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Canadian '52 Deluxe
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Lazaa
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Location: Voiron, France
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Canadian '52 Deluxe Reply with quote

Hi !

So, I wanted to wait before to open a build thread but because we began to talk about it in the VW of Canada thread ( here) I thought it was better to open a dedicated discussion.

It concerns the Deluxe VIN#20-29559, built the 30th of June 1952. It left the factory the 10th of july and have been delivered to Canadian Motors in toronto, to be exposed at the Canadian National Exhibition from fall 1952 (more infos on the thread mentionned above)

Then, a german guy recently installed in Canada bought it and sold it around 1958 to Bill, the 2nd owner from who i bought it. Bill was a Carpenter and drove the bus everyday to his work but in 1961, he had a terrible accident. He stayed 9 months at the hospital and the doctors said he will never walk again.... but 5 years later he did it !

After the accident, Bill put the bus in his back yard...where it stayed for the last 51 years. In 2011 i met Aaron (he is registered here as Bandi), who is a friend of Bill's grandchild, and more than that a Beetle enthusiast so of course he noticed that bus who stayed in the backyard in the middle of 200 others cars (including 3 beetles). He gave me the contact of Bill (thanks agaiiin !) and quickly, i visited the place.

Apparently i was the first to show an interest for the bus in the last 51 years so the owner was really surprised and didn't want to let it go... Especially because it has a huge sentimental value for him because of the accident (he still limps a lot because of this!). Plus, he thought it was too bad to be restored...
So during the last year i visited him every 2-3 months to know him better and show him how motivated i was... and finally i made him an offer in may. He asked me time to think about it and when came back in June, he said me it was OK. Razz

So I rent a car, I went to home depot to buy tools and wood.... and went back to bill's place. A few days later the bus was on a truck on the way to Toronto and i put it in a container. Because yes, I lived in 2011 and 2012 in Ontario but I'm french so i brought the bus with me to go back to France last month...

I've been VERY lucky as I've been in the right place at the right moment... and more than that i've been very lucky to meet Aaron and Bill who allowed me to realize my dream to own and restore a pre-53 Deluxe Razz
Thanks a lot to both of us Surprised


So, here are a few pictures taken during my visits along the year, covering the 4 seasons... :

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and during the rescue mission :

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I built a wood frame under the bus to lift the wood frame and not the bus... so i was sure to don't dammage the bus more than it was.

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Bill on the right side... 87 years old ! :
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About the parts, I have some of them (rear view mirror, rear luggage rails, front and rear floor mat, pop outs with latches, sunroofs first bow mecanisme with handles, rails...etc) but also a lot are missing. Probably they have been stolen a long time ago cause people who took them didn't think it was worth it to save the complete bus (!!) Rolling Eyes

Also, some other parts were out of the bus so i have the original gearbox, and the original engine should still be in a garage close to the house but a tree felt on it so i have to go back there to explore the ruins...

Since i know the existence of that bus i began to collect some OG and NOS parts for it so i already have some interesting stuffs but a lot are still to find so please, if you have Barndoor panels or parts....contact me !

I think that bus deserve the best and i will keep as much original metal as possible on it. Also, i will try to restore it with as much OG/NOS metal as i can find. I already have all the necessary to rebuild the main chassis from rear to front with NOS and OG parts.

It will take time but... will be a lot of fun Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Cheers,
Florian


Last edited by Lazaa on Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:19 am; edited 9 times in total
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Riff Raff
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my viewpoint, that bus is the Holy Grail of buses.
Documemted as the first de Luxe, amongst the first six buses officially imported into Canada, that bus has huge historical and national significance (for Canadian bus nerds anyhow).
I'm sure you will do it justice Florian, that is a huge responsibility to be the new steward of that bus.
Good luck with it and update regularly please.
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j.pickens
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riff Raff wrote:
From my viewpoint, that bus is the Holy Grail of buses.
Documemted as the first de Luxe, amongst the first six buses officially imported into Canada, that bus has huge historical and national significance (for Canadian bus nerds anyhow).
I'm sure you will do it justice Florian, that is a huge responsibility to be the new steward of that bus.
Good luck with it and update regularly please.

I hadn't read the other thread. I'd like to hear the story of it being the first deluxe. Yes, holy grail time. Wow...
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Lazaa
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Keith !! I will do my best Wink

-----------------------------------------------------------------

For those who didn't read the other thread about VW of Canada,
Here are the main lines.

VW of Canada began to sell cars to the public in January 53 but they ordered 12 cars in July 52 to exposed them at the Canadian National Exhibition of august, a BIG show in Toronto. Here is the list of the cars which have been sent by Wolfsburg the 10th of July 1952. We can see the VIN# of my Deluxe on the list :

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That makes it the very earliest bus imported to Canada Razz

Also, after some research i found some pictures of that show where we can see the beetles and busses exposed to the public for the first time in Canada (see the other thread to see them all).

