View original topic: Zwitter (standard) with ragtop sunroof, project by coincidence Page: 1, 2  Next
the dominator Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:51 am

Recently I was asked if I still was interested in a new project. Since I am curious by nature of-course my answer was: yes but if it is a beetle then at least same age or older as my 54 oval. The answer was: I think is a 53..... but this car has been purchased by the current owner in 1968 and has been driving it until 1986 and then after starting the renovation of the car his wife got ill and it sits since then in a garage (20km's from my home)

So the appoint has been made and the garage finally was opened after the car has been sitting there for nearly 30 years, covered with antiques, hundreds/thousands of empty wine-bottles and whatever more.

Only thing I could see was a split window and a convertible engine-cover. So after some digging I was able to squeeze myself in the passenger rear window in order to take a picture of the chassis-number...

Anyway, when taking the picture I turned towards the front of the car and noticed an oval dash and a ragtop roof :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

While I was doing this the owner mentioned: why all that trouble I have the paperwork with me (even 30 sheets, one for every year that he signed out the car from Dutch car-taxes) :D :D so when holding my breath and keeping my poker-face I looked at the paperwork (mentioning Oct 1952) and said to the owner: okay I will help you clean out the garage and take this beetle wannabee convertible burden off your shoulders :lol: :lol: :lol:

So after finalizing the paperwork and the payment we agreed that I would come back to him in the evening, help clear out the rubbish and then start to transport the car and parts.

So after bringing a trailer full of bottles to the glass-container we finally could walk around the car and see all the incorrect and missing parts but on the other hand found a lot of parts which could generate enough budget for the missing bits and pieces....... :lol: :lol: When looking at the body we noticed that some serious cutting and welding has been done. Owner mentioned to me that the body was in such a bad shape that they looked for a replacement, they found a 1953 body and placed the top of the zwitter on the donor-body. Unluckily the also replaced the heattubes to available seventies tubes, so we still have some cutting and welding to do but at least there is no rust/rotten parts anymore, we can start with a clean sheet.

the car in better times in 1976, for safety reasons they had placed bigger taillights :oops: :oops:

the car in 1986 just before the renovation and after some welding 30 years sleep started.

the hunt for correct parts has already started :twisted:

last week the birth certificate arrived mentioning we have a type 11E, VW sedan (standard) with ragtop sunroof. me happy =D> =D> =D>

The car has been factory equipped with 3.0D 16" wheels, most probably since it started it's life to be the car for the local customs at the German-dutch border near Aachen.

empiracer Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:42 am

Wow, Such a cool find !

the dominator Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:30 am

last sunday I had not to much to so, so sneaked into the workshop when the misses was still asleep :lol: :lol:

Since they have started in 1986 it was basically an empty shell bolted together, all parts were already in boxes.

Demolition day was over before breakfast, still some small parts to be removed from the body and the we are ready for paint stripping.

After paint stripping we have a bare metal basis......

empty shell

the correct doors

periodic correct fenders, but need to sort out the holes in the front fenders.

zwitter/split hood, taillights and number-plate light.


the dominator Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:37 am

received some pictures from the previous owner.

the dominator Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:51 am

Funky green heater channels have arrived :lol:
After the body returns from paint stripping the cutting and welding can start.

Zvonimir1985 Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:43 pm

Wow! Bingo!

oldbusboy Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:02 am

Anything new here?


the dominator Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:38 am

oldbusboy wrote: Anything new here?


Nothing really new here, besides that I just bought my next door neighbours house, so am pretty occupied with that one :oops:

Might somebody have a spare domelight for zwitter and/or ashtray-coverplate. I am looking for it 8) 8)

Finally after 7 months my green panels arrived last week


A-column repair

B-column repair

Zvonimir1985 Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:28 pm

Why not virtanen or wolfsburg west?

Martin Southwell Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:48 pm

I would have asked the same question, having bought the green heater channels for my 47, and after some time, coming to realise that all is not what it seemed. Instead, I have bought some superior Virtanen channels at Hessisch Oldendorf. Anybody want to buy a pair of green heater channels?

the dominator Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:23 pm

Zvonimir1985 wrote: Why not virtanen or wolfsburg west?

