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1946 Beetle, KUV 346
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Tom Hill
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2022 6:28 am    Post subject: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Hi all, new to the group!
I'm trying to find out the fate of my Grandfather's 1946/7 Beetle, KUV346. There is a pic on this site but I can't seem to upload the photo here (I'm not good at this sort of thing!)
We last heard it was going to a museum as it was the oldest in Bristol at the time (1960's)

Thanks and any info would be much appreciated!
Tom
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Zwitter UK
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2022 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Welcome!

Upload the picture here then copy and past the link:
https://imgbb.com/

Very keen to see it!

Best of luck.
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sgmalt46
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2022 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

welcome to the samba. said car is in the gallery . go to the search bar above and type in KUV 346 in the gallery. it's a 47. I think you where misunderstood you are
looking for a pic not trying to upload one? Steve . I believe it is with Martin southwell now? edit: sorry for being computer stupid . don't know how
to ad pic to the thread other than to take a pic of a pic. Embarassed Martin is in bath England. about 20 min from Bristol ! sure he would love to talk to you.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by sgmalt46 on Sun Dec 04, 2022 9:47 am; edited 3 times in total
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finster
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2022 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

aaand here's the photo ( not a photo of the photo! Rolling Eyes )

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looks like martin southwell owns/owned it
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Tom Hill
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2022 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I did try to email Martin but it wouldn't let as I'm a new member (!?)
Would be happy to see it and have a chat about it, my Dad has a few memories of it and we have an old photo somewhere.
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Martin Southwell
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2022 4:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Hi. What a surprise! Yes, it's me, Martin Southwell, who owns the car, and I've owned it since 1978, and it sits in my garage here at home in Melksham. Does nobody recall me coming to visit your family around 1980, in Staple Hill, when I was following up the history of the car? I still have photos that your family gave me at the time, including one of a young boy sitting on the bonnet. Would that be your father?

The log book says that Kenneth Edward Hill of 53, Hayward Rd, Staple Hill, became the new owner on the 8th January 1959, and again changed hands on 2nd May 1966, being sold to a Percy Cope, in Clifton, who was the person I bought it from. It's a long story in itself as to how I managed to find and buy it.

He (Percy) was an interpreter, working for Rolls Royce aero engines in Bristol, (Spoke something like 15 languages) and that was were Percy saw the car for sale on the notice board, for something like £15. It had evidently been involved in an accident, being hit both back and front, and he got it back on the road, using cut up metal advertising boards, and aircraft nuts & bolts. Was it your Grandfather who had the accident with the car?

He spent little or nothing on the car, but this kept it pretty original. He even took it to Le Mans in 1972, and I still have the sticker. As you rightly mention, he offered it to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, and they were interested, but whatever the basis was, it meant that he wouldn't be able to drive it again, and so nothing happened.

I'll e-mail you, and we can swap stories, as there is plenty to be said about the car. The only thing I don't know, is the name of the RAF Squadron Leader from Bristol, who 1st bought the car in Hannover, Germany, in May 1947. Odd really that the car has always stayed around the Bristol area since being brought back to the UK in 1949. Speak soon.
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Martin Southwell
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:07 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Hello again. Here's that photo I mentioned above. On the back I've written 1959, so that is what somebody in your family would have told me, when they gave me the picture. Whoever was sitting on the bonnet, would have been about the same age as myself in 1959. Your father?

I still have the front wing that somebody is resting their feet on in the picture, on one of my garage walls, plus the original bonnet, which is very rare item today. No children would be permitted to sit on it these days!
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Tom Hill
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2022 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Hi Martin, great to speak to you!
Yes, all your info seems correct and that certainly is my Dad sat on the bonnet. He recalls first seeing the car in a red colour which was likely primer as it was soon resprayed black from it (original?) beige but I don't know about the later damage though.
Dad did say someone got in contact much later regarding its history but I guess beyond that it was 'just an old car' in his view and they never really took much interest in it after.
It was the museum thing that spurred me into searching for it as someone obviously appreciated its significance and therefore there was a chance it might have survived (I was right!)
Do you have any recent photos of the car?
Cheers,
Tom
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Martin Southwell
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2022 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Hello again. We haven't actually spoken yet, but have been in contact by e-mail. The reason I'm putting any dialogue between ourselves on this web-site 1st, before we talk, is because there will be many others who will be intereted to see how things unfold. I know that I would be interested if it were somebody else's car, and the history that went with it, especially with such an early car.

Good to know that was your father sitting on the bonnet, and that he is still around - What's his name? Do you know the address where the picture was taken, as it doesn't seem to be the same property as 53, Hayward Rd when I look on Google? Below is a picture of your father again, this time on holiday. The back of the photo says, Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall 1961. https://www.stives-cornwall.co.uk/discover/carbis-bay/ Like your father, I was also in Cornwall on a caravan holiday with my family in the Summer of 1961, but we got there in a Ford Popular.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Also worthy of note above, is the partly repaired/filled right hand wing, but more of that later.
Another photo supplied by your family 40+ years ago, is the one below. Do I remember correctly that it is of your mother, and her parents? i.e. Your maternal grandparents. The lack of room in the back of a Beetle is clearly demonstrated here, with ladies forced to display a bit of leg!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The leatherette coving on the seats and panels was still present when I got the car, which unfortunately also covered the dashboard. I say unfortunately, because the condensation from the windscreen ran down in between the two, and caused deep surface corrosion on the metal dash. Also seen in the picture is the steeering wheel, which is still the same today, with the unusual, but excellent, ribbed steering wheel cover, ensuring a good grip on the skinny steering wheel. Below is a picture of it, spruced up, awaiting the day the car actually gets back on the road, the last time being around 1972/3 I believe.