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Here is a zoom on the Deluxe shown on that picture... :

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We can notice very interesting details like the full black wiper set up Cool
(and the white wall tires... Crying or Very sad that i wil not re-fit as i really find this ugly on a bus Confused )


Last edited by Lazaa on Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:55 am; edited 2 times in total
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DanM
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy smokes! That was some accident... did he tell you what happened?

Amazing bus, and history. Well done and good luck!
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dmuis
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riff Raff wrote:
From my viewpoint, that bus is the Holy Grail of buses.
Documemted as the first de Luxe, amongst the first six buses officially imported into Canada, that bus has huge historical and national significance (for Canadian bus nerds anyhow).
I'm sure you will do it justice Florian, that is a huge responsibility to be the new steward of that bus.
Good luck with it and update regularly please.


You couldn't have said it better, Keith. We'll be watching!

Is that a canadian script still there on the right rear? Didn't know they were using them that early.

Darren


Last edited by dmuis on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lowdown Dirty Rat
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Nice
That brings back a lot of memories of mine.
And your deluxe was built just 5 days after. Cool
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uberwagen
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riff Raff wrote:
From my viewpoint, that bus is the Holy Grail of buses.
Documemted as the first de Luxe, amongst the first six buses officially imported into Canada, that bus has huge historical and national significance (for Canadian bus nerds anyhow).
I'm sure you will do it justice Florian, that is a huge responsibility to be the new steward of that bus.
Good luck with it and update regularly please.


I've had the list of CNE chassis numbers for about the last five years, and had selfishly kept it to myself, hoping that I would be able to track down one of the VWs from the first shipment sent to Canada. I know some other people have the list too, but I don't think it was put up on the Samba for everyone's enjoyment until this year. As Keith mentioned, this is a huge deal to a few of us Canadian VW guys, particularly the fact that it is the Deluxe! I really wish it was staying in Canada, but I am thrilled with the fact that it even exists, and will receive the treatment it deserves and someday see the road again!
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Concept1
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard this story from Florian on our very long drive to California together. At first I was choked that the bus was leaving Canada and not in my garage... I'm one of the Canadian bus nerds, maybe the captain of them.

But...after getting to know him, he is insanely passionate about Barndoors, and will do the old girl justice for sure.

Congrats Florian, amazing find, purchase, and recovery!
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Trevor P
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Truly a piece of VW Canada history. It's crazy to think that the bus was tucked away out back after the accident and never ended up being "recycled". He obviously had a serious connection to it. Had he not survived the accident I would wager it would have gone to the crusher.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that is so cool. Thanks for posting all the details.

I am also interested to know what sort of accident occurred.
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PeteSC
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn....that's one helluva find and back story. The Barndoor forum seldom disappoints.

Best of luck with it and I look forward to the updates.


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buseric
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trevor P wrote:
Truly a piece of VW Canada history. It's crazy to think that the bus was tucked away out back after the accident and never ended up being "recycled". He obviously had a serious connection to it. Had he not survived the accident I would wager it would have gone to the crusher.


Ever since it was spotted on the flat bed going down the highway recently, I have been wondering if it was one of these as the few photos I got showed it was pre-rear bumper. Fantastic story and as another Canadian bus nerd, I also wish it was staying here eh! That said it sounds as though Florian will treat it with the deserved respect. Congratulations Florian and I will be following this closely. I am sure if we dig deeper more photos of that bus will surface.
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burtc
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Florian, you are the man. Congrats and we have the utmost faith that you will restore her to her former glory. High fives all the way around.
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j.pickens
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, help me out here.
This is either:

1. The first Deluxe bus in Canada.

2. The first Deluxe bus in North America

or

3. The first ever Deluxe bus.

I'm guessing that the answer is "1.", but if its 2 or 3, please let us know.

Thanks,
j.
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i wish more people would actually drive their vws rather than just talking about what they have in the garage.

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Trevor P
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j.pickens wrote:
So, help me out here.
This is either:

1. The first Deluxe bus in Canada.

2. The first Deluxe bus in North America

or

3. The first ever Deluxe bus.

I'm guessing that the answer is "1.", but if its 2 or 3, please let us know.

Thanks,
j.


Correct on #1
Possibly on #2
No on #3
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is unreal that it survived. Congratulations on the purchase and good luck with the restoration.
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nane_cox
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Florian, it's a big challenge but you are the man
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Kasten68
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, what for a find Cool respect for this rescue!
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Djoul
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, this is your new time eater Laughing Laughing Laughing

bon courage pour ce travail de fou en perspective Wink
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