The Rosenstiel Roadster
"A Metalcrafter's Masterpiece"
These next photos show the car after completion in 2001 with
it's BRM wheels and later bumpers,
as it was seen in numerous VW magazines from around the world.
This is without a doubt, the most amazing VW we've ever had here at Oldbug.com.
The "Rosenstiel Roadster", named after the man who hand crafted the body panels
and took the car from dream to driveway, Mr Dave Rosenstiel.
When we purchased the car, it was in primer, with no interior and was basically unfinished.
The enthusiastic Oldbug.com crew took it to the next level and finished it off.
Believe it or not...this car started life as a 64 Beetle sedan.
Please take a little time to view the construction photos of the car below.
Interior/ Dashboard detail shot.
Dashboard was hand fabricated from steel, glove boxes hand made as well.
Gauges from an early Karmann Ghia, Accessory Banjo wheel with Sun and Moon Horn Button.
Interior by the famed West Coast Classics.
What a fun machine.
This is where it all began (seriously!)
One of the most battered and torn 64 Beetles you could ever imagine.
It's difficult to imagine anyone choosing this hulk as a basis for anything but ditch-fill.
Dave decided that since most of the car would be hand-made...why start with something nice?
Pulling measurements from original Hebmuller plans and actual cars, the work began.
Dave pulled parts from all over the place to build this
Whenever possible, an actual VW part was used to keep it all German steel
All work was to be done in metal...no fiberglass here...true craftsmanship at work.
Since the main body started as a sedan, the roof was cut away completely as well as the
rear window and cooling vent areas.
The passenger side rear quarter panel was crushed, so it too was cut away.
(check out those duds on Dave's son there...)
With a new quarter panel welded in place and the doors cut down, you can kinda see it coming together.
Here's where the real action started taking place with the grafting on of a Super Beetle front cowl section
at the top of the rear end.(made a little wider). The curve of the windshield area creates the curve for the back seat and the
area where the top of the hood will go now has the proper shape and weatherstripping holes.
Some careful fabricating and use of more hood channel parts complete the "jam" where the new decklid will rest.
Photo from the other side shows the basic shape.
Area above stock firewall will be filled in with another bit of steel creating a "box" type shape
and sealing off the interior from the engine bay.
A rear seat section from a Karmann Ghia will aslo be welded in to give the back a finished look.
Front clip now tacked on, windshield frame from a 60's convertible welded in place.
Dashboard now removed along with under dash area so the split window style dash can be fabricated.
The creation of the Hebmuller style decklid is the most important visual part of the project.
The upper portion of the Super Beetle hood (matching the cowl section) was widened
and grafted to the lower portion of a 60s Beetle decklid to give the panel it's general shape.
Once the panel was created it was time for some good old fashioned panel beating
using a specially made die to beat the ridges into the hood area.
The first time around the center ridge came out too wide and was later flattened out and re-hammered
into the thinner shape it is now in.
The general body shape now defined, the top frame is created by cutting down a 60's Beetle top frame
and some very careful measuring and geometry.
Strips of tape were used to figure out just the proper rake and profile for the top.
From the side you can see the aggressive stance already.
Note the front top edge of the door here, where it was curved up to match the original Hebmuller design.
Another door and top frame shot.
Shortening the top frame and making it still function properly was a huge challenge.
The dashboard created another stiff challenge.
A good original split window dash was nowhere to be found, so one was created.
The under dash area was shaped first with the wider dropped center to match the dual pod design.
Using measurements from an early dash, the glove box holes
and center dash pod holes were cut and shaped with finished rolled edges.
Now in primer with early "big mouth" flat gas tank installed,
Split window era "grooved" side trim installed. Hot rod style Moon discs tried out.
From the rear you can see the finished shape of the decklid, the cut down "T" handle
(made to look like a pre 1950 handle) and the split window era taillights.
Here's the "Heb" much closer to completion...it's hard to imagine...