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sinclair
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 4:50 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Fantastic!
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Tom Hill
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

That's my Grandmother on the right behind the window (Dad's mum)
and his grandparents (on his Dad's side).
My Dad (Steve Hill) just remembers the trip crammed in the back; must've been a hell of a relief when they got there!
Dad has never even seen these photos, thanks for posting.
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Tom Hill
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Spoke to Dad today about the car, he's actually very happy and surprised that the car survives and is in good, safe hands!
He remembers GD telling some stories about it, the time has brother threw a cigarette end out which blew in and burnt a hole in the rear seat (was still evident apparently!)
The unusual hubcaps were possibly from a Jaguar, when or why they were put on is anyone's guess but as they appear unmarked a full set at hand was probably easier than finding one or two spare VW ones.
Dad also recalls taking their mechanic and his family on holiday as part payment for some work done. Unsurprisingly, an old Beetle crammed with four adults, three kids and their luggage took its toll on the engine and the inevitable happened. Luckily Harry was there and off they pootled to Cornwall.
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Martin Southwell
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 4:52 pm    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

There seems to be a common theme arising from what you say, and that is overcrowding!. Firstly, your father is squeezed in amongst 4 adults, 3 of whom are visible in the picture, and as if that wasn't bad enough, you then say you went on holiday in the car, with 4 adults & 3 children, plus luggage. How was that possible? All long before the advent of seat belts. Cars really took a hammering back in those days.

You say the engine expired, but thanks to Percy (The owner after your grandfather), he kept the original engine, which must have either been repaired after it expired, or passed on 'as was', because I was delighted to find the car came with its orginal engine, and I had it rebuilt years ago.

In fact, the Beetle literally took a hammering on more than one occasion, as can be seen in the picture below. I recall somebody telling me (your Grandfather?) that he was crossing a small and narrow (stone?) bridge, when he met a car coming in the opposite direction, which, because the bridge wasn't wide enough for two cars, resulted in the damage seen. I assume the mid process wing repair seen in the picture with the caravan above, is as a result of this accident.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The picture was taken at Swineford, between Bristol & Bath, and the Chapel seen behind is made from corrugated iron sheets. Seems it still exists today:

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The Congregational Chapel in Swineford opened its doors to public worship just at the turn of the 20th Century. It membership consisted of residents from both Swineford and Bitton and It is believed that it closed in the late 1950’s early 60’s. As at 2021 it is used as a pre-school nursery.
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René R.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

I am enjoying this thread. More, please!
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Tom Hill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2022 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Dad reckons the photo outside the church was during a fishing trip.
We used to regularly go to The Swan in Swinford (and the Crown in Kelston, the next village) so we know the church well.
The location of the car outside 53 Hayward Road is correct, the alleyway and porch of the house in the background is still there today.
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RichOakley
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2022 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

As you would expect Martin, I'm very interested in this information. It's fantastic to add this extra information to the history file of KUV!

You say you know nothing of the first owner? How do you know he was a Squadron Leader in the RAF? Do you know what colour the car originally was (I think I know the answer to this already, but just checking!)

I may have possibly tracked down your car's original owner. Wink
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vwhelmot
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2022 2:15 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Fantastic story
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2022 1:18 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

This is great! Smile
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Martin Southwell
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2022 11:13 am    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Just got back from a long weekend away, so will write more when I'm recovered, along with scans of interesting newspaper clips, etc. The car was grey originally, as can be seen in the original letter from Dr Wiersch. Note that the car sat around at the factory for 3 weeks before delivery, which seemed to have been common practice in those days. Plus, I still have the 51, British Army car delivered to 151, Vehicle Company, Lipstadt, mentioned in the details.

The second owner (who was in the motor trade) told me that he bought the car from a dealer friend, and that the original owner was also a friend of that dealer, but that he couldn't recall the 1st owner's name, but knew he was from Bristol, and had been a Squadron Leader in the RAF. I checked with the RAF, and RAF veteran associations, but to no avail. I was informed that Sq Leader was a common rank, and would have been held by many Bristolians.

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The sealts were mentioned earlier, whereby a passenger had thrown his cigarette end out of the window, which promptly flew back in through the window, and ended up on the back seat, burning a hole in the fabric. That damage was still there when the seats were repaired and recovered a few years ago. Thanks to Rod Sleigh having the correct fabric remade, they were recovered a few years ago. Here's of one of the front seats. From what has been said previously, it's amazing that the seats have come up so well, despite so much previous abuse:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2022 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: 1946 Beetle, KUV 346 Reply with quote

Martin Southwell wrote:
...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The picture was taken at Swineford, between Bristol & Bath, and the Chapel seen behind is made from corrugated iron sheets. Seems it still exists today:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The Congregational Chapel in Swineford opened its doors to public worship just at the turn of the 20th Century. It membership consisted of residents from both Swineford and Bitton and It is believed that it closed in the late 1950’s early 60’s. As at 2021 it is used as a pre-school nursery.


this was pretty cool for me. My hometown in germany is Schweinfurt, i let you guess how to pronounce that and what the name means Wink
It is also on a river (Main river, part of the Rhine, Main, Danube canal), there is a lock, and a weir. We also made ball bearings, clutches, shocks and brake cylinders, so there is a VW connection.
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