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A VW 39 heading for restoration after a museum fire
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54 Oval
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:00 pm    Post subject: A VW 39 heading for restoration after a museum fire Reply with quote

Has anyone heard of this VW before? https://www.facebook.com/AutomuseumPrototyp
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152796807420044.1073741877.252030285043&type=3
Will be pretty amazing to get that restored!
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Undis
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes this is a well known car in the vintage VW circles. The only surviving VW39 and is the 3rd car of the VW39 series. It suffered the awful fate of ending up in a fire about 3 years ago. Now it is in the hands of the PROTOTYP Museum in Hamburg where it will be restored very soon.

This car may actually need its own thread as it seems the restoration is about to start and some well known 'heavyweights' are going to be involved.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to see a new thread for the restoration of this vehicle.
I will lock this thread when a new thread is started.
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54 Oval
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:48 pm    Post subject: VW 39 Reply with quote

What was the story of the fire? Who owned it at the time etc.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: VW 39 Reply with quote

54 Oval wrote:
What was the story of the fire? Who owned it at the time etc.

http://www.classicandsportscar.com/news/general/rare-classics-lost-in-fire
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Sameleon
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice car with amazing numbers and great potential. Looks quite well. What are next plans ?
Complete restoration in follow of current classic German school, i.e. mean super shiny crystal bright black paint, perfect cosmic chrome accessories, etc...
or you will try to preserve this piece of history by museum's restoration way (keep original used look, tannating & local painting, etc... )
Fire in the past is part of car's history as well, it's not shame to admit it.
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allsidius
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I am right this is the 4th oldest VW/KdF in the world (excluding the Berlin-Rome racers). It should be restored to the condition it had before the fire, at least. I for one see no point in conserving the traces of a 21st century fire. I assume since it is in the hands of Prototyp Musem, it will receive a sympathetic restoration along the lines of no 06. Wether the paint should have the exibition class shine or the more utility quality semi gloss orange peel I am sure will be determined by the restorers according to old documentation. No 06 was a show car when new, and it had a great paint job then, which makes the current paint job correct for the car.

This car is surrounded by controversy, since it was originally restored to the standards of the 80s, with lack of the anal attention to detail that has developed over the years. When shown by mr Laffray at a VW meet, he was so offended by the comments from the Kia drivers that he never showed it in public again.

Hope to see it running and driving in Hamburg again! This is fantastic news!
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Undis
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the kind permission and encouragement from Prototyp Museum - Hamburg, here are the photos of the car in question.

A bittersweet moment in the world of ancient Volkswagens. Sweet because a very rare and old VW beetle has been acquired by the Prototyp Museum in Hamburg and will be restored very soon. Bitter because the car was extensively damaged by fire about 3 years ago. This is a VW39 series, one of 14 built by Dr Porsche in 1939. This is the only survivor that almost did not survive because of the devastating fire which destroyed a sizable auto collection. The car was found in 1954 and ended up in the collection of the Raffay family in Hamburg. It was restored to the best ability of the day and shown at several Volkswagen events through the years. It was last seen in 1991 and was locked away in the private collection ever since. The car features the chassis number 3 of the VW39 series. Unlike the hand built VW38 series cars the 39 features a body constructed of stamped panels that were still hand assembled. It much more resembles the later production cars. The new owners have a very difficult restoration ahead of them as burnt metal is not the easiest to get back straight. The car is in excellent hands and there will be plenty of expert help available to complete this challenge.

Photos courtesy of Prototyp Museum
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

allsidius wrote:
If I am right this is the 4th oldest VW/KdF in the world (excluding the Berlin-Rome racers). It should be restored to the condition it had before the fire, at least. I for one see no point in conserving the traces of a 21st century fire. I assume since it is in the hands of Prototyp Musem, it will receive a sympathetic restoration along the lines of no 06. Wether the paint should have the exibition class shine or the more utility quality semi gloss orange peel I am sure will be determined by the restorers according to old documentation. No 06 was a show car when new, and it had a great paint job then, which makes the current paint job correct for the car.

This car is surrounded by controversy, since it was originally restored to the standards of the 80s, with lack of the anal attention to detail that has developed over the years.



This is just the point of view what is the car's history and what's original. It's just the year of production and nothing else ? Or whole story during years including reconstruction in early '80, small accidents and fire as well. What's the best? Revert everything to year of production or keep traces during the years ?
Just my opinion... and idea for thinking, I hope.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great news ! looks like team grudmann will be doing it. matthias has some work to do getting that thing straight again. cant wait to see the resto thread on this. Popcorn
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best people in the business are restoring this car so we know it will be done right.

