Germany. Luckily Koblenz is just a 45 minute drive from Bonn and it is beautiful ride always along the Rhine with all its castles and wine yards left and right beside the river.

As Annette is the best address for Solex carbs I found her workshop in the normal state: crowded over and over full up with customer´s cars: from basic models as Opel Kadett up to Porsche 911 or Mercedes S-class, everything was there waiting in line for her magic hands. You think about going there too with your car? Be aware that you need to set an appointment now for a date 8 months later!

“Got a surprise for you, Annette!”


But as I know Annette since many years she was kind enough to have a quick look at the Samba´s carb and her judgement seeing this rusty little piece was quick and short: “Just dump it and buy a rebuild one.”

“You don´t want me to rebuild this piece seriously, do you?”
“I sure do!”


Annette and me got something in common: we don´t like Facebook, Twitter & Co., neither she got time for browsing the net every day, so no wonder she didn´t know about the Samba and what the story is all about. So I had to explain her that I really want this certain carb for rebuilding, no matter what effort it may cost.

“Hmmmm, well, I doubt that even one of these screws will turn without braking.” she said.

Will the screws turn without braking?

Yes, they will, but can we open the carb?


But surprisingly all screws turned without any problem (I applied a lot of rust dissolver to it a week before!) and we found the inner of the carb in quite good condition after removing the upper part.

Surprise! Look how nice and almost clean the carb is!


“OK, seems it will be possible to rebuild it, but you know my order book is full up with work until next year. How quick do you need the carb?”

I showed her some pictures of the Samba and so she got the answer.

“But it would be fine if you could do the job before you retire.”

“Don´t worry. If this carb will be the last I do in my life it seems to me that I will be still in time for this project.”

Pretty right, Annette…..



No more new projects! (Or just one. Maybe. A little one…)

Posted on 2 Comments

Dear VW-friends,


this post won´t not show you any progress regarding the Samba, but it tells you a little about a problem that some of us have for sure. A project as the Samba needs your full attention, it´s a lifetime job and if you share your time with too many other projects at the same time, you will end up as a good friend of mine I know since mid of the 80s.

He is a few years older than I am and started collecting aircooled VWs around 1982. As me he used to buy the first cars of his collection at the local junkyards here in Bonn. The cars were cheap back in those days and he couldn´t resist to buy any aircooled VW as long as it was cheap. As you can imagine each and any of these cars was in bad condition.

To make the long story short, toady he got around 36 cars in several rented garages, none of them is restored or is even driving. It was three years ago when I told him: “OK, you are 55 now. Dividing the estimated amount of your remaining years to live by the amount of cars you still “want to restore someday”, what kind of sum are you facing?”

The minute I asked him this question, I did the same calculation regarding my own life-cars-balance and I was shocked. And I don´t have 36 cars to restore. Not even half of 36. But some.

It was this certain day when I put a little sticker on top of my computer screen to remind me every day. Can you see the little sticker saying “Keine neuen Projekte!” on the picture below showing my office desk?

“Keine neuen Projekte” means “NO MORE NEW PROJECTS!”

I was serious about it, really.
And then the Samba showed up….
‘OK, just this one, it´s just too exciting. But not even one more from now on’ I advised myself.

Today the phone was ringing, it was the owner of the local junkyard:
“Hey, Florian, I got a VW beetle for you. Come over!”

I was not really interested. The times this junkyard was a place to buy cars cheap are over a long time. But as the place is just 900 meter away from my office, I stopped by. You never know, maybe he got a KdF-car, he wouldn´t see any difference to a Mexican bug. So I went there for a quick look and –of course- it wasn´t anything special, just a Mexican bug. OK, a rare Sunnybug and in quite good condition, but I knew he would ask a price way to high.

I asked for the expected crazy price and he said: “OK, we go for a package deal.”
“What kind of package?” I asked.
“I had another old VW in yesterday, I don´t know what it is, never seen this model, but there is the engine in the back and a Wolfsburg logo at the steering wheel. Bad condition, but I make you a special price if you go for both cars.”

You won´t believe what “other old VW” he picked up the day before:


















When have you seen a Razor Edge at the local junkyard last time? 1983?

