70 Jahre Käfer Cabrio

VW Beetle convertible 70th anniversary – Special exhibition

Ferdinand Porsche presented his stroke of genius – the Beetle convertible – as early as 1938 at the opening of the Volkswagen factory, but it was only 11 years later in 1949 that it went into series production. The Beetle convertible celebrates its 70th birthday this year. fahr(T)raum Ferdinand Porsche´s World of Experience is dedicating a separate exhibition to the legendary car with a loan object from Alexander Fritz – a meticulously and faithfully restored Beetle from the first series of the so-called pretzel convertibles.

Technical data:

  • VW Type15 Karman Convertible
  • 4 seater
  • 24.5 hp
  • non-synchronous transmission
  • hydraulic brake
  • fabric hood with fully retractable side windows
  • rheumatic valves (side ventilation flaps, only 1951-1952)

Fritz has seamlessly documented the history of his Beetle – from its first months at VW Mahag in Munich, via its adventures as a Viennese police car in the 50s, to its auction as a family sedan, its use as a beer transporter and its “lost” years in a chicken coop…

Fritz’ Beetle is from the first pretzel convertibles series that were built until mid-1952. It began its career in 1952 as a demonstration car at Germany’s then largest VW and Porsche dealer, Mahag in Munich. This was followed by its employment with the Viennese police, whose service vehicles in the 50’s were predominantly from VW. Nonetheless, only privileged civil servants were allowed to use the “real” Beetle convertibles, such as the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Gendarmerie Directorate for Public Safety/Department of Vehicle Readiness. These official bodies deployed our exhibition vehicle painted in grey. Its service as a police vehicle ended in 1957 and Mrs. Hermine Stelzmüller bought our Beetle for herself and her children from the Dorotheum auction house. When she became acquainted with the beer transport driver Hannes Trinkel, the Beetle became summarily used as a van, initiating its decline. After the death of the owner in 1978, the Beetle was inherited by the garage owner in which the Beetle was stored for the symbolic price of one shilling. After another six owners and a sojourn in a Waldviertel chicken coop, it was discovered by Alexander Fritz in 1984 and lovingly restored.

Inspect the gem in our newly opened “A Beetle Convertible” special exhibition in the fahr(T)raum vintage vehicle museum and discover more details about its history!

Further information at: Ein Kaefer Cabrio – Sonderausstellung