A Volkswagen Beetle Reborn To Keep Up With Modern Life
Photography by Christian Baumann
Volkswagen Beeltes are different from most cars. They never seem to go away, and yet, we’re sure that years of service have relegated most to the scrap heap—leaving fewer survivors each year. This fully restored 1956 oval window example, owned by Nicola in Bergamo, was recently tracked down by photographer Christian Baumann.
What’s so special about the car?
Originally from the Netherlands, the car is the manifestation of the owner’s desire since he was young to own an oval window Beetle. Bought in 2010 in very poor “almost scrap metal” condition, Nicola spent every night for six months carefully reconditioning the car in his garage, and upgrading certain things along the way.
He rebuilt the transmission, put a new 1,835-cc engine in it, added 4-wheel disc brakes, converted the car to 12-volt electrics, and installed adjustable suspension—all items to improve performance in modern traffic…plus make it look more attractive when stationary.
Resprayed in its original color and with the same interior, the car looks like a time warp back to 1956, enhanced by its period accessories including roof rack and VDO rev counter.
Running a fashion boutique as a day job, Nicola’s store, says photographer Baumann, is very much influenced by his hobby and passion for cars and motorcycles.
Baumann has been trying to photograph this car for more than two years, too! “Two years ago I saw the Beetle for the first time in front of his boutique, and immediately I fell in love,” he says. “This was also the reason I wanted the shoot around his shop. All the pictures are shot between Sant’Alessandro and Piazza Pontida of Bergamo. So I hurried up the shooting and we ended up with a nice espresso and brioche in a bar at Piazza Pontida!”