The car was covered by a thick layer of dust, he must have pulled it out of a barn or similar where the car was stored for decades. On the windshield there is a sticker ‘LICHTTEST 1977’. Inside are the bumpers and a lot of parts, the car is pretty complete! No more projects? Should I have let a Razor Edge go into the crasher? Of course I went for the “package deal”.

Due to my calculation I have to extend my lifetime to 109 now to finish all my projects, but as I don´t smoke, eat healthy and have a chilly job, this shouldn´t be a problem at all. Any doubts?

Sorry for boring you with some news not related to the Samba directly, but maybe some of you liked to share this little adventure. And, this is a promise: the Samba will be finished before the Razor Edge!


best regards from Bonn



The Engine Horror Picture Show

Posted on 2 Comments

Dear VW-friends,


today I don´t want to write too much, but just want you to share my joy I had when looking at the disassembled engine parts. These pictures say more than any words….

Will there be anything useable again? Sure! Just stay tuned until next week when we will have a closed look at the carb and the generator for example. You´ll be surprised!


Best regards



little update

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


today I can share with you just a very small update, because I am kind of ill and couldn´t work on the Samba as I wanted to.

So, just to do a little step forward I pulled the fuel pump of the engine. Due to a broken lower part of the fuel pump it was fixed by the fuel line to the carb only. Luckily I was able to lose the screws of the fuel line without damaging them. The state of the line made me expecting the opposite, just see how rotten it looks:

I tested the line and it was still tight, no little rust hole, so I will use it again on the rebuild engine to save another original part. Sure I want to do the same with fuel pump, but the lower part is broken and I don´t see a chance to weld this metal, do you?

Needless to say that it is still the original 8 mm pump, otherwise I would just grab any complete pump from the shelf. But this way I want to save at least the upper part of the pump.

So I looked for a lower fuel pump part in my parts bin, thinking this is not a big deal as in my opinion there was no difference between 6 and 8 mm pumps when looking at the lower part of the pump only. But again the Barndoor thought me that nothing is easy when it comes to these early cars!

See here the lower fuel pump part and its quite big “SOLEX” script:

And here one of 26 (!) fuel pumps part I have in stock and I could take apart for the lower section, they all look the same saying “DEUTSCHE VERGASER GESELLSCHAFT”:

Damned! I am in need for a lower fuel pump part saying “SOLEX”. Sure one of mine would work technically, but it wouldn´t be original and I wouldn’t be happy with it. So if anybody out there can spare such an item, please contact me!

Next week there will be a new big update or even end of the week in case I am back to 100% again.


best regards from Bonn




You need a plan, man!

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


I am selling spare parts for vintage Volkswagen since mid of the 80s and I am kind of familiar to the VW-number system in a way that enables me to know the good selling items by their part number and if I don´t know the number exactly, I find the correct number normally in old VW spare parts books quickly.

This does not mean I am exceptional brain artist, but the VW-number system is so logical, it really makes identifying the parts pretty easy.  Whoever invented the VW-number system in 1953 was a genius. Back in these days VW just had two different cars: beetle and bus. But even today this old number system still works for Volkswagen and its huge variety of different cars and models.

But even based on this brilliant number system I was never able to learn this damned Bus chassis parts: rockers, jack supports, brackets, rails …. front, rear, middle, outer, inner… I never got it and always felt as being an idiot, cause it was too complicated to me. But now when the gearbox is removed from the poor rest of our Samba´s chassis there is finally the time: I HAVE to learn it, just because I have to know what we need for the reconstruction of the chassis. I was in a need of a plan.

So when today´s Sunday office work was done I stayed two extra hours in the office, reading, comparing, investigating in my 1954, 1957 and 1967 vintage VW Bus spare parts books, the websites of several British sheet metal producers, the Wolfsburg West catalog and the current issue of Airmighty with its feature of Claus Missing´s brilliant 1953 Barndoor panel. In this article there is a big picture of Claus´ Bus from underneath and this picture was finally very helpful.

