This is a type 1/13 Limousine (as told by the Wolfsburg Museum!) that went out of th production line on August 19th 1959. This was an Export model for Greece.
It's been bought by the Spain Royal Family, whose domestics used it for several years, in Spain.
Then one day, Marie Messia de Lesseps, Countess of Bavière and Bourbon (gosh!), moved to Villefranche sur Mer, taking Elvira wih her.
Unfortunately, this dear lady did not have great driving skills, and Elvira's wings had to go through some difficult years!
A VW enthusiast, who lived in the same town, found this 59, which was then still in a pretty good shape. He finally manage to persuade Marie MdLCoBaB (making it short) to sell her car. He re-did the interior, but a few years later (a birth and a moving later, actually), he couldn't afford keeping this vehicle.
This is when I appear in this history, buying this car in 1994. I used it as a daily driver for a year, to go to the University in Nice (40 kilometers back and forth). All that with it's original, never rebuilt, 36HP little engine... Until I finally put Elvira in my garage, giving it a new beauty along years, as money comes in...
Original condition :
Here are 2 pictures "before". The first one was taken at the Draguignan meeting in 1997. The 2 others were taken in August 95, in Corsica, facing the "Iles Sanguinaires" (Bloody Islands) at sunset (this is at the end of the Ajaccio gulf ; they're called "bloody" because those islands turn dark red at sunset during the winter).
So, that was my beetle when I bought it!
The interior looks like new, the body has almost no rust...
But the engine is really tired, the external paint, burnt by the sun, looks flat, the original "export" bumpers were replaced by single-blade models... Plus, it's been dropped, the wheels are not the crrect color, etc...
So more work to do!