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This is how German steel decays

Beetles, Buses, Porsches rotting

02/03/2014 10:56 | Comments: 
A lot had been made, had almost no value, and were just dumped somewhere. Then nature set to work and had its way.

Our colleague David has a flair for decay. It’s always a pleasure for me to read his articles on wrecked cars that make my heart bleed, especially as I often come across pictures of similarly abandoned vehicles in different VW forums myself. Although the VW models were in production for a long time and were made in larger numbers than your average car, they are becoming increasingly rare. Naturally, their price is on the rise.

The head of the Hungarian Beetle Club invited me to join a Facebook group called VW Wrecks Skogsvrak specializing in the subject. This is a group that encourages people to upload their pictures of derelict, air-cooled Volkswagens. Sometimes people disclose where the pictures were taken, in some cases you’ll even be treated to photographs showing what such a car looks like after the overhaul if someone took the trouble to restore it. The most interesting pictures are those taken of early models: pre-Beetles, Transporter T1s, a few Porsches. Rotting alone, in groups, in forests and barns.

The first thing most people think of seeing such a decaying classic car is that they should be saved ASAP. But in reality that takes a hell of a lot of money and work. Transporting a rusty old car from where it was found costs an arm and a leg to begin with. Of course, really rare models are still worth the hassle. Or more precisely, there will always be a few maniacs willing to carry such a project through, like the French guys who had found a very rare, 1951 Transporter in a forest in Sweden and moved heaven and earth to restore it. Think deforestation, a lot of digging, and hiring a rescue helicopter. Thankfully they made a video of it all:

The Barndoor from the swamp from AirMapp on Vimeo.

This is not California. No sexy, dignified patina here. Nature leaves a lasting mark. Or maybe it’s more precise to say it doesn’t leave much at all.   

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We had an idea in the back of our heads that the small, twisty Kakucsring-racetrack is a good place for this test, but we were not prepared for what came after.