From what I understood Virtanen does not have the complete floorpanels? Heater channels were already purchased last year, if I remember right Virtanen started sales of the heater channels later.....

My experience with the green panels so far is pretty good, for the rest of the metal-parts which I need, I will contact Virtanen (as I have done for my 54 oval) 8)

the dominator Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:41 am

Time flies when you have fun, zwitter project is still on hold but there was still a wishlist of parts I was looking for in the background. recently a good friend forwarded me an add and asked if I was still looking for a dash-section for a zwitter (since I mentioned to him that my ashtray mounting hole was hacked to host an oval ashtray in earlier days :oops: :oops: )

Anwyway to make a long story short: I now have a zwitter frontclip. But came with some more parts.....

picture from the add

The long searched for ashtray section

The frontclip came with complete overhauled chassis with matching gearbox and front axle. And last not least: the original belgian paperwork for a december 52 deluxe zwitter. So my zwitter standard ragtop gets a younger deluxe sister!

I have talked a lot with Sam last year amongst other also about zwitter dashsection (more precise ashtray) he had more requests but never got his hands on a complete dash for tooling, to reproduce the part.

So let me donate something to the community: I have cut and will ship my dash to Spain so he can create tooling and reproduce the part for everybody in need of the same in the future. I will get my dashsection in return together with the repro-parts!

Can't wait to see the first details of the tooling for this part 8) 8)

tisius Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:05 am

sweet !! 8)

Wolfgang1 Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:36 am

Interesting project.

For your information, the donor body is past 8/55, see the luggage floor, inner side panels and b-post.

empty shell


the dominator Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:55 am

Wolfgang1 wrote: Interesting project.

For your information, the donor body is past 8/55, see the luggage floor, inner side panels and b-post.


Thanks for your comment, in fact only the roof was original to the car.
Will surely need a lot of dedication to get everything right but I like a challenge. 8)

Rome Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:52 pm

Will you be fitting the Porsche 356B brakes to your Zwitter?

Will you maintain the "wide track" 1967-style rear axle for your restoration?

When Germany outlawed semaphore turn signals as of July 1960, I think there was also a mandate soon afterwards that the "snowflake" and "heart" taillamps had to be converted to the 2-chamber 1962-style. This is why you see so many oval and split-window Beetles with the 1962-style taillamps that are positioned so low. Owners used most of the pre-drilled original taillamp holes in the fenders instead of drilling new ones higher up, to fit the '62 taillamps. The taillamps from those early photos are at the normal height for a '62. I'm fairly certain that this taillamp regulation also applied to other European countries, which would explain them on your Zwitter. The car would fail inspection if the taillamps did not comply.

Was there a stronger engine fitted so that the Cabrio louvered engine lid was installed?

the dominator Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:10 pm

Rome wrote: Will you be fitting the Porsche 356B brakes to your Zwitter?
hahaha no picture was taken at sellers location, my budget would not stretch enough to obtain those......

Rome wrote:
Will you maintain the "wide track" 1967-style rear axle for your restoration?
nope, am going back to "stock"

Rome wrote:
Was there a stronger engine fitted so that the Cabrio louvered engine lid was installed?
there was, but sadly that engine was removed and long time sold before I got my hands on the rest of the car :oops:

sinclair Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:29 am

I'm avidly following this, it really takes me back. is there any evidence of additional accessories? Horns, lights, etc? My old 49 was a border patrol car and had relays in the wheel well, lamps on the A pillars and a hella socket under the dash.

the dominator Fri Dec 09, 2022 3:34 am

time flies, already 2 years passed by since my last post..

In order to jumpstart this project and to make sure the body is going to be as correct is possible I found and bought an early oval body.

This is going to be the basis for the resto.

to be continued.

the dominator Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:17 am

So, Christmas is early this year :lol: :lol: :lol:

The body has moved to the body-shop, hope to get updates soon.

(I am looking to get some experience in welding but guess this is the wrong car for experiments)

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