Chapter 2 - The Early Fifties


Keith Vipond bought this 1955 Standard model with two friends for just 50. XHA 20 - almost 50 years old and still competing.Admittedly this was over 25-years ago and the car didn't look quite like it does today. Since then it has been restored twice, the second occasion being in the early Nineties. Although the majority of Standard models were finished in Jupiter Grey at this time, this car looks resplendent in the rich hues of VW's lack-lustre description of the alternative shade on offer, namely Mid Blue, L37 in reality a light navy. Today, when sunroofs tend to be offered on all but the base model of a range, why VW always considered it appropriate to give Standard customers the choice remains a mystery. The sunroof on XHA is the original, while the interior cloth upholstery was replaced in the second restoration, proving to be the most harassing experience of the entire operation. Apart from collecting a series of Concours rosettes at the shows, Keith's main aim is to drive the car. With navigator Ian Bates the car has successfully completed the Lands End to John o' Groats run under trial conditions, returning a very creditable 33-mpg in the process. (Due to be featured in a recent issue of VW Motoring)


In 1956 PM Tseriotis Ltd, the official VW dealers and distributors in Cyprus sold Police Inspector John Dawson his brand new Beetle for 510. Finished in black, with a red interior it was built on June 9th 1956, shipped to Cyprus via the SS Babitonga on the 27th and delivered to its owner on July 19th. UXB 66 - A Fifties masterpiece restored by its owner.Fast forward to the early Eighties and the car was to be seen deteriorating outside the Dawson's bungalow in rural Lancashire. John Cross, a local builder and craftsman joiner, acquired the car and set about a restoration programme that kept him occupied on and off for the best part of the next 20-years. Boxes of labelled parts adorned the house, while John welded, preserved and painted his pride and joy. Apart from scouring the obsolete parts bins of many a VW dealer, Mr C was to be seen at many of the shows gradually amassing all the parts he required. John did all the work himself, even re-stitching the seat covers and piping. 'This upholstery business was a first to me' he said. 'I used the wife's sewing machine, but soon realised I needed strong needles and thread'. Perseverance paid off and after about six bobbins and a week of bloodied fingers, he was happy with result. UXB is a great credit to John, although he is far too modest to admit that he has re-created a Fifties masterpiece. (Featured in the former 'Vintage Volkswagen' periodical)

Chapter 3 - 1957 and 1958