The oldest known T1: Happy 70th Birthday, Miss Sofie!
Posted on October 15 2020
This T1 Bulli from 1950 is the world’s oldest street-legal VW bus and is kept in VWCV’s Classic Vehicles collection in Hannover.
IMAGES AND STORY COURTESY VW PRESS
From 1973 to 1992 the Bulli spent its time with various VW enthusiasts. The last owner tried to the sell it via a magazine run by the ‘Brezelfenstervereinigung e.V.’ fan club without success.
From today’s perspective that's unimaginable, but demand back then for a used commercial vehicle wasn't great. After multiple ads without photo and just three lines of text, Dane Tonny L. become aware of it and called the seller. After learning that the vehicle had the lowest chassis number known at that time, he bought it unseen.
In 1992, at 42 years old, with less than 100,000 kilometres on the clock, it was recovered on a breakdown truck to Denmark. Being unused for 19 years does no vehicle any good, but Tonny was certain that he’d be keeping the vehicle for a long time and with a nod to the first T1 ever delivered to Denmark, he named his prize possession ‘Sofie’, the name of the other vehicle too.
In early 2000, he began a full restoration, which took until spring 2003 with a drive to the VW meet in Bad Camberg. Together they covered over 20,000 km around Europe, going to Bulli meets where Sofie was always the highlight. Often winning ‘Most Beautiful Bulli’ she was always the oldest.
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