SA’s old­est Bee­tle at clas­sic car ex­hi­bi­tion

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NATHAN HOW SON

“JAN”, the old­est-sur­viv­ing Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle in the coun­try, is among 150 clas­sics and sport cars that en­thu­si­asts can ex­pect to see at this year’s Con­cours South Africa.

The 1949 Volk­swa­gen Type 1 Bee­tle will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in its first-ever Con­cours d’Elé­gance or “com­pe­ti­tion of el­e­gance” this year, where a panel of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional judges will be scor­ing re­stored and pre­served clas­sic cars on their ex­ter­nal ap­pear­ance, tech­ni­cal func­tion­al­ity, his­tor­i­cal ac­cu­racy, and the in­ter­ac­tion and pas­sion of their owner.

The 68-year-old Bee­tle, which rolled off the pro­duc­tion line on Septem­ber 14, 1949 at VW’s Wolfs­burg fac­tory in Ger­many – two years be­fore Bee­tle pro­duc­tion started in South Africa – is a split-win­dow model and highly de­sir­able to col­lec­tors.

The car is owned by the Au­toPav­il­lion Volk­swa­gen Mu­seum in Uiten­hage, which ac­quired the his­toric ve­hi­cle in 1971 with the help of a Wheels Mag­a­zine com­pe­ti­tion to find the old­est Bee­tle in the coun­try.

The win­ner re­ceived a brand new 1300cc Bee­tle in ex­change for his 1949 model, nick­named “Jan”, which was 22 years old at the time.

The ve­hi­cle went on a na­tion­wide tour be­fore be­ing placed in stor­age in Uiten­hage, where its con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated, but it was given a new lease of life last year.

MAKEOVER: Volk­swa­gen South Africa has re­stored this 1949 split-win­dow Bee­tle to fac­tory con­di­tion. The ve­hi­cle will be one of 150 on dis­play at Con­cours South Africa from Au­gust 4-6 in Sun City. PIC­TURES: CON­COURS

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