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Homepage. This page: Another variety of Volkswagen car photos, all featuring Beetles of the '50s and '60s.

1. VW Beetles.

This page carries on from a previous selection of classic VW Beetle pictures already included on oldclassiccar. All the Beetles shown below date to the 1950s or 1960s, and are typical of the cars that former owners such as John and Don have recounted their memories of, elsewhere on the site. As more old photos of these popular VWs turn up, either 6 volt or 12 volts versions, I'll add them in here.
To start things rolling on this page then, two photos sent over by Les in 2009, showing a VW saloon that belonged to his uncle, who lived on Guernsey. He believes it was a 1960 or 1961 model, and was registered with the distinctive number "12123". The first photo shows the proud owner giving his Bug a leathering down, followed by a group shot of family members stood behind the car.
6V VW Beetle
People stood with a Beetle

2. Oval-window 6 volt VW saloon.

Third is this photo of a very tall gent stood alongside a dark-coloured, oval window, 6 volt VW Beetle. Is he reaching for a shooter?? :-)
A man stood with a VW in the background

3. A Beetle at the Irish border.

The next pair of pictures show a Beetle, again with the oval rear window, but this time registered in Ireland. Two gents are stood with the VW, and a third person can just be made out sat in the back seat. Behind the Volkswagen is a Ford 8, and behind that a single-deck bus.
A sign behind the two men says "Customs - Swanlinbar". Research confirms that there was a Customs point along the Enniskillen to Swanlinbar (County Cavan) road, on the border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
An Irish-registered VW at Swanlinbar
The second of these Irish photos shows the same VW, still quite dirty, parked up and enjoying the view. Note that the front passenger seat is tipped forward, presumably enabling the rear passenger in the previous photo, to clamber out and stretch their legs.
The Beetle parked up in Ireland

4. An Aussie-owned Beetle on bricks.

Brian sent this next colour photo in, showing a Beetle that belonged to his future father-in-law in 1968.
A Beetle on bricks waiting for its engine to be changed
He adds: "This was the VW that Ron [father-in-law to-be] had in 1968 when I started going out with Lynne. At that time, Ron's family consisted of himself, wife Betty, children, Lynne, Garry and Jeffrey. Every Christmas they would pack the car with all their camping requirements (an unbelievable amount of stuff) and off they would head to Woolgoolga, a beach on the North Coast of NSW, nearly 400 miles away. How they did it I do not know. No wonder the poor old VW needed to have its engine fixed, and this is how you dropped an engine out of a VW. Jack it up one brick at a time on all four wheels (note their size) until you had it high enough to drop the engine out. I shudder when I think back to the things we used to do, but at the time it seemed the norm to us. Lynne and I are standing in front of the VW. How about those clothes!!!"

5. A lady with her classic VW.

WAP 740, a standard VW Beetle saloon, was registered sometime after December 1961 in Surrey. The VW looks to be in very good condition, suggesting a possible date for this photo of 1962/1963. One of Canley's finest - a Triumph Herald - can just be seen parked alongside the Beetle.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A lady with her VW Beetle

6. A Beetle parked outside a Rathaus.

This VW was photographed parked close to a "No parking in the market square" (Marktplatz) sign, with an imposing town hall (Rathaus) in the background. A lady is stood alongside a statue/monument. The Beetle is registered 733-BZR.
Another classic Beetle car

7. Oval-window VW at a frontier post.

A note on the rear of this photo identifies the location of this oval-window VW Beetle as the Lugano Frontier Post. The Beetle is queuing up behind a parked motorcycle. An official-looking chap can be seen walking off to the left, while a mildly rotund gent, in braces and wearing a sun hat, is wandering off in the same direction. The Beetle's folding roof is pushed back.
Oval Beetle

8. Another classic VW Beetle.

Photos of old Beetles continue to turn up, this next one shows another oval-window Bug with, presumably, its young owner beaming alongside. Note the lack of brightwork - painted headlamp surrounds, bumpers, sidelight casings, bootlid handle and intake grille.
Another classic Oval-window VW Beetle

9. 1961 Beetle and a Bluebird caravan.

Ian kindly sent this next Beetle photo over, seen parked outside the family's Bluebird caravan at Ballyferris, County Down, Northern Ireland in 1965.
Irish Beetle from 1961

10. A Beetle racing in South Africa.

Another VW Beetle photo from my own collection now. Here, a driver hustles car number 5 around a racing circuit, believed to be the Easter Meet held at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. A shirt-clad crowd holds its collective breath as the Beetle takes a right-hander at speed, teetering on the brink of rear-engined crossply adhesion, the wheels running perilously close to the looser road surface at the edge of the track. Did the Beetle make it to the end of its run? Undoubtably concentration levels were running at maximum within the car's cabin, the driver can be seen hunched closely over the wheel, while the passenger leans against the door, perhaps wishing that he/she was somewhere else right now. Apart from being fitted with some auxiliary lamps at the front, and a wing-mounted radio aerial, this example looks like a fairly standard road car, devoid temporarily of its domed hubcaps for this day of competitive action.
A Beetle competes in a race, circa 1959

11. Spotted in Cyprus, 1959.

Bonny was serving with the RAF in Cyprus, 1959, at the time of this next photograph. In it, a pale blue Beetle tackles a climbing route, following in the wheel tracks of a 3-ton Bedford RL lorry. The latter has managed to negotiate a plodding herd of donkeys, while the VW is about to do the same - hopefully. Bonny and colleagues were heading up to the site of a crashed helicopter at the time, to weigh up its recovery. Thanks for the photo.
VW spotted driving a road in Cyprus, 1959
Return to Old Car Photos section, Page No. 10.
A colour chart for 1961-1962 Beetles can be found on this page, and a period shot of a VW Beetle Cabriolet, by Karmann, is now on this page of the site.

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