Hessisch holy grail

On a mission

Hessisch 2022 was sadly drawing to a close. Still, there is plenty more to see and do, including getting decent-quality rocker gaskets for the journey home. Should be able to find some suitable gaskets in the trade/swap meet area of the show. With my friend Caroline’s expert supervision, I should be able to improve on my earlier temporary roadside bodge fix on the way here!

nice breakfast time view in the morning
nice breakfast-time view in the morning

Today is also the day to hopefully get to see the Schwimmwagens go schwimmin’ in the nearby Weser river. Normally a very popular highlight of the show…

Hot, hot, hot

Looks like it’s going to be another hot one, pushing mid 40ºc again today. A dip in the river might not be such a bad idea. At the very least, I think we will be popping into the local supermarket for a three-pack of icecreams later on! So after breakfast, I caught up with Caroline and Adam and we headed into Hessisch to catch some more of the HO22 show…

beautiful vintage automotive colour palette
beautiful vintage automotive colour palette

Once again, Hessisch was packed out with a wide variety of classic vehicles of all shapes, sizes and colours. The streets were buzzing with visitors from all over the world. After all the lockdown restrictions, it was strange/but good to see so many people at the outdoor event.

the streets of Hessisch were busy with people from all over the world
the streets of Hessisch were busy with people from all over the world

Classic styles

There were buses, bugs and an array of other air-cooled classics from all over in attendance as well. For such a simple basic form, it’s amazing to see just how much of a variety of styles there was. It makes for a real vibrancy of vehicles on display.

plenty of style variety on display
plenty of style variety on display

As well as private vehicles on display in and around the town centre, there were also cars that had been brought in specially from large museum collections. Like the VW Autostadt museum in Wolfsburg. Incredible to see such an early incarnation of the VW Beetle dating back to 1936! Very different to what later it evolved into, but the DNA can be clearly seen.

a 1936 incarnation of the VW Beetle from the Autostadt museum collection
a 1936 incarnation of the VW Beetle from the Autostadt museum collection

Design evolution

Most things evolve over time. From such early prototypes to their modern-day equivalents, style and technology develop. It’s interesting that with such longevity, things tend to change and develop outside and beyond their original intentions. Some classic vehicles dating back to the 1950s have done just that. Change is inevitable.

loved this minimal mean green machine
loved this minimal mean green machine

From concourse-restored stock classics to original survivors, it’s this variety that I enjoy seeing the most. There really is something for everyone.

the VW Beetle is iconic whichever way you look at it
the VW Beetle is iconic whichever way you look at it

Yes, please

Whilst trawling through the trade area, Caroline managed to track down some nice quality cork rocker cover gaskets. Perfect, just what I needed. I took the opportunity to buy a couple of pairs so that I had a spare pair in case of any possible future emergencies. Always good to be prepared rather than have to bodge something together!

new pair of rocker cover gaskets (plus a spare pair)
new pair of rocker cover gaskets (plus a spare pair)

I’ll get the old ones replaced with one of these pairs before heading back. It will be nice to not have the stress of worrying about the oil on the road trip back! Now that my essential shopping was sorted, it was time to get back to the show itself.

rare as you like sales flap high top bus
rare as you like sales flap high top bus

All sorts of awesome

Absolutely loved this awesome hardcore ragtop Beetle. Ticks all the boxes for me, a proper little adventure bug. Then there was an amazing high-top bus with a sales flap opening in the side. Not something you see every day!

fell in love with this hardcore ragtop Beetle
fell in love with this hardcore ragtop Beetle

Good to see plenty of UK-based buses had made the journey over. Hessisch really does make a perfect destination for a road trip

plenty of UK buses made it over to the show
plenty of UK buses made it over to the show

One more thing…

Before leaving the HO22 show, there was just one more thing to see. The Grundmann’s incredible restoration of a 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle. This is an incredible labour of love, of a seriously early Beetle, all based on the original chassis that was found in a junkyard in Austria! Some fascinating insights can be seen and read about this here on a thread on TheSamba

The original chassis was built in 1937 for use on a batch of thirty W30 prototypes. They were for testing purposes only, not for public car production. Chassis number 26 was used for the car with registration number IIIA 37026. However, in 1942 all these early prototypes were ordered to be destroyed. Surprisingly this particular chassis survived.

Grundmann’s stunning bare metal 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle
Grundmann’s stunning bare metal 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle

According to Chris Barber and his book ‘Birth of the Beetle’, chassis number 26 lost its body during testing. It might have been in some form of crash or accident. Subsequently, it inherited the body from car number 8 for a brief time. After that, the chassis was just used as a test bed for other projects, like the development of the Kübelwagen body. As it was no longer a complete car, the chassis got used for various purposes. It was probably this that helped it to ultimately survive.

Grundmann’s 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle
Grundmann’s 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle

Bare metal beauty

This was an opportunity to see the ongoing project as it currently is. A work in progress to whet the appetite. The chassis now has a body on it. Having seen the quality of the work exhibited at the Grundmann’s car collection, this I’m sure will turn out to be something quite special when completed! Fascinating to see it in its work-in-progress, bare metal state. Really shows off the level of craftsmanship that has gone into it.

Grundmann’s 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle
Grundmann’s 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle

There are no off-the-peg parts or panels available to help complete such a mammoth undertaking. It was being displayed in St. Marien Kirche church in the centre of Hessisch. This beautiful theatrical setting perfectly complimented its dramatic bare metal appearance.

bare metal detail of Grundmann’s 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle
bare metal detail of Grundmann’s 1937 W30 Chassis 26 Beetle

Papped

It was another full-on funday day. The ice creams in the afternoon were well earnt! Time to head back to the campsite, change the rocker cover gaskets and then get ready for the road trip back to the UK. Once again, Hessisch delivers and then some!

not your normal garage fuel stop
not your normal garage fuel stop

Nice to get papped by chicken_garage_ at this pretty awesome garage station fill-up photo before beginning the journey back to the UK. Not something you often get to see on the garage forecourt!

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2 thoughts on “Hessisch holy grail”

  1. For myself a Collector of ALL Information and History of the VW Platform This is Truely My Holy Grail I collect photos and anything made on Our aircooled chassis including engineered drawings back to prototypes built in 1936and all war era vehicles from Kubelwagens to KdF’s and I have followed this from the first postings of the wooden patterns to re build all the sheet metal.
    Signed
    theaircooledcar@gmail.com

    Reply

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