1952 Karmann Kabriolet!




1952 Karmann Kabriolet with Rare Denzel Engine, Vintage Speed Styling, Superb Top-Shelf Example!

Plainly and simply, this beautiful L14 Reseda Green 1952 Split Convertible Beetle is the kind of car that usually only exists in Vintage Volkswagen enthusiast's dreams.  It is gorgeous, fresh, incredibly high quality, and adorned with several remarkable and exotic vintage performance components throughout.  Since its recent completion it has been both featured in and the cover car for the July 2011 issue of Ultra VW magazine, March 2011 issue of Super VW magazine, and was a standout of the specially selected cars inside the tent at the recent So Cal Vintage Treffen show in Anaheim, California.

The list of desirable features
includes the mega rare "NOS" genuine Denzel engine, a 1953 Porsche 519 style 356 transaxle with Speedster gears, early Porsche Pre A 16 inch vented wheels, 356A drum brakes, crotch coolers, correct ribbed convertible semaphores, proper Split Convertible rear view mirror assembly, factory-fitted glove box doors that were standard equipment on Split Convertibles, rare telescoping ashtray, genuine Speedy side mirror, early chrome-grilled Hella fog light, accessory map light, early door pulls, original Huls seat recliners that have been with the car since new, early style locking hood pull, original locking decklid "L" handle, and a genuine Kruiser accelerator pedal, too!  This Kabriolet is super stylishly dressed in every department.

It is believed that this Kabriolet was likely imported to the USA by the famous Max Hoffman Volkswagen/Porsche importer back in 1952.  Further history of this car is known as far back as 1976 when it was purchased by the owner's brother's neighbor.  That neighbor was the brother of JT Garwood, the author of "Car Of The Century".  Back in 1982 the current owner discovered the car languishing in that neighbor's possession and immediately expressed an interest in owning it.  Shortly thereafter the neighbor had moved South to Fallbrook, California and took the Kabriolet with him.  After years of patient waiting his dream came true when he received a call that it was for sale!  He drove 460 miles South to Fallbrook, did the deal, and proudly brought it back home to Northern California.  He promised himself that he wouldn't restore the car until he knew he could see it through completely and after 26 years he did just that with incredible results.


The body and paint are stellar after a full bare metal body off pan restoration.  The car was expertly painted in the loveable original color of Reseda Green (L14) single stage acrylic enamel by legendary Hot Rod painter Art Himsl.  The results are beautiful inside, out, and underneath as well.  Most Kabriolets of the era were two toned but during the restoration process it was confirmed that this car was single tone Reseda Green on all of the original body panels.  The convertible top was also perfectly reconditioned precisely down to the top trim strips as original as well.  Super top notch quality and attention to detail are very apparent.  All of the proper chrome components such as handles and the original Split grooved bumpers have been freshly rechromed as well.  Take note that the genuine Split convertible decklid with original Pope's nose, original Split taillights, Split dimpled rear fenders, round horn grilled front fenders, flat rear H apron without exhaust cutouts, early 3 bolt Split hood, ribbed convertible doors, etc. are all correct for the car.  Other body details to appreciate include the early symmetrically fluted European Hella logoed single rivet Split headlights, restored convertible only ribbed semaphores from John Henry of Zarwerks, and the original dark green convertible top boot with leather trimming!  This Karmann started with an excellent base car which required the most minor of welding and the end result is nothing short of outstanding.  The front apron and spare tire well are high quality replacements from Wolf Parts and the bottom rails were also replaced as original.  The front quarter panels forward were carefully removed in order to do proper and quality repairs during the body working phase.  All of the other sheet metal is original to the car!

The interior is very faithful to the original and was retrimmed with help from Forrest Steel.  The burgundy leather upholstery, beige wool headliner, and oatmeal wool carpeting are all first rate quality materials, very accurate to original specifications.  Other cool features include a pair of  factory-fitted on Split Kabriolet glovebox doors, a telescoping ashtray, map light, and cigar lighter.  Also take note of the beautiful original Split convertible dome light, super rare original Split Convertible rear view mirror, accessory German door pulls, and the Kruiser accelerator pedal, too.  The interior is super fresh, a beautiful complimentary scheme when coupled with the Reseda Green paint, and tastefully accessorized according to the era.

Mechanically this Kabriolet is a monster with a vintage speed theme and a mega rare "NOS" genuine Denzel engine (1281cc and 58hp).  Denzel engines make the legendary Okrasa engine
look totally ordinary by comparison.  This particular engine is a story in itself as it was built by a Volkswagen dealer in the Bay Area back in 1960 for a customer who never returned to pick it up.  The Parts Manager held onto it for years and a long while later when he left his position he took the Denzel with him.  Fast forward all the way till 2007 and the Kabriolet's owner caught wind of it, struck and deal, and it became the fantasy power plant of choice for the 1952!  The engine was built back in 1960 and was never fired up until 2009, that's 49 years!  The engine was carefully inspected, cleaned, detailed, and saw mild servicing as necessary.  Great care was taken to keep from restoring it as the finish was all original with a priceless mild patina showing from the years.  It features a custom Sebring style exhaust and Denzel front pulley from Speedwell USA.  The transaxle is a 1953 Porsche 519 style with Speedster BBAB gears.  Brakes are early Porsche 356 A aluminum drums and the wheels are early Porsche 16 inch vented with factory 3.5 inch up front and widened 5.5 inch out back.  The tires are Metzler front and BFGoodrich rear bias plies.  A brand new Zarwerks cloth-bound wiring harness was installed and the electrical system remains factory 6 volt as well.  All of these details tie together seamlessly and form a massively stylish and nostalgic Kabriolet that emulates the state of the art performance upgrades that were available in the speed and performance scene back in the early 1950's.

This is a excellent opportunity to own one of the finest and freshest first generation Karmann Kabriolets in existence.  This 1952 is a blue chip investment grade Volkswagen that is certain to continue to be a standout at any event worldwide and will only grow in value as the years go by.  Thanks!

$159,500 with the Denzel Engine

$129,500 without the Denzel Engine

Please note that the Petri Full Circle Horn Ring that is visible in some of the pics is not included in the sale and this Kabriolet is located in Northern California.


Literally hundreds of pictures of this car are available for review for serious parties.  It has nothing to hide!
 
Brendan Finn (858)366-2549
http://www.holygrailgarage.com
brendanfinn666@yahoo.com

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