This is a very familiar scene, except for the car. It’s the bell tower of the former village of Graun (Südtirol, Italy), which was submerged when the Reschensee was created as a hydropower project, finished in 1950. We went by it numerous times when I was a little kid, and was always highly fascinated by the idea of the underwater town. But what fascinates me today is this picture from 1953, which shows a vehicle that I cannot identify. It’s obviously VW based. There were a number of coach-built VW convertibles in the late 40s and early 50s, before Karmann’s version became the official one and eventually drove the others out of business. But this one is rather unusual.
Here’s a closer look. The theater seating with the distinctly higher rear seats is unusual. I’ve just spent about 30 minutes Googling to try to find a match of some sort. Nothing. It may have been built in extremely small numbers by a small coach builder. I wonder if anyone out there can identify it?