I copied the picture and marked the chassis parts in different colors. Green for the sections which are still good and different other colors for the different producers´ parts. Of course there is a lot Barndoor specific which doesn´t make getting the parts easier. But in the end I found that I can get everything we need for the reconstruction but the floor pans itself. Some of the parts we even had already in our VEWIB-line –and I didn´t know it.

The result of two hours working this Sunday in the office: my plan for the chassis parts


All other parts I ordered not only just one of each for our Samba, but a complete load to add all this parts to the VEWIB-line. So, if you are doing a Barndoor restoration yourself, we got everything for your chassis in line now.

In the meantime when I wait for the chassis parts to arrive, I will have a close look to the front end of the chassis. In case I find some time in the next week, I will remove the front axle to check what is left of the bulkhead. We will see and I keep you posted.


Best regards from Bonn



Shocking: one of the Samba´s technical components still works!

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


today we finally removed the gearbox from the rear chassis part and so we had to remove the rear shocks as well. Lucky enough the Samba still got the original style shocks and wasn´t “upgraded” with telescope shocks as most of all older Volkswagen were.


This kind of shock absorbers do look strange to anyone not into the vintage Volkswagen world. For the Volkswagen enthusiast they are pure gold: very expensive and hard to find. No wonder! Volkswagen itself recommended already in the late 50s to replace this shocks by the modern telescope type and many VW-drivers did exactly this.



Also I was surprised finding the gearbox with the solid axle boots still, not being superseded by the split type axle boots. Both facts indicate that the Samba didn´t run a high mileage and having still the 24 hp engine tells the same story.

When did you see last time a swing axle Volkswagen with untouched, solid axle boots? For sure we will save them, but is it a good idea to fit them in again after rebuilding the gearbox?


All this are lucky facts. We don´t need to search for original (and very expensive) shocks and looking at the low mileage makes me feel optimistic that the gearbox won´t be in too bad condition.

Not so lucky we were regarding all the bolts and nuts which held the gearbox in place. All of them were really rusted and extremely hard to remove. We needed hours and hours to convince this screws turning after 60 years, but the last screw, the one in the shifting coupler, broke. So we had to cut the shifting coupler very carefully into pieces, cause drilling out the broken screw I was too afraid damaging the gear change lever.

Yep, we destroyed the shifter coupling. We had to! Otherwise there was no chance to get it out of the way without possibly damaging gear change lever. But don´t worry, the coupling was broken into two pieces anyway and anything related tothe gearbox is way more expensive than a simple shifter coupling.


After all this painful jobs I collected the nuts, bolts, tools   -and the shocks. Being curious if the shocks still move I was very surprised finding one of the shocks not only moving, but still working! And not too bad, I have to add. Anyway I will send the shocks to Jacek in Poland to get them rebuild.



Now when the gearbox is finally removed, how does the rear part of the chassis looks to you? To be honest, I expected it to be worse. At least we do have an intact torsion bar tube, even the torsion bar covers are still good. Both radius arms are OK too. The entire tubes of the gearbox mounting area are also still strong. So, dear haters, there WILL BE some original material left for sure, when the reconstruction is finished!
The outer rear chassis legs are a bit of fragile, but maybe there is a way to save them. Mark, what do you say?
Did you see that? The rear brake hoses are still intact. No kidding.
Can´t wait to use them again after 66 years on the German Autobahn. Just kidding.


best regards from Bonn



Little update, big luck

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


here are two little updates. Number one is a current picture from Mark Spicer´s decklid work. Here you can see the new inner frame he just finished. Doesn´t it look great?


The other topic is regarding an unbelievable find in the net. You maybe know that there at least five different types of speedometer for Busses –just up to 1955! So finding the right one for our Samba seemed to be really difficult, because VDO changed the design of the speedo slightly in late 1951 already, so I was in need for a speedo not even build for 20 months!

So I was extremely surprised finding such a speedo on E-Bay last week. But the auction was headlined by “Speedo for 1950 Barndoor VW Bus”, so the seller knew exactly what kind of treasure he was offering and I expected the final price to be skyrocket. But it wasn´t! For just 221 Euro the speedo was mine, I was sure the price would be much, much more.

Lucky office cat with the lucky find of the year!


