The Split Window Years

1939 to 1953


The design of the Beetle took place over a number of years, and the KDF wagen (later the Volkswagen) was introduced to the world in 1939. The body style has not changed dramatically in the years since, although there have been numerous engineering, safety and aesthetic changes.

Perhaps the most noticable feature of the early Beetles is the two-piece rear window, commonly referred to as a "Split Window". All Beetles (except convertibles!) produced until March 1953 were Split Windows and are now highly desirable collector's cars.

The early splits had a distinctive dashboard, with two gloveboxes - one at each end. The "oval window dashboard" cut that down to one glovebox, and made a few other changes in the general dash appearance. The oval style dash was used in late '52 and early '53 splits, setting them apart from their predecessors.

Click the pics for a JPG image!

1953 Beetle

1953 Type I

This '53 Split Window (deluxe model) is one of the late splits with an Oval window dashboard. It's owner lovingly brought the car from a "very experienced" condition into what you see now - a Split to die for! Although the car once had a kick-ass engine, the only sign of those days now are the rims. The engine is a stock 36 horse, and the car is beautifully assembled throughout with a fine attention to detail and authenticity.

1952 Beetle

1953 Type I (15k)

Now this here Split is all show, AND all go! What can you say about a tricked out '52 such as this one, complete with sunroof? The car has passed through a few owners over the past decade, and each owner continued improving and detailing it. At the time of this picture, it was pretty slick and mounted on an IRS pan. This thing was one of the faster Bugs in my town, and was a regular cruising companion of mine...The car was repainted since this picture was taken, and now sports a light blue coat.

So is that it for Splits around here? Not by a long shot! Those are two of the three currently driving around here (Sorry, no picture of #3...yet!). Although there was a fourth street-driven Split locally, I am unsure as to it's current location. There are two others undergoing restoration locally, but it's a slow process. Another couple splits are rumoured to be hiding nearby, in unknown states of disrepair, but their locations are unknown to me...

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