SA’s oldest Beetle at classic car exhibition
“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