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  View original topic: Fender Identification
spectre6000 Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:24 pm

There needs to be a place to look to figure out what fenders are needed or what year a fender is from. I was surprised that there wasn't a sticky or something.

From '57 to '58 the front fenders lost the bullet and got the chrome turn signals on top (Euro fenders just lost the bullets). There is a curve in the '58 fenders carried over from the oval fenders that meets the running board as opposed to the later fenders where the running board side of the fender goes straight down. There is also a metal conduit that goes from the headlight bucket to the body. I think these fenders are still "dimpled" along the body joining flange, but someone else will have to confirm/deny.
Here's a '57.

Note the bullet and the flip out at the running board.

Here's a '58.

Note how it doesn't have the bullet, has a chrome turn signal, and still has the curve at the running board. There may be some additional curve differences, and maybe some dimensional differences aside between '58 and later years, but I'm not sure.

In '59 the curve from the fender to the running board is lost in favor of the straight transition. Still has the small chrome turn signal on top of the fender for US spec cars. Last year for the metal conduit from the headlight bucket to the body and the "dimpled" flange (again, correct me if I'm wrong).

Here's a '59.

Note the flip is gone. Still has the metal conduit (below).


These are present through '60.

'60 loses the metal conduit and maybe the "dimples". I believe they lose the metal conduit disappears in 60, and the fenders don't change until '63. Someone else will have to pick it up from here.

That's all I know about fenders. I don't know about the rear fenders, anything after '60, or anything not listed above. I'll edit the post as I learn more or as things are brought to my attention. If anyone has any good photos, please post them! Also add information on other years. This is information that really needs to be documented.

spectre6000 Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:43 am

So does no one know? Care? What's the deal?

Teeroy Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:29 am

The 59 you show has later fenders on it.

Wire tubes thru 60

Peanut blinkers thru 63

Lower running board flair thru 61 or 62, my 61 factory fenders still have.

Bart Dunn Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:39 am

You're touching on the issue that makes the split and oval forums different creatures than the later Beetle forums. What's correct for this particular car in terms of this particular part?

A few craftsman are starting to make accurate reproductions of parts for year-specific cars, as the market is becoming ever more dissatisfied with the generic parts that fit a wide span of years and the supply of originals dries up.

Gerson, in South America, is trotting out his split Beetle front fenders this year. Wolf, in Sweden, is making beautiful reproductions of correct-looking aprons and other panels for early cars.

There are some good books that detail year-to-year differences in parts and so forth. The Garwood "Car of the Century" books are good, but expensive, and the "Authenticity Series" book (the exact title escapes me but I recall the author's last name is Wilson) is OK, but some people take issue with whether it's the best reference.

There are quite a few threads detailing differences in fenders. I think you're going to have a hard time picking through the gallery to find good references, as you will not be able to tell whether fenders are original just from the photos.

spectre6000 Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:29 pm

Teeroy wrote: The 59 you show has later fenders on it.

Wire tubes thru 60

Peanut blinkers thru 63

Lower running board flair thru 61 or 62, my 61 factory fenders still have.

I threw it all up there to the best of what I was able to figure out from the threads I was able to find on the subject. Shows how much non- and mis-information there is when it comes to fenders. Please school me.

It may be Oval territory now, but give it a few years. Those cars are in their early 50s now, but the big windows are creeping up on the big five-oh themselves.

bill may Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:21 am

1960 did not have the metal tube for wiring.

79SuperVert Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:25 am

My '62 doesn't have the fender flare at the running board.

mario_0609 Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:58 am

This is a really interesting topic. I have a Euro-Nov'58 (currently living in boxes...) and I was always struggeling to find out which are the correct fenders for the front.

My fenders have the wire-tube, but they also have a hole for the blinkers on top and these holes do not look to be drilled-in later for me. (I know the turn-signals are wrong here and that they were added later.)
So, I have the feeling that these fenders could be some original later replacement parts - maybe from a little front-accident somewhen? Can anybody clarify this here?



From what I've read so far in this topic I understand that fenders changed in 57,58, 59 and 60. correct? So I would need 59 fenders then... How on earth am I supposed to find exactly these!? :shock:

Oh and one additional point to what was written above: Euro-Beetles never had the bullet-blinkers.

spectre6000 Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:09 am

Euro Beetles had the blinkers after '60, and they were added to the pre-'60 cars in many European markets to meet changing laws. I don't know that I would take anything in this topic (or any '58-'59 fender-related topic, I spent quite a while reading through threads to figure it out, and everyone says something different with not a single reference that the next person doesn't claim to be bunk) for more than it's worth. The real take away information is that it's not a very well known detail. I'd even go so far as to bet if you were going for concourse you could get by one judge without fault and be docked by the next for incorrect fenders.

The three main books (Wilson, Richardson, and PR) are purported to be unreliable on the subject (if not them then who? I want to know). There has been a bit of talk recently with a few minor details laid out, but you have to consider the (myriad) source(s). I just went with some known '58 fenders and called it good enough (they're difficult enough to come by, people are weird about shipping them, and no one seems to know what fenders they have anyway). My car is on the edge of '58-'59, and no one seems to have any definitive/verifiable answers. As much as I hate to defer to ignorance on philosophical and ethical grounds, I'm afraid it's one detail that is just not available. Sorry.

If anyone has some sort of verifiable source for the differences in fenders during this time frame (i.e. not "so-and-so said", or "I heard once" but good hard facts; photographs, contemporary documentation, internal documents, etc.), please enlighten us all.

getgeoff Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:17 am

Please check out my question I had about 57-58 fenders differences. The last pictures posted by RivercityCruiser show's how even the curve of the fender next to the headlights is even different. Go to the oval forum and search " Is a 58 fender the same shape as a bullet " sent by me.

spectre6000 Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:43 am

There's a whole lot of disagreement in that thread too. The photos you refer to are of an og oval fender and a "60s replacement" fender.

Does anyone have photos/measurements of similar angles/curves/etc. of og fenders from each year '57-'60 maybe? Or does anyone have any KNOWN ORIGINAL fenders from any of the years in question that can take the photos/measurements? Maybe we can get some clarification on the subject. It'd be awfully nice to know.

mario_0609 Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:12 pm

I just posted a picture of my 58s fender in the 58/59-discussion-thread http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=401420. On second look, I find that my fenders look pretty similar to those of the blue 59 spectre6000 posted above ..uhm...

Hugo Stiglitz Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:25 pm

I think this is a good idea for a thread. Maybe an all around resource for identifying not only year specific fenders, but also helping to determine the difference between original and reproduction fenders.

I have seen a lot of posts about these very issues, and I think if everyone pitched in their knowledge, we could come up with an excellent resource for determining what type of fenders the beater you bought in a field came with.

Just my $0.02...



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