The First Beetle: Resurrecting a 1938 Prototype
When the discovery of this prototype of the VW 38 was posted on an internet forum, the international Beetle scene went wild. For the experienced VW restorers Traugott and Christian Grundmann there was no question: The first "Splitty" would become the centrepiece of their exquisite old-timer collection. The VW 38's condition may have been shocking, but it was not beyond hope. Supported by a brilliant team of welders, upholsterers, painters, mechanics and VW enthusiasts from around the world, they managed to give the dear little Beetle a complete makeover.
Traugott Grundmannand his son Christian have a little piece of paradise in the Weser Hills: they have created their very own automobile museum for one of the most exclusive Volkswagen collections in the world. More than 50 old-timers, including many one-offs and special models, are displayed in all their splendor in Hessisch Oldendorf - most of them were restored to their former glory in the Grundmann's workshop. The VW 38 is the exhibition's new shining star. Axel Struwe leads two lives: one as a food photographer and qualified photo designer, the other as a passionate collector and restorer of VW old-timers. When the German first heard that his friend Christian Grundmann had discovered a VW 38, it became obvious that he would not only support the project with his practical experience, but also document the journey with his camera. Clauspeter Becke was three years old when the first split window Beetle appeared. He can vividly remember sitting in a VW 38 as a young lad in Berlin - but in the back seat. As part of his research for this book, the renowned specialist journalist and book writer from Neuhausen near Stuttgart, who received the Johny-Rozendaal-Uhr award in 2010 for his entire oeuvre, finally got to take the steering wheel himself.