Today the speedo arrived and when I turned it around I couldn´t believe my eyes: the date stamp shows “7.51”! What´s so special about it? I learned this lesson very well: the speedo normally was build one or maximum two months before the car itself was assembled in the factory. So for our Samba, build in August 1951, a speedo constructed in July 1951 couldn´t be any more perfect!

I apologize for the bad quality of the pictures, but I just took the shot with my antique Blackberry


Have a good start into your week!




Bright up your life with Florian´s Hella story

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


today I was assembling the headlights for the Samba. Nothing special? Well, it seems everything is special when it comes to early Barndoors and early headlights are a scientific matter anyway. So before the assembly could start there was a lot of research to do. Maybe you like to share what I could find out so far.

On the poor rest of the Samba´s front panel there was a Bosch headlight ring. But the 1951 Bus spare parts catalog and still the 1954 one do list Hella headlights only. This is quite interesting, cause the split window bug had, same as all following beetles, either Bosch or Hella headlights. VW simply had two suppliers of Type-1-headlights, same deal with a lot of other parts for early Volkswagen, the factory often had several suppliers for the same part.

But surprisingly VW had just one supplier for Bus headlights in the early years, minimum up to 1954, and this was Hella only. I learned this lesson to late, cause I already purchased a nice pair of symmetric Bosch Bus headlights, even with the little Bosch logo on the chrome ring –not correct for the 1951! Another amazing fact was that the early Hella Bus chrome rings are –due to the 1951 parts catalog- identical to the Bug headlight rings. So they are not specific for left and right, because they did not come with the little drain hole in the ring yet.

This fact made it a little easier for me to assemble a pair of headlights for the Samba as I have a nice collection of Bug symmetric headlight parts, Bosch and Hella. The conclusion of the 1951 and 1954 parts catalog was that the only Bus-specific parts for the headlights were the reflectors and the lens. But there is another tricky fact when it comes to Hella symmetrical headlights. Sure Hella and Bosch changed something here and there during the production of symmetrical headlights (they were superseded by the asymmetrical system in August 1960), but Hella changed much more than Bosch! Hella even changed the entire inner mechanism for example, but Bosch changed just some little details.

Also the reflectors of the early Hella symmetrical headlights and the late symmetrical ones are so different that you can´t interchange them technically. VW itself listed two different part numbers for Hella reflectors up to 1960. Also the super early lens has a very different design than the ones in the late 50s. But as I have a nice amount of NOS super early Hella Barndoor lenses, I did not have any reflectors at hand. I thought: ‘Damned, another expensive hard-to-find item on the list!’ But Dieter Schmidt-Lorenz could help with a NOS pair of these reflectors for a real good price. He surely made my day.

Dieter´s reflectors. Always a moment of history using parts which were stored the last 50 years untouched in their original box….


New original Hella lens seals we do have in stock, so the assembling could start, but there was one last question to clear. Did Hella used in August 1951 still the “Hella”-logo on the chrome ring? I have a nice bunch of both styles, with and without the logo, in stock, but I needed another lesson in VW detail history. After some research in the net I was very sure that minimum up to 1952 Hella headlights always had the little “Hella”-logo in the chrome ring and the little fixing bracket of the chrome ring was mounted with just one rivet, not with two as later on.

“Hella”-logo in the chrome ring, fixing bracket mounted by just one rivet and a half round head screw: this beetle headlight assembly should be the right one to convert it into a headlight for our ´51 Samba.


Not tired about headlight details yet? I can continue for another little while….

As I wrote before Hella changed the entire mechanism of its symmetrical headlights somewhere around 1954. The early style had a long bracket inside to move the reflector when turning the adjustment screws, the later ones show that typical Hella half-round fat spring, that surrounds the lower part of the reflector housing. Due to this technical difference the reflectors of the early symmetrical headlight is so different to the late symmetrical one. But also the material of the reflector changed. The early style show a heavy reflector made of brass, the late style is made of the same light tin than all reflectors later on.

Here you see the bracket that moves the reflector when turning the adjustment screw. This is specific for super early Hella headlights.


