Often awarded that well know tag ‘The People’s Car‘, our German friend the humble Beetle was in fine form on Sunday, March 10th, at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
The class of 12 vehicles demonstrated in boastful fashion how this iconic classic giant inspired coachbuilders around Europe to produce their own special variants of the now desirable Volkswagen.
Now in its 24th year, the Concours traditionally features an extraordinary class that distances itself from the usual
12 very special vehicles
Among the 12 very special vehicles, the winner of the Volkswagen of America Trophy for the Most Elegant Coachwork on a Volkswagen turned out to be the 1951 Rometsch Beeskow Coupe of Traugott Grundman from Oldendorf, Germany.
Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design said:
“It is a car that Beeskow designed for his wife and it’s as elegant as you can be on a Beetle chassis.
“It has very nice details and fluent lines that is somewhere close to
Europeandesign philosophy that is clean and puristic.”
Rometsch was a Berlin-based coachbuilder founded in 1924. Their first VW-based project was a stretched wheelbase four-door taxi in 1950. The project was spearheaded by Johannes Beeskow, whose name was applied to a special-bodied aluminum sports car displayed at Geneva in 1951.
Beeskow was lured away by Karmann in the mid 1950s and Rometsch hired furniture designer Bert Lawrence to produce a modern sports car body. The company continued until 1961, when the Berlin Wall was built, effectively separating the company from half of its 90 employees.
Amelia Awards were presented to the 1950 Hebmueller Convertible of Gene Langan from Glastonbury, CT; the 1957 Rometsch Lawrence Convertible of Gallaher Restorations in Landrum, SC; and the 1954 Rometsch Beeskow Coupe belonging to F. Scott Bosés and Celesta Pappas-Bosés from La Canada, CA.
As an indication of how popular the class was, the organizers invited Volkswagen of America’s Wedding Beetle to take part in the Parade of Significant Automobiles at the event, alongside multi-million dollar collector cars. The Wedding Beetle is the creation of a welder and blacksmith in Mexico City, Raphael Esparza Prieto, who created the outline of a Beetle in wrought iron to be used as a sign on top of a Volkswagen parts shop.
This caught the eye of Volkswagen and Prieto was commissioned to make two drivable versions of the sculpture as a publicity stunt at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. About 20 of these cars were built, mainly in response to orders from Volkswagen executives around the world.