Germany Vacation 2000

Since the Karlsruhe KG Meet was happening again for 2000, we decided to make it a worthwhile adventure by getting as many things done as possible. We wanted to visit Lars Neuffer's shop & drive his Cabriolet. We wanted to visit the Wilhelm Karmann factory & museum. We wanted to visit the T34 parts vendors and buy up the NOS parts. And we wanted to attend the Karlsruhe KG Meet to see for ourselves just how nice the German T34s were. With only six days to get everything in, our days were packed!

Our first priority was to visit Lars Neuffer in Goettingen. When we arrived at his home/shop, he gave us the grand tour, and opened his T34 spare parts supplies for us to scour. Then we drove over to his vehicle storage area nearby to see his 1963 Cabriolet prototype in person. Lars also has an unrestored 1963 345 electric sunroof that he's planning to restore someday.
Here are the photos from Lars Neuffer's place ... what a guy!
And, yes, that's Scott driving the 1963 Cabrio onto the trailer so the prototype could be at the Karlsruhe meet.

Next on the agenda was to visit the Wilhelm Karmann factory, museum, & archives in Osnabruck. We had previously scheduled an appointment with the Historical Archive Director, Karin Slesiger, so we got the red carpet treatment. First we spent several hours inspecting the T34 models in the museum. The Cabrio was a 1963 model, and had a few incorrect parts that we're trying to replace with the right ones.
Lee, Dag, Scott, & Larry were let loose in the Karmann Museum. We were in heaven!
The 1965 T34 Fastback prototype was an electric sunroof model and had parts from both a 1965 & 1969 ... a very strange and unique vehicle.
The Silver 1969 T34 Sunroof was an outstanding original car, perfect in every way.
Oh yeah, that's Scott in the 1969 ... we had to pry his hands off the wheel to leave!

After the museum tour, Karin brought out the T34 treasures from the Karmann archives. There must have been over 60 original unpublished press photos, old photos of the Yellow Ghia prototype, and drafting sketches of prototype concepts for the T34 project.
Then she showed us some original drawings of the T34 Cabrio, and there were two different drawings from Oct & Nov 1961! Check out the differences in the top frame design & rear window size.

Friday morning we were back at Lars' place in Goettingen. He'd told us we could DRIVE the Cabrio to the Karlsruhe event is we made sure it was drivable, and informed us that the brakes needed some work. So Dag & I got dirty for several hours by adjusting the brake shoes, flushing the brake fluid, replacing front brake hoses, and then finally bleeding the whole system. It was an incredible experience being able to work on & test-drive the Cabrio, and although we decided to give-up a day at Wolfsburg to take care of the work, it was worth it! By the late afternoon we had the brakes working but not good enough for a safe 4-5 hour drive to Karlsruhe late that night, so Lars (being the good guy that he is) agreed to tow the Cabrio for us. Once in Karlsruhe, Lars drove the Cabrio to the show site, Lee got everyone lost, and a sticking front wheel cylinder got us to bed by 1am.

We were up early Saturday morning for the first day of the KG Classic at Karlsruhe. By 10am the KGs began to flow into the display area. One of the first T34s I saw was this Pale Yellow Cabrio driven by Hans "Vishy" Wischmeyer. After initial introductions I asked him if I could see his chassis number ... and it was 0 015 000! The top frame was original, the windshield pillars were original, and the body was indeed an early 1962! This T34 would end up being one of three authentic T34 Cabrio prototypes at this event!!! Lars' was also there (a 1963), then there was this incredible Pearl White restored Cabrio (also a 1963) from Stuttgart with only 80K kilometers. Then there were electric sunroof T34s ... we counted 8-9 total of the 25 T34s that day!
Here is Vishy from Osnabruck with his Yellow 1962 Cabrio, the oldest known authentic Cabrio alive!
Here is the 80K kilometer restored Pearl White 1963 Cabrio of Thomas Haeberle of Stuttgart! It got my vote for Best T34 at this event ... simply incredible!
This Anthracite & White early 1962 belongs to Jens-Peter Schwenkhagen, who has agreed to be our new local Germany Rep! The White 1966 had a perfect solid Red interior, and was definitely the Best T34 Coupe at this event!
Georg Otto was there with his lowered Toga White 1966, as was Jurgen Amberg with a pair of T34s for sale, and then there was this Anthracite & White 1963 crank sunroof with 45K kilometers of Jorg Fischer! He's the 3rd owner, and the 1st owner was ready to buy a 345 in early 1963 but they were not available, so she had Golde create a crank sunroof with authentic T34 sunroof parts!
Clive & Janet Richardson drove their 1965 346 from England to be with us. We all got to drive it a bit for that unique RHD Sunroof experience ... and shifting is very strange with your left hand! I also spent some time photographing it for a VW Trends feature article.
I was a breath away from buying this ultra-rare 1974 Brazilian SP2, but Judy threatened divorce.

Then there was the swap meet area, with only 8-9 vendors but a plethora of T34 parts. Here's a sampling of the NOS goodies: lower dash pad, vent frame, bumper guards, door pads, rubber seals, mud flaps, euro headlights, turn signal bases, & Blaupunkt radios.
When the other T14s went out for a road rally, we organized 8 T34s to go for a cruise through the town and along the Rhein River. Four Cabriolets, three Sunroofs, and only one Coupe! Simply awesome!!! I drove Lars' Cabrio, Dag rode in the White 1963 Cabrio, and Scott was in the back of Clive's 346!