In March 1958 today’s featured Volkswagen Typ 1 1200 deluxe, now known as Bertie the Beetle, was registered and put on the demonstrator fleet of a dealer in Worcestershire before being bought by a customer and run for a year.
The unknown customer then traded in his ex demonstrator 1200 deluxe with a Volkswagen agent in Leominster, Herefordshire who was just starting to make a name for himself in rallying by the name of Bill Bengry.
Bill, British Rally Champion in 1960 and 1961 appears to have driven Bertie among his other Beetles in National Rallies with a variety of engines including one from a Porsche 356, other modifications include MAICO front brake disks to cope with the more powerful engine.
Current owner Bob Bales bought Bertie in 1966 and has competed in rallies, auto cross, autotests and production car trials up to 1980.
Bob has also fitted Bertie with a variety of VW Typ 1, Typ 3 and Porsche motors.
Currently Bertie has a 1285 cc / 78.4 cui motor which has Oettinger GT TSV modifications, as used by Pauli Toivonen to win the GT 1300 class in the 90 hour 1964 Spa Sofia Liege rally, that brings the power up to 75hp.
In Oettinger GT TSV form, now immortalised by none other than Scalextric, Bob competes in historic rally events with VrD Motorsports Dave Vardy who is seen sitting beside Bob in Bertie at Castle Combe’s Rally Day in these photographs.
Thanks for joining me on this “Bertie” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Mercedes Monday. Don’t forget to come back now !