Confused? Well the story is even more complicated! There were also reflectors for the early mechanism made of tin! As VW offered reflectors for the early symmetrical mechanism at the spare parts counter for a longer time, these ones were made by Hella in the very same material then the current production: just tin, not brass anymore. The reflectors I purchased from Dieter Schmidt-Lorenz are such ones: early symmetrical style, but made of tin. If you see it from the pure historical point of view, the headlights I assembled are not super-correct, cause they don´t come with brass reflectors.   

A reflector made of brass, but unfortunately a Beetle reflector, not a Bus one.

A reflector for super early Hella Barndoor headlight, but made of tin. As you see here a part number using already the new nine-digit-system (established in 1954), this reflector was not made for the production line, but as a later spare part production


Anyway, I am really picky about originality, but I can live with tin reflectors made somewhere in the late 50s. I think to assemble a pair of headlights with the correct 1951-only-lens, the correct “Hella”-logo-ring and the pre 1953 old mechanism is good enough for this Samba.

the correct pre 1952 lens for Barndoor

Here you see our “chief of headlights” Sebastian (he normally converts LHD-headlights into RHD headlights) disassembling one of my very early beetle headlights to convert it into a headlight for our Samba

And now remove this long one-piece-spring, Sebastian! A pain in the ass to remove it? Well, wait until you have to put it in place again….

Here Sebastian mounts a new VEWIB headlight lens seal on the NOS early Barndoor lens

Putting it the lens in the correct position

Next step: putting the reflector bracket in place….

A little trick: we used some of the new style springs to fix the whole assembly on one half to help holding everything in place. Now we ccould try to put this damned one-piece-spring in place on the other half….

But still a pain the ass! Sebastian was right to refuse this job and leave it to me….  I won the fight in the end, but I had to try again and again. Whoever constructed this one-piece-spring, he was not the smartest Hella employee, for sure! The next worker telling me that putting the (late style) fixing springs in place is a tough job, has to try it with one-piece-spring!

Did you know that? The “L” in the line “28L” indicates the year this headlight was produced. Due to “L” means 1953. Good enough for the project from my point of view!

Cleaning the bold holder is essential if you want your six Volt headlight to produce some brightness. When the ´51 will be finished in 15 years I will be 63, so having a bright headlight would be a good idea! And for sure I still won´t be in the mood for an unsporting 12 Volts conversion….

Ready for installation. Thank you, Sebastian, good job! So we are ready now, what about you Mark?   🙂


We don’t want this reconstruction to end up showing the car the way it left the factory in August 1951, we want a Bus showing its history. In 1961, when the Samba was taken from the road, it already had a changing in the headlights to Bosch, so for me it´s fair enough to give the Samba back its early Hella headlights. I leave the lack of brass to the haters to make their lives less miserable….


For all the rest: enjoy life and the rest of the summer!



Happy Birthday, both of you!

Posted on 2 Comments

Today 66 years ago our Samba was built in Wolfsburg, but today it´s also Julian Hunt´s birthday. For anyone not knowing Julian, he is the # 1 photographer in the vintage VW-world and proud Barndoor owner himself.

The pictures show both birthday candidates, Julian in one of our ´79 pickup twins driving the ´51 Samba wreck on the lorry bed from our garage in the early morning of May 16th (another special day for Lagwagon fans…) from our garage to the Press presentation where he produced his famous photo series about the Samba.

All of us are looking forward to the next presentation of the Samba when both birthday children´s levels of patina will be more equal….

first item ready!

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


as promised in July („handbrake cables will be ready in August“) here we are presenting the first item we produced for the Samba: the handbrake cables! Fresh from the factory, made in Germany due to a very old original drawing.

Of course we made not just a pair for our own project, but we produced a whole lot of them, so all other Barndoor owners can participate and order a pair of handbrake cables through our VEWIB-distributor network. The part number is  211 609 721.

By the way I learned that there are two handbrake cables for Barndoor! The very first version from the beginning until January 1953 and a later version from February 1953 until end of Barndoor production in March 1955. We will produce the late version as well, it will be ready before the end of 2017!

Right now I am working on the headlights for the Samba. I always thought I am kind of expert for pre ´67 headlights. How wrong! There is so much more to learn. It will be the longest report for the blog so far. Something for the real VW-freak. Have a look here next week!


have a nice weekend!




