Volkswagen Beetle 'Glasses' (1953). Well-preserved museum piece by Nico Kennis. 

Volkswagen Beetle 'Glasses' (1953)

What does this 1953 Volkswagen Beetle look radiant. A joy to behold. And what a pleasure it must be to drive it. Proof of a long lifespan has thus been provided. And it is no wonder that Nico is really proud of his property and likes to show it at classic days and events. 

By: Dirk de Jong 

Nico Kennis (67) is known in air-cooled Beetle circles, because from the age of 18 he has been addicted to the characteristic little car. Hobby, he has given countless Beetles a second life and has actually witnessed the entire development of the Volkswagen Beetle. The constant changes and improvements have kept his hobby life active with the added bonus that he can now give his son René - who is commercially active in Beetle restorations from before 1953 - useful advice from his experience. 

The 'glasses' are very old

For a car (even for the Volkswagen) that is at least the age of the very strong. The very old does not show any wrinkles and there is no trace of old age on the NT-97-77. The car was therefore thoroughly restored.

Nico says: “We are going back to the summer of 1975, a friend of mine was a car mechanic and drove a 65'er Mercedes. Soon the conversation turned to vintage cars, which then started to become a hype. In that period I was very busy in the autocross to make the beetles ready for demolition. He then said that he managed to find a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle at a dealer. Without blushing, the owner asked 1.000 guilders for a Beetle in decomposition. (Mind you, I regularly paid 50 guilders for a wrecking beetle.) So that price was a bit of a bummer. 

Magic Beetle? 

“It was a Volkswagen Beetle with a complete linen license plate. And after research even a special version that was only produced for 6 months as' transition glasses. Transition glasses or in other words a Swiss Beetle connoisseur knows - which had the dashboard of an oval Beetle but the small rear windows of a spectacle beetle. ” 

Traces to the past 

“The search came to Mrs. Driebeek from Wassenaar, who had received the car as a gift for her birthday in 1953. The Volkswagen Beetle was pampered for years, but when it reached senior status it was disposed of. So I am actually the second owner, not including the trader. ” 

Duration of the restoration 

“Patience is the art of waiting. The entire process with my VW Beetle took no less than 25 years and in 1999 it was only ready to drive again. A test drive of 600 kilometers to Germany was immediately undertaken. Without a single problem, because a Volkswagen Beetle always drives… always… always. I have already shown my pride at many events in England, Germany, France and Switzerland. Every time I enjoy it when I start it, these 'glasses' are here to stay. ” Shut down Nico. Awesome! We are curious what you think of it. Let us know at the bottom of the comments.

Read also:
- VW Beetles from other countries
- The VW 1303 is back home
- VW Beetle driving. A profession in itself
- The VW Beetle from 1957-1964. The Dickholmer
- The Beetle 337. The first VW in the Netherlands.

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Volkswagen Beetle 'Glasses' (1953)Volkswagen Beetle 'Glasses' (1953)


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  1. Good morning

    Nice to read about the "glasses beetle" it was my first car, a bright green one

    Had a good time with it, with my date 🙂, now my current dear wife

    went for a spin on my engagement, which resulted in us in our spot

    sunk away, and dragged out with the help of a nice farmer, so that

    we were a little later and a bit dirty at our party

    Unfortunately something went wrong, one beautiful day, I went to the corner of Holland via

    the Maassluise dike, near the town “Heenweg” At the traffic light drew

    I on when my lover thought, let him help, and jerked the gear lever

    to his four !!! without the clutch, !!!! a big blow, and a faulty gear

    bak, that was the end of my beloved beetle. Now many oldtimers, later NSU Prins



    Can you say that I should be lucky to have so many beautiful cars

    driving, where modern vehicles can make a difference, especially if you know

    that the “duck” from 1948 has originally Dutch roots, already had a safety cage

    windshield wipers that adjust the wiper speed to the speed, not forgetting the perfect one

    suspension, and air conditioning through the flap under the front window, sorry I had to lose this

    Mdvrgr. Leen Schwagermann

  2. a split window of 1953 is already very doubtful and if you do that amateurish
    read and see sheet metal then I think, who is fooling everything here

  3. hello Joop
    Nice your reaction I still have your old UM in my system I would like to get in touch with the new owner.
    asked Nico

  4. My 1st Beetle was less beautiful, but one to remember: a white 1200 de luxe that my father bought in April 1962. But this is a special beauty.

  5. What a beautiful car. I bought exactly the same transition model at a Belgian VW dealer on March 15, 1972. The 25 hp engine had stalled, but that was no problem with so many old Beetles on the scrapyard at the time. But that did mean that it had to be towed to Delft, my home town at the time. At the end of July of that year, the number plate 76-65-UM arrived after inspection at the RDW in The Hague. This car is still in the possession of the new owner who took over this olive green Beetle from me in 1986. I still regret that sale. After all, it was my first car and have nice memories of it.

  6. also had an oval with linen registration certificate dark blue, I am not actually a VW man, but I still regret that I sold it. :(.

    • Reminds me of my childhood and my father's first car. Green “glasses” with the registration number NP-96-14. Wonderful that this blue one is honored in this way.

  7. Nico, what a great story. Mrs. Driebeek's son from Wassenaar was a classmate of mine. Her husband was a very likeable man who was always there for others. Her husband, Mr Driebeek, had a Carman Ghia. Also, nice car. I wish you many happy years with the beautiful beetle.
    Greetings Marcel de Zwart, Wijk bij Duurstede

  8. Great to see this, my first car was also a beetle, and I think from 1954, gray in color, still had arrows on it as direction indicators.

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