Here is the Story of my 1953
RHD Standard model Oval Window VW
- January 28th 2009
- I've just bought this home
tonight... Just missing wings, and some glass... oh, and a few rust
its a Late September 1953 Standard Model RHD Beetle..
- It has been off the road
since 1985 ... its got cable brakes!
- I'm going to squirel it away for a
while.. then rebuild it.. Stock as possible.
- The car was on the road from 1953 to
1985... 32 years..
- I bought him after receiving an email
from some one who saw I had a wanted advert for a 1953 wiper motor... he
wondered if I would be interested in a RHD 53 Oval!
I collected the car the same day from Watford.
I have some paper work including the original log book!
It was striped down by the last owner Chris... he had bought it as a
complete car in December 2003 ... striped it and left it in a garage in
Watford... lost the glass and the wings
The previous owner from Chesham got it in March 2003 Gordon Merridan... he
got it in March 2003 and only had it till December 2003 (VW Restorer)
The guy he had it from (Dave from Huntingdon) got it in Dec 1984 and it
appears to have been off the road since December 1985 ... Dave paid £300
he got it from Anthony who was from St Albans...
I have no records before that...
There is a Pass for the car to get into RAF WYTON dated 1985 so it was definitely
used till then!
And I just found a 1978 expiry Tax Disc from Norfolk in bought in 1977! It
says 4 months...
Anyway, I intend to get him back on the road, just need to convince Hayden
that he has time for the welding...
- May 5th 2009 ...I've fund a man that
owned the car in the late 70's... John Miller (who is still into his
How good are these old pics?
- March 3rd 2010 - I've welded in some
bracing and started splitting the body from the chassis...
- Tuesday March 9th 2010 - Today I've been
raising the standard... With a little help from my friends... well Hayden
- Rolling Chassis - ready to pull apart.
- I stripped the chassis bare..
- Some pictures of the Standard model cable
- March 17th 2010 - The chassis went
for blasting this week -
- This is the chassis after its first blast
- March 18th Yesterday I received the A
post repairs and heater channel bottoms from Hookeys, much nicer than that
nasty IGP rubbish.
New number plates arrived this morning,
I'm trying to source decent floorpans from wolfsburg West at the moment
- 23rd April 2010
- I sent off for a VW Birth Certificate -
It just arrived.
Model: 11B, VW Sedan Standard, right hand Drive
Engine: 25DIN-PS, 1.1Liter
Colour: is not mentioned
Built on: 17th September 1953
Left Factory: on 23 September 1953
Country of destination: VW Motors Ltd, London / great Britain
Extras: M001 Chrome-plated bumpers, Hubcaps, Outletpipes, front indicator
lights, tank Cap and door handles, in addition with trim strips and
passenger sun visor
M020 Mph Speedo
M108 Custom model
M007, M008, M010, M063 cannot be identified
I got a sheet of paper from VW with colour codes for 1949 to 1955 and they
have high lighted the fact that between 03.1953 and 12.1953 the only two
colours for the Standard model were L21 Pearl Grey or L37 Middle Blue.
- November 5th 2010
- I bought an old 25 Hp Engine for this on
ebay a few months ago... plenty missing, but it has become very hard to get
parts for something this old, and the 25hp engine stopped at the end of
1953.... so they are a little rare... This appears to be built about 7000
units before the original one from the car... which is missing...
One thing I needed for the engine was a distributor...
the other day, whilst searching stuff for my friend steve, I found an old Bosch
in a drawer, I've owned the drawer contents for 20 or so years....
I checked the numbers and this is what I found...
The VE 4 BRS 383 was brought into use on
the Volkswagen beetle approximately early 1949, replacing an even earlier
model, the VEK 4 BS 343. It continued in use through production of 25hp
equipped beetles ending with chassis No. 1-0 575 414 on December 21, 1953.
Likewise, VW placed it on early transporter models again through 25hp
production ending with chassis No. 20-069 408 on the same date. Porsche also
used the 383 on early 356 pre-A models through 1955 and it was used on
industrial engines from both manufacturers during the same peroid. The unit
relies on mechanical advance only providing approximately 15 degrees total
advance at 1500 rpm as measured at the distributor, 30 degrees at 3000 rpm
at the crankshaft.
just got to rebuild it...
