Johannes Beeskow was born May 21, 1911 in Berlin, Germany. From an early
age he decided to go into the then new automobile industry. In the 1920's
this was a courageous decision as automobiles were an expensive luxury ill
afforded by the common man in Germany during those lean years.
At 16 years old Beeskow went to work for the coachbuilding concern of Josef
Neuss on Nestorstrasse in Berlin. His training began simultaneously at the
Berlin Citizens institute of Autobody Building in the evenings.
Beeskow¹s talent was quick to develop bending sheet metal into beautiful car
bodies. In September of 1928 for his final exam at the Autobody school he
built a cabriolet body. After his graduation he remained as a technical designer in the office of Neuss and sketched lovely luxurious bodies for the shop to produce.
In 1933 Neuss was taken over by Erdmann and Rossi. The thirties were the
golden age of custom autobody construction and Beeskow created fantastic
bodies for Bugatti, Maybach, Horch, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes Benz. Beeskow
directed 200 workers building two to three luxury bodies per week.
WWII brought an end to this luxury car buildings and Erdman and Rossi found
itself without customers.
After the war Beeskow went to Friederich Rometsch with an idea to build a
smaller more affordable sports car one that had a readily available chassis. In the late 1940s this was an unusual idea. In 1949 this collaberation created the Rometsch Beeskow.
In the early 1950¹s Beeskow worked for Rometsch as well as Duetsch. In June
of 1953, with the tensions in Berlin increasing, Beeskow moved to Cologne to
be closer to Duetsch. While there he designed the Borgward Isabella, as well as racing cars for Borgward and several Ford Cabriolets.
The Rometsch Beeskow design won "The Golden Rose of Geneva" twice in the
early 1950's once for the cabriolet, once for the coupe.
In 1956 after writing a long series of letters to Rometsch, Beeskow decided
to take an offer from the Karmann Company and moved to Osnabruck. VW's desire to take the wind out of Rometsch's sails had hired Luigi Segre from Ghia in Italy to create a competitive VW sports car that would replace the Rometsch.
Karmann had been contracted to build this car and Karmann needed a technical
designer like Beeskow to successfully create the cabriolet version of VW's
new Karmann Ghia.
In the years that followed Beeskow created many designs for Karmann - designs
for Ford, Porsche, Opel, Audi, and most notably the sixties coupes of BMW.
Johannes Beeskow retired from Karmann in 1976 but continued to enjoy cars
and acted as advisor on the restoration of many of his earlier designs for
Erdman and Rossi.
Johannes Beeskow passed away in 2005 at the age of 94.
Eric Meyer, California, Sept 2006