Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

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Don Greenman
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Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#1 Post by Don Greenman »

Hello,
My wife & I are entering the 356 world with the purchase of a 1952 356 Pre-A Bent Window Coupe. The owner is in the process of trying to get a Kardex Report for this 52' 356 Pre-A Coupe before we take delivery of the car. The car does come with a Certificate of Authenticity. The owner does know quite a lot about the car, but never acquired a Kardex Report on this specific 52' 356 Pre-A Bent Window Coupe. So there is a lot of unanswered questions we have about the car. I have done quite a bit of research, and know that the Kardex Report shows the chassis number, motor number, trans number, motor changes, interior & exterior colors, ignition key number, dealer name, first buyer with address included, and a lot of other specific details about the car.
One of the other catagories on the Kardex Report is "optional equipment originally supplied on the car".This 52' 356 Pre-A Coupe has a Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on the left side of the dash where the original ignition key would be. The ignition key is now located to the right of the Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Guage on the dash. So my question is this...Is there a chance that this specific 1952 356 Pre-A Coupe came (as an option) with a Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge from the factory before it was shipped off to Max Hoffman in New York? The owner did not know the answer to that question. Here is another question....Could the Kardex Report potentially show that an optional Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge (which I personally would consider a aftermarket part) was installed on the assembly line by Reutter at the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory? Any clarity on these questions I have posed would be greatly appreciated. Please share all & any thoughts, and knowledge you might have so we can understand if maybe this Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge was factory installed or dealer installed. Who knows... potentially a previous owner decided to add it to the car. Thanking everyone in advance for helping us out with this information request.
All the best,
Don Greenman

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James Davies
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#2 Post by James Davies »

Hi Don, welcome.

Unlikely factory, especially if the kardex doesn't list it as an included option. Optional equipment listed on the Kardex is included on the COA.

Include a photo here, and we'll have a better idea of what you have. Also a photo of the fuel tank where the sender is. Generally:

1. The Beck gauges can be dated (roughly). Early ones (very rare) are different from later ones, which were standard equipment on the cars from April 1954 onward. If this is a late one, then unlikely to be original.
2. Fuel gauges were optional equipment in 1952-53, but uncommon. The ones that have been documented (Kardex lists it, and car still has it) have them mounted on a little bracket hanging off the steering column. Mounting in the dashboard was done later.
3. It was around the start of the 1954 model year in ~April 1954 that Porsche started putting the fuel gauge next to the oil temp gauge and then moving around the other switches. They eventually figured out a location and settled on it. People updating their older cars often followed this mounting location, drilling another hole for the gauge and relocating other switches.

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Michael Branning
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#3 Post by Michael Branning »

Don Greenman wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 2:14 am Hello,
My wife & I are entering the 356 world with the purchase of a 1952 356 Pre-A Bent Window Coupe.
All the best,
Don Greenman
Welcome to the Forum Don! Please feel free to ask questions and post photos of this Pre-A coupe you are purchasing. We are lucky to have James and others that can point out many nuances about authenticity.
Michael Branning
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Don Greenman
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#4 Post by Don Greenman »

Michael,

Thanks for the warm welcome. We will send photos of the car when it arrives here in Los Angeles, CA.

James,

Thank you for your help with this quest. I am having the current owner send me photos of the Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge in the dash when he get's a chance. I will send you the photo once I receive it.
Once again we do not have the Kardex Report on the car yet. So we don't know if it is listed as an option at least at this point. Do you suggest getting a Reutter Certification of Production for this 52' 356 Pre-A Coupe?
Could that maybe also answer the Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge option question? Thank you for the history details of the Beck Fuel Gauges from 52' to 54' and later. This one is a little tricky figuring out.
I look forward to working with you to hopefully answer this unsolved mystery.
Best,
Don

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Joris Koning
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#5 Post by Joris Koning »

Don,

While a great document I would be careful with the Reutter document from Erlkonig. To many stories out there of people paying for theirs and not receiving anything or only after months and countless e-mails. Real shame. Looks like Guido is a bit overwhelmed but that is no excuse for this kind of behavior.
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Don Greenman
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#6 Post by Don Greenman »

Joris,

That is a real bummer. I will make sure I engage with Guido at Erlkonig before I send them any money. Thanks for the heads up.

Appreciate it,

Don Greenman

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James Davies
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#7 Post by James Davies »

The Reutter certificate will say nothing about a fuel gauge, though it may have useful information about the upholstery colors. As mentioned, the fuel gauges were installed at Porsche, not Reutter. All the options are always copied from the Kardex to the COA, so if it is not on the COA, it won't be on the Kardex.

Adding a fuel gauge to cars that didn't have them was _very_ common. Assume this is the case with your car.

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Mike Wilson
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#8 Post by Mike Wilson »

Asking for a friend: what gauges had the wording in German vs English, only ones for the German or Euro market and when were all gauges in English only?

Thanks,

Mike
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Alan Hall
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#9 Post by Alan Hall »

I believe that Euro gauges had the wording in German (kraftstoff) and calibration in liters (0-50 as I recall) while U.S. gauges had wording in English (fuel) and calibration in gallons (0-14). I believe the aftermarket gauges had wording in both German and English with calibration marks of: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1.

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Mike Wilson
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#10 Post by Mike Wilson »

Thanks, Alan.

Mike
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#11 Post by Jules Dielen »

You could also check how the sender in the tank was installed. Most aftermarket senders were put in rather crudely.

I can only second Joris' comment on Erlkoenig. He has vanished again.
Jules

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Don Greenman
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Re: Beck Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge on a 52' Pre A Coupe

#12 Post by Don Greenman »

Mike, Alan & Jeff,

Thanks for sharing your knowledge about the Kraftstoff Fuel Gauge. I am sharing all this with the last owner of the 52' Pre-A Coupe. He is taking care of last minute finishing touch's before the car is shipped to us in two weeks.
It had been static for a couple years. I am trending towards James assessment that the aftermarket Beck Kraftstoff fuel gauge was added by one of the previous owners. Once we receive the car I am going to thoroughly investigate
the installation of the fuel gauge. I will send photos when I get the car. That will help paint the picture of what it looks like on the dash, and at the gas tank.

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