Mark Spicer in action

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


here is a little update from England. As you know, Mark Spicer shipped the decklid of the Samba to his workshop and he is just right now in welding action. So this goes out to all the haters in the various chats who keep on saying “he is never gonna make it”, “just dump it into the trash” etc: there are also a lot of good friends in our little VW-world and together we will definitely reach the goal!

Next body piece will be the dashboard!

Best regards from Bonn



Corner window production

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-freinds,


here we go starting to produce the next item for our Samba. When we found the Samba there was one corner window still with the bus, but the other one was missing. Sure Plexiglas corner windows are extremely hard to find, especially the ones without the “Plexiglas” logo, which only the very, very first Sambas came with.

As chances are nearly zero to find such a corner window we decided to produce them. The first step is to create a data base for the production. So I drove to St. Vith in Belgium to visit one of our suppliers for sheet metal, Mr. Warny. He has a laser tool to scan any item for the data needed to build a production tool. Mr. Warny was so kind to support our Samba project by laser scanning our remaining corner window and now we have the data base to go for step number two and build a tool for producing the corner window itself.

Stay tuned as I will visit a plastic company next.

best regards from Bonn



Body reconstruction has begun

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends


Last week Evelyn and Mark Spicer, the owner and restorer of the famous Kohlruss bus, visited me to have a look on the Samba wreck. It was amazing seeing Mark checking out the poor rest of the dashboard for more than 20 minutes. He was truly fascinated about little details I don´t have a clue of, but for Mark these dashboard pieces show that this is the very earliest Samba he has ever seen. For anybody out of the vintage VW-world this scenario must have looked so weird: an adult man totally fascinated by two very rusty pieces of rotten metal, declaring: “I had a theory about the early Samba dashboard, which must have been kind of prototyping, this here is the proof. The production of the very first Sambas was more or less a handmade process.”  

Mark is not only a specialist for Barndoor Samba dashboards (he reproduces the entire element!) , but he does the same with Barndoor decklids. To get the body reconstruction started I gave Mark the decklid of the Samba wreck for restoration. So the decklid is already in England now and Mark promised to start right away. We both think the same way about the style the Samba should be reconstructed: the same way he did the Kohlruss! Not a shiny look-as-new Samba is the goal, but a Samba telling a unique story.

The decklid will be the example of how we would like the whole Samba to be restored. Stay tuned as Mark is probably faster than most of us think. I will show the result of Mark´s work here as soon as the decklid is ready.

In the meantime I will take care about the mechanical parts. The starter, the fuel pump, rear shock absorbers, the generator plus D-regulator are the next on the list. All these parts are still the original ones and worth a rebuilding. Read more about it here in this blog soon.

Best regards from Bonn



Lucky in Spa

Posted on 1 Comment

Dear VW-friends,


I was very lucky to find at the Bug-Show in Spa a Barndoor taillight. Have a look at it! I guess it is the correct one for the 51 Samba. What do the experts think? If you can confirm or disprove it, please leave a comment.

I also found a central brake light lens. Yes, a red one is not correct for 1951, I know it has to be kind of yellow and must not have a K-number neither a wave, but at least I have a sample with the correct old style Hella marking to produce a copy in the correct color.

The next find in Spa was a beautiful 1953 workshop manual! It wasn´t cheap, but I am happy to have it anyway. I guess it´s pretty rare and was worth the 270 Euro.

Just when I was ready to leave the swapmeet I found two separate barndoor taillight lenses for unbelievable 20 Euro each!


best regards from Bonn


interesting contacts

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-freinds,


Today I received an interesting detail from the owner of the well-known 51 Samba found in Greece (see here: ). He told me that the remaining Plexiglas windows of his Samba neither had any logo. As his Samba is younger than mine this information is very interesting as another hint that very early Sambas didn´t have the “Plexiglas”-logo which we all know from later Barndoor Sambas. At least the Barndoors which were really “born” as Sambas in the first place.

A real “born” Samba in the first place? What does it mean? There is the theory that the Volkswagen factory itself converted in the early days regular busses which were already sold and driven on the road into Sambas. I am still collecting facts which confirm or disprove this theory. More about this scientific detail soon.