- November 2010 - picked up another engine
remains at slough swap meet -
its an April '53 engine so a bit early as mine was a September car but as I
also have the September engine too... so maybe I can make one from the pair?
This one was not seized, but would only do 3/4 of a turn...
So i pulled off the offending head...
- I have no Idea whay one 25hp engine has a
different barrel sleeve length than the other?
- I've bought rear cross members from Wolf
and a front valance... and the really thick grey floor pans from KK... no
other progress.. just waiting for Mr welder to get to the chassis..
- December 21st 2010 -
- The strangest thing happened today...
Hayden started on the Chassis repairs..
Looking forward to seeing some progress
- December 30th - Here are the floor pan
halves that I bought from Karmann Konnection ... they are the wrong shape at
the rear but are very good quality
- Hayden has been a little busy... the
pans are installed and adapted to the correct shape for an early
- Feb 2nd 2011 - Chassis powder coated...
- It has has had the seams sealed and coat
of grey gravitex underneath
It has now been painted black so should look good and keep the rust away.
- Summer 2012 - I picked up a Pair of
Original front wings for the car, they are genuine steel items and a little
"late" for the car, but were priced well...
- Tuesday Feb 5th 2013 - I've just been
speaking to another owner.. A guy called Andrew who owned it for a while in the early 80's
... he may even have the original engine!
"Hi there just seen this thread and thought I must contact you, it's
good to know LOW is still around and is getting the attention it deserves. I
realise that this maybe too late to help but I may still have the original?
engine. I bought the car in 198? with the engine having seized ( crankshaft
pulley had broken up ) and managed to get another early dirty air engine
from a scrap yard. I was the brazing bodger but it did pass an MOT and I
didn't want to further damage the floor pans. The old engine may be at my
parents house with alot of other old VW stuff inc 59 beetle etc"
"Hi, sorry don't have photos and the memory is dim, I think I bought it
in 1980-1 it was advertised in a sweet shop window in Old Coulsdon, Surrey
about .25 mile from where I still live and as accurately as I can recall I
paid £100. a replacement engine was got from G & GW Bridges breakers
yard at Pease Pottage (£25). In those days I worked for BT and 'borrowed' the oxy/
acetelene gear for a weekend and that was when the brazing bodges were done.
At the time I had a beetle for trials/ rallying and a 'posh' car for work (
beetle, KG ) and I think my parents thought that 3 cars for 1 son was being a bit greedy and took up too much space so LOW had to go, it was sold to Mr
Tony Higgins ( a relative of Simon Woodall of buggy fame) after about 4
Months. The 59 was my fathers car bought when 18 months old and was taken of
the road in 1975 due to a faulty gearbox and some minor rust issues with the
rear body mounts unfortunately while it was being welded the headlining
caught fire/ smoldered and was damaged and 'restoration' stopped, I have
always intended to continue at some point but life seems to get in the way,
but thats for another topic. I have PMed my number please feel free to call
for a chat."
We had a long chat this morning!
He used to come to Herts VW meetings in the 80s...
- So the story of the (original?) engine?
Well, I couldn't wait to take a look... I know the engine was taken out in
1980 ish and had a broken front pulley, and the chances were that it wasn't
the original one to the car as the car was already 27 years old by this
stage... but what if it was? so I took a trip to Surrey to rummage in
a shed with Andrew at his parents house... to find an engine
that was put into storage 33 years ago!
- This is the view inside the door of the
- But its not that engine.. its the one to
the left of it...
- Sadly... its from a 1955 I think we
decided?... its a 30 hp engine... an obvious upgrade back in the day... 30
hp when you had 25 was a massive power increase...
- Thank you Andrew for letting me come
rummage in the sheds and grab it... it is disappointing that its not the
original engine... but a great bit of history and another part of the cars
"life" ... Thank you and nice to meet you properly.
- Oh, and I have ended up buying Andrews
dads '60 Semaphore Beetle.. to put back to stock... so the 2 cars will be together
an update I wasn't expecting to write - 2018 The car has been sold as an
ongoing project to a man who just had to have the rarest of the rare. Its
gone to a good home and will be finished properly, leaving me with some money
for my next pension purchase.
- January 2020 - The Car is still in good hands and the restoration
is Progressing Nicely. Its going to be a stunner.
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