Because the chassis number and nameplate are preserved, his samba has a clear identity, confirmed by the factory's Volkswagen archive.
Records show that it went to a dealer in Köln as a demonstrator, and it came off the road sometime before 1961.
How or why it ended up in a field in the Eifel mountains of Germany remains a mystery.
The theory, however, is that Sambas built before August 1960 made do with the Beetle’s 24.5-hp engine and thus became obsolete when Volkswagen introduced the 34-hp engine and synchronized transmission in the Microbus; it wasn’t uncommon for owners of the older Sambas to abandon their wagons.
The Samba had laid in the field for so long, the field’s previous owner claimed not to have known of its existence. Only when the new owner of the field began to clear it did the Samba resurface.
Kalff bought the Samba’s remains, which included the drivetrain, the aforementioned ID plate, and even one of the plexiglass rear corner windows, for a four-figure sum.
Kalff has since carted the remains to his shop about 30 miles away and started planning the Samba’s restoration, which he said will require at least 10 years and another six figures; a British coachbuilder has been conscripted to replicate the missing parts of the body and incorporate as much of the existing body as possible.
because the top rusted off, and the bottom rusted away along the sides, all the pieces had fallen flat into the field grass, and nothing was standing up enough to see... and the previous owner of the field didn't know this van was even there, and the new owner only found it when mowing.
update June 26th 2018