Tomorrow I will have a look on another unrestored early Samba and I hope to return with some interesting news to share with you.

Next week the one remaining corner Plexiglas window of our Samba will be put into a laser box to create a CAD data as a base for a production of the corner windows. Our Samba needs one, so we will produce a whole load of corner windows based on the one original which came with the Samba.

In two weeks I expect Marc Spicer, the restorer of the famous Kohlruss (see here ), here in Bonn and I am looking forward to learn from his experience as the way he restored –or better reconstructed- the Kohlruss is exactly the way I want to reconstruct our Samba.

More news soon after the upcoming Spa weekend!


Maybe see you in Spa?



windshield seals

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,


my knowledge about Barndoor busses must have been very poor! So far I didn´t realize that the windshields of an Barndoor are significantly smaller than the later ones. What means I do have a lack in my VEWIB line of windshield rubbers.  Sure I wanted to add VEWIB windshield rubbers for Barndoor to my line, at least cause I will need them some day for our Samba!

Fortunately both original windshields are still with the Samba wreck and we can use them for creating a tool. But the tool for the preforming of the rubbers is a real big investment, because when it comes to pre ´55 rubber items the chances to find the original tooling are near zero. For sure we can´t sell too many of these rubbers, but I decided to go for tool anyway. The project and the first seals will be finished in September. So, all Barndoor owners can ask their VEWIB-dealer for the windshield seals soon. The part numbers will be 211 845 121 (left) and 211 845 122 (right).


Best regards from Bonn


Handbrake cables

Posted on 1 Comment

Dear VW-friends,

sure our Samba will need a pair of handbrake cables someday. As so many other parts these are different for Barndoor then for the later busses and as far as I know there are no handbrake cables on the market for Barndoor. So this a typical job for VEWIB to bring back a good German quality.

I contacted an old supplier of cables who produced handbrake cables for Barndoor decades ago. We found the old drawing in his archive and I gave order to start a new production again. Peter Reichler was so kind to spare with me a NOS handbrake cable, so we now have the old drawings and a NOS item to assure that the new production will be very exact.

The production will be ready in August and orders can be already placed either with VEWIB direct (if you are a registered dealer) or through our distribution network. The part number is  211 609 721.


Best regards from Bonn


Plexiglas windows

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear VW-friends,

our Samba was made in August 1951 and it is a real “born Samba”, so it was constructed as a Samba in the first place, not later converted from a stock bus into a Samba (the factory in Wolfsburg itself really did such conversions in the early days!). Björn Schewe and Eckberth von Witzleben checked the chassis number of our Samba in the Wolfsburg archives and they confirmed that this is “born Samba”.

Based on this fact I would like to clear an interesting little detail now. Not to many parts of our Samba survived, but all eight sky windows and one of the rear corner windows were still with the Samba when it was found. Sure all this windows are made of Plexiglas, but none of them has the typical “Plexiglas” script!

As we know this Samba is not a conversion and there are nine of the ten windows still with the car, we can exclude by 99% that this windows were exchanged later, because they were possibly broken. It would be very unlikely that nine of ten windows broke.

So could it be that the very first Sambas did not have the “Plexiglas”-script, because it came a little later than August 1951? What do the experts think? You are welcome to write me: or come to the VEWIB-booth in Chimay this weekend.

See you at the EBI!



Posted on 4 Comments

Dear VW-friends,

thank you for your interest in our Samba-wreck! In this blog I would like to inform everybody who is interested about the restoration of this amazing car.

“Restoration” might be not the correct term as there is not so much left of the poor bus. We got an engine, a gearbox, a front axle, an ID-plate, some very rusty sections of the body and a few (but very interesting) parts. So we better call it a reconstruction.

I will write the blog in English language, so more people can follow our project. Please excuse my funny English terms, I learned my English with Beavis and Butthead, so don´t expect Oxford level from my side….

As this is my first blog ever I have to learn how to use this. It might need a few days until I am familiar with this medium, but I will do my best to give you an update of the project weekly. So have a look in the next days and I will share with you our progress to bring back this Samba on the road.

Have a good start in the week!