Visible is the split window style dashboard, early taillights, etc..
(note the BRM wheels..."the Ultimate Cal Looker")
Aluminum rings for the taillights were hand made to replicate the chrome versions seen on pre 1949 Beetles.
Taillight lenses were cut down from trailer light lenses.
VW Classic 1998, the car made a showing in black primer with T bar bumpers and BRM wheels.
This is when we first saw the car and fell madly in love.
The cars builder had brought it out from Arizona just for the event.
Here's a photo of the car just prior to our aquisition of it from the car's builder Dave Rosenstiel.
Now with the top finished and bumpers installed.
Two years after we first saw the car, it came up for sale and we quickly snapped it up.
Here it is on the car carrier pulling up in front of the Oldbug.com shop.
Here is a photo of the car stripped down and ready for finish bodywork and paint.
We hitched it up behind our New Beetle to haul it around town...what a sight!
The body was extremely straight and the finish work quite nice...very little needs to be done.
Guide coat of red oxide primer applied, this will give us any signs of areas needing further attention as we block sand it.
Kinda funky looking this way eh?
The TVA crew pitched in with the block sanding and final surface preparation.
(Thanks to Craig, Manny and Eddie for the hard work)
Nestled snug in our home built spray booth...some detail masking, a quick wipe down and time to spray!
Here are the first photos with paint applied...the color used is an original mid 50's VW color called Agave Green.
We used high quality German Glasurit paint and materials for the best finish.
Another "in the booth" photo...keep in mind that the roof above the car in these photos is blue
and it is casting a different glow on the car...
After some serious man hours color sanding and a pro buff job from the crew at West Coast Classics,
the paint turned out very nice. Not flawless, but quite impressive for a home-done job .
Here she is all shiny and re-assembled. The red wheels didnt stay on long and the interior was still to be done,
but we brought it out to the Kelly Park Vintage VW Meet in San Jose and the crowd definitely approved.
VW Trends magazine expressed a serious interest in featuring it,
and it was also photographed for an upcoming calendar and book!
It won 2nd place in the Special Interest catagory, beating out a real Hebmuller!
Here's a photo of the car at the 2001 VW Classic with just a few folks checking it out.
Note the BRM wheels and the ultimate license plate.
A peek at the interior as well...
Frequently asked questions.
What year is it? ~ Built from a 1948 design, registered as a 64.
How long did it take to build? ~ 7 years for the main bodywork and assembly.
Any plans to build another one? ~ Absolutely not...this is a one of a kind, never to be duplicated.
Is it for sale? ~ Yes...it is for sale...we are accepting offers currently.
Any more plans for the car? ~ Many folks have been suggesting a big dual carb street engine for it...?
This car has been featured in the following magazines
VW Trends ~ USA
Volksworld ~ England
VW Speed ~ Germany
Super VW ~ France
Street VW's ~ Japan
1st Place "Coachbuilt" ~ VW Classic 2002, Irvine CA
2nd Place "Special Interest" ~ Kelly Park 2001, San Jose CA
3rd Place "Coachbuilt" ~ VW Classic 2001, Irvine CA
1st Place "Special Interest" ~ VW Panic 2001, Upland CA
1st Place "Special Interest" ~ Familienfest 2001, Escondido CA
1st Place "Coachbuilt" ~ VW Classic 2003, Irvine CA
1st Place "Coachbuilt" ~ VW Classic 2004, Irvine CA
1st Place "Coachbuilt" ~ VW Classic 2005, Irvine CA
1st Place "Coachbuilt" ~ VW Classic 2006, Irvine CA
and many more...
Dave Rosenstiel ~ Design and Contruction
Randy Carlson ~ Paint and Pocketbook
West Coast Classics ~ Interior
Eddie, Craig and Manny ~ Prep and Assembly
Magnus from Sweden ~ Early Seats
Eric Meyer ~ Tips n Tricks
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