My Car Quest

June 29, 2022

The Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet and The Denzel 1300 Serien Super

by Mike Gulett –

Creating a rebodied Volkswagen is a popular activity for car people and car companies. It seems like it was always that way from the beginning of Volkswagen. He are German and Austrian cars that set the standard for others to follow.

The Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet

This is quite an attractive little car that I have never heard of before. It was built using a Volkswagen chassis and engine and has an elegant style that may have influenced other car designers.

I am sure that many of you are familiar with this little German sports car as you were the Sabra but not me I never heard of it before.

Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet

Friedrich Rometsch began his coachbuilding business in Berlin in 1924. He supplied elaborate taxi bodies for various German manufacturers including Opel and Ley. During WWII Rometsch built mobile field kitchens for the German army. After the war Rometsch resumed his automobile coachbuilding business.

Johannes Beeskow was a car designer and in 1949 he approached Friederich Rometsch and convinced him to build a production run of coachbuilt cars based on the Volkswagen chassis.

Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet

Notice there are two grille designs.

Prior to this coachbuilders had primarily built one-off cars. But new times necessitated new thinking. Beeskow’s decision to utilize Volkswagen as the main parts supply greatly simplified Rometsch’s coachbuilding task and spawned the beginning of a new era for Rometsch.

In 1950 Rometsch Karrosserie became one of the first coachbuilding concerns to produce a production run of cars. But they were not alone. Along with Rometsch were Karmann, Dannenhauer und Stauss, Drews, Denzel, Beutler, Wendler, Hebmuller and Porsche … all producing small sporting cars based on Volkswagen components. Most of these are sadly unknown today.

Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet

Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet

Initially Rometsch bought the chassis and running gear directly from the Volkswagen dealer network but after a time Volkswagen cut off supply because they saw competition.

Eventually Volkswagen’s answer to the Rometsch was the Karmann Ghia. Volkswagen had contracted the Italian Studio Ghia to design this car and it was penned by Ghia’s Luigi Segre. Volkswagen contracted Karmann, a coachbuilder competitor of Rometsch to build the sleek Italian designed Ghia.

Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet

In 1956 Karmann hired Beeskow away from Rometsch to help them with their design efforts. Beeskow designed the elegant convertible topped version of Luigi Segre’s Karmann built coupe.

The history above is taken from the Rometsch Registry written by Eric Meyer.

Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet

The Denzel 1300 Serien Super

I had never heard of this car either until I saw this one at a car event. From a distance it looks like a Porsche 356 but as you get closer it doesn’t look exactly like a Porsche 356. But what is it?

Denzel 1300 Serien Super

I had to read the signs on the cars to know they are 1958 Denzel 1300 Serien Supers.

Wolfgang Denzel built his first sports car in Vienna, Austria in 1948 using a wartime Volkswagen chassis and its 1.1-liter air-cooled flat-four engine.

Denzel 1300 Serien Super

Denzel eventually moved to a chassis of his own design with aluminum bodywork and engines as large as 1.5-liter using custom designed cranks, rods, pistons and valve train.

Denzel achieved some success in European rally and hill-climb events and they produced approximately 65 cars between 1948 and 1960.

I wonder how many different car designs were made based on a Volkswagen chassis and engine? A lot I think.

Denzel 1300 Serien Super

How many other car models are there that I have never heard of? A few I think.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Denzel 1300 Serien Super

The No. 20 Denzel 1300 Serien Super must be local to where I live in Carmel, CA because I saw it in 2021 at a car event at the Tehama Golf Club (below).

Denzel 1300 Serien Super

Denzel 1300 Serien Super at Tehama in Carmel – June 2021

All photos by Mike Gulett.

Summary
The Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet and The Denzel 1300 Serien Super
Article Name
The Rometsch Beeskow Sports Cabriolet and The Denzel 1300 Serien Super
Description
Creating a rebodied Volkswagen is a popular activity for car people and car companies. It seems like it was always that way from the beginning of Volkswagen. He are German and Austrian cars that set the standard for others to follow.
Author

Comments

  1. Martin Schroeder says

    If you look at the Rometsch photos and in particular at the bar over the front fender, copied by Mercedes and later a famous fearure at the 300 SL then one should remember the name Beeskow who was the post war designer at Rometsch.

  2. Martin,

    Here it is on a Mercedes 300SL Roadster. Was there a purpose to that bar other than cool looks?

Speak Your Mind

*