German VW Roof Rack

Classic Roof Rack on Felix the Beetle

Since I’ve owned Felix, I’ve had a quality repro rack on his roof supplied by our friends at Wolfsburg West.

A few weeks ago, a friend who is moving contacted me about an old rack that was sitting in his house. This rack had been on his Dad’s ’62 and ’68 Beetles in the ’60s and ’70s, but he happened to keep the rack even though the cars have moved on.

Intrigued, I went over to his house to investigate. The only marking I noticed in the dim light of the parking lot was “HWE”, and some searching on TheSamba, eBay, and Bing found me info about HWE Type 2 racks, but nothing for our venerable Beetles. I started a thread on TheSamba to find out about pricing, as I didn’t want to rip off my friend (or be ripped off if it’s a repro!).

I decided to buy it, as I really liked the Load Capacity sticker on it.

Classic Style German Load Capacity Sticker

After I got it home and cleaned it up a bit, I did find a stamped VW logo with Made in Germany beside it!

VW-stamped, Made In Germany

I’m still not sure about the provenance of this particular rack, but I think it looks great. Cherry stained original wood slats, the German-style warning sticker, and the galvanized-look metal all seem to fit right in on Felix.

Anyone here know anything about it? I’m super-thrilled to have what seems to be an authentic German rack up top, but I’d love to know more about it.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. Nice Find?
    Where are the hubcaps?
    I also have an ipod jack to radio adapter from M Klassen in Germany for the Blaupunkt/Frankfurt radio if you want it. I found it while cleaning the garage,

    1. Russ – good eyes! The hubcaps are off right now; I’m planning on polishing them up and cleaning out all the brake dust from them.

      I’d totally be interested in the adapter!

      1. Been around cars all my life, helping in my dads garage and my uncle builds sand rails from air cooled engines and repairs vw classics. Just want to give you tip on your hubcaps, I have used mothers polish on my rims for years both aluminum and chrome and never rusted if I did it every week. Also spray 70/30 vinegar water and buff in between clean and wax, vinegar is natrual rust inhibitor. I own a 73 beetle and love it. Sits raked with weld racing rims, underglow original paint(though starting to cancer) and purrs like a Volkswagen.


        1. Interesting about the vinegar–which is an acid. Vinegar will corrode metals. Since you report “cancer” appearing on your car, I would use caution about spraying acid anywhere near it. I checked with a well-known body-paint shop. Their comment: “How is an acid a rust inhibitor? “.jay

  2. According to my 1967 optional accessories price list, the luggage rack installed was $24.95. That would be equivalent to $175 today.

  3. That’s a rare rack now for sure. I’ve seen one just like it sell for $450 at our local VW event.

  4. Love that rack! Is your ’67 an org color? It seems creme.

    1. Ben – Felix was repainted by a previous owner to an off white color. Getting back to L282 is in our plans…

  5. A terrific find! Just goes to prove that still there remain a lot of unfound authentic VW accessories sitting in garages and attics. “Felix” must be very proud to have a piece of history sitting atop his historic self! jay

  6. It’s a really nice rack. I’m a bit jealous!

  7. sixofonehalfadozonoftheother June 19, 2013 at 6:32 am

    I’ve got the same rack they look really good when there cleaned up. I’m taking it on a trip to Hessisch Oldendorf for a VW show in the morning sitting on top of my Oval Beetle. I found this site as I don’t have a load sticker on my rack and was wondering what weight it would take. Thanks for the information
    Bromley Kent

    1. Glad you found the article useful!

  8. I have that exact same roof rack and would like to sell it. (Boston Ma)

    1. Steve,
      You can post it in our forum free. Or, we can do a featured classified ad on the homepage. Let me know.

      1. Hi there can you perhaps send my the blue prints of the original roofrack please?

        1. Luan,
          I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this…

  9. I’m interested!!!! I’m late seeing this, so if still available, let me know.

    1. I’m not sure.

  10. larry campbell May 14, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    i have an original

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