Some people would just drop it on some nice wheels and call it patina. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is turing point in the cars mysterious history. I don't want to be nitpicking, but shouldn't the chassis number of an 39' beetle be 39/03 according to ther 38 series? Is the change in VIN structure for 39 documented? I'm just really curious.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whitewalls wrote:
This is turing point in the cars mysterious history. I don't want to be nitpicking, but shouldn't the chassis number of an 39' beetle be 39/03 according to ther 38 series? Is the change in VIN structure for 39 documented? I'm just really curious.


That is a legitimate question. I don't know the answer but I am sure someone who does will chime in.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't wait to see updates on this resto Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Undis wrote:
This is a VW39 series, one of 14 built by Dr Porsche in 1939. This is the only survivor that almost did not survive because of the devastating fire which destroyed a sizable auto collection. The car was found in 1954 and ended up in the collection of the Raffay family in Hamburg. It was restored to the best ability of the day and shown at several Volkswagen events through the years. It was last seen in 1991 and was locked away in the private collection ever since.

Old photo of Raffay VW
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an interesting story. I'm looking forward to reading more about this restoration. No doubt that the prototype museum will do an amazing accurate job bringing it back to life. It was almost lost forever.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we have a bit of a mystery on our hands. This article is from the book "Ulrich von Pidoll, VW Käfer - Ein Auto schreibt Geschichte". What I understand from the text is that the VW39/03 did indeed have the plate IIIA43028. Here is also a copy of a page from the same book that lists the VW38 and VW39 cars (this was posted by someone when we were deciphering the identity of the Grundmanns car) It clearly omits car 28 from the VW38 list and places it in the VW39 list with chassis 1-03 and engine 38/42 stating it was a test vehicle for Porsche so it seems to fit nicely in what we know about the Raffay car. What I find odd is that the plate IIIA43028 clearly was used on an early body VW38 sunroof car but this combination is not in von Pidoll's list. This kind of suggests that the plate 28 was used on a VW38 and then was re-used on one of the first VW39s but for whatever reasons the von Pidoll list does not reflect this.

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Photo showing car with plate IIIA43028 a hardtop and is thought to be the Raffay car a VW39. Photo taken in 1940?
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These photos show a sunroof car the first being taken at the February 1939 Berlin Motor show. Clearly a VW38!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sgmalt46 wrote:
great news ! looks like team grudmann will be doing it. matthias has some work to do getting that thing straight again. cant wait to see the resto thread on this. Popcorn


Living in Lüneburg (less than 60 km from PROTOTYP museum in Hamburg) I have of course taken the opportunity to visit this wonderful place. Although we know the Grundmanns and the PROTOTYP - crew are friends and help themselves mutual a lot you ony have to look at Berlin-Rom to know what the museum can achieve by itself.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whitewalls wrote:
This is turing point in the cars mysterious history. I don't want to be nitpicking, but shouldn't the chassis number of an 39' beetle be 39/03 according to ther 38 series? Is the change in VIN structure for 39 documented? I'm just really curious.


Thanks Whitewalls. This got me thinking and I had a look at Chris Barber's book. There on page 170 he writes that a meeting was held on 5th and 6th of May 1939 at the factory between Porsche, Rabe, Komenda, Reimspiess and others to discuss various issues amongst which was the question where to stamp the chassis with the chassis number. My thinking is that the VW38 was strictly a prototype and had just crude simple punch marks on the tunnel with 38/xx.

The VW39 was meant to be the final version of the prototype and be production ready in a form that was to be replicated in thousands. Perhaps this is when it was decided to have a separate piece of metal stamped with the number and welded to the tunnel in a fashion that remained virtually unchanged until the early post war years.

Another piece of evidence that may support this theory is that the list I posted above shows all VW39 chassis number recorded as 1-xx which probably is a shortened version for 1-000xx as we see in the photo further up. It is highly likely that with the introduction of the VW39 the way the chassis number is recorded was also changed. Now if we could just get archival evidence of this...

Speaking of VW38 license plates being reused on VW39 cars I had a look at the above list some more; car with plate IIIA 43021 was an early body VW38 hardtop that was photographed many times. According to Barber this car was turned into a Kubelwagen prototype and it seems the plate IIIA 43021 was re-used for a VW39 with chassis number 1-00001. By early body I mean square corners on hood and engine lid.


Last edited by Undis on Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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whitewalls
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Undis, for this great information. Well, I do have the list above on my own and just didn't take a second look. Shame on me. For sure the list is based on original documentation and is prove for the chassis numbers. Regarding all we learned during the restauration of 38/06 number plates could be switched very easily by then.
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