mattfromportugal
2009-05-22T00:06:08Z
Hi, I'm Matt living in Portugal. Just got back into the VW scene after a long hiatus: in the past owned a 68 beetle lowered etc back in the day (92) taking it to earlyish Bug Jams, and so forth, a couple of bays, and latterly a 1963 I think Beetle which Owen helped me with fitting a 2 fold rag top clip, passenger door etc - and Microgiant had swapped in a 1500 box and SP engine: alas sold it before moving to Portugal in 97...

Fast forward, having wanted to do something for a while and lurking here, VZI, Restowagen, The Samba etc got things together and began the search for a nice Oval. Plans to restore slowly to original, no lowering or engine swaps, all that is long since in the past.

And now, having checked out a couple, have settled on a 54 matching numbers car, that was last on the road in 1980. Got it in the garage today: changed the oil, connected the fuel line to a jerry can, connected up a good battery, and it started up on the first turn of the key:d

Look forward to chatting, and getting up to speed. Sure there'll be questions along the way.

Take care,

Matt
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
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JD
  •  JD
  • pre67vw Junkie
2009-05-22T00:28:35Z
Sounds like a good find.

Pictures?
"John, you need to get a grip and STOP MOANING AT EVERYTHING. ThumbDown "
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mattfromportugal
2009-05-22T00:50:28Z
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Exterior.

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Interior.

I've linked to these images from my Photobucket account, however perhaps they are too large for the forum?

Aside from image sizes: there are obviously a few non original parts: rear tailights, front indicators, later bonnet, rear valance modified for later exhaust, door mirrors, botched up brackets for mudflaps, covered semaphore holes etc (sorry not an expert - any observations welcome.) The car has had a repaint in this pink / red sometime pre 1980, brushed on over L41, a quick rub with fine grade wet and dry took a spot back easily, and OG paint is under the bonnet etc.

Good points, appears never to have been front / rear ended. Correct front valance and solid wheel well, bumper hangers etc. Rear valance has been hacked a bit... Doors close easily and line up, orig wings, headlights, seats and interior which with a good clean up will look great (though carpets had suffered, and a later headlining fitted), orig steering wheel, dash not hacked.

Welding - Will need work to RHS heater channel, rear LHS floorpan quarter will need replacing, though will cut back and plate for the moment to get it up and running, (can't afford a body off resto at moment) and attention to rear bumper hangers - will look to Hookys replacements if these are too far gone.


Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
mattfromportugal
2009-05-22T01:13:56Z

Here she is started up, caught on first turn of key, sounds pretty smooth through the range. Didn't run it for long, as will give the engine a decent check over, but it brought smiles from all present.

This Beetle has an interesting story. Hidden away in a warehouse since 1980 (before that was owned by I believe an elderly lady), it was a part of this collection:

http://www.intuh.net/barnfinds/index.htm  

Some of you may have seen this before, and to be honest I had always believe this to be a hoax - but no. This was one of 5 pre 1967 Beetles in the collection, which my friend bought (but left a later 1303s). In one of the photos in that link you can just make out I think this very same car - it has taken until last week to extricate it. Being so well stored, things like window / door rubbers are in VGC, the car hasn't been exposed to wet weather, being in a dry environment, so apart from being rather dirty inside and out will be the solid basis for a running resto. For now the plan is to get the basic welding done, renew the brakes and electrics, change oils, re grease etc. Fit replacement rear lights, sort the rear valance and exhaust, open up the semaphores, (hopefully will find them hidden inside) and get new rubber on those wheels, perhaps having blasted and two toned them. I'd like to go back to black, but will be have to be careful taking off all the red... if that goes badly and the black is too far gone, then will partial respray probably in black.

Can't see it needing too much work for the inspection (MOT here) and will roll it in an unrestored state. This is definately a keeper, and I'll look foward with enthusiasm to being its new owner...

Matt
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
JD
  •  JD
  • pre67vw Junkie
2009-05-22T09:14:21Z
Wow! 😎

Keep us posted as you go. It´d be gret to strip that red paint off, if you have the patience for it.
I removed rattle can silver from my wheels with alloy wheel cleaner, which made the paint go soft, and a jet washer! Well, it got a lot of it off.
"John, you need to get a grip and STOP MOANING AT EVERYTHING. ThumbDown "
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mattfromportugal
2009-05-23T10:57:57Z
I found the picture from when the oval was hidden away in the warehouse: its stablemate was a Lancia Flaminia. Here she was, (on the left in the pic) dusty and forgotten. (I'm not the photographer, hence have the link instead of posting a copyrighted image):

http://www.intuh.net/barnfinds/afa41.htm 
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
55Kab
2009-05-23T14:16:47Z
That looks like a really nice car and hopefully will be an easy resto in the future. I looked through the photos on the barn and noticed as least one other old Beetle. Do you know how many pre57's were stored in there?

mattfromportugal
2009-05-23T19:50:03Z
55Kab - Vintage Vans recovered 5 pre 67 beetles, I think that the latest was a 63, but will have to check. There were at least 2 splits, and my Oval - but will verify when I speak with them next week. They left a later 1303s.

Apart from this haul, they have recovered early cars which have been left out in the elements for ages: Portugal seems to be generally kind to VW bodywork left out in the sun.
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
mattfromportugal
2009-05-27T22:46:11Z
Got my hands a bit dirty today in the 54. Apart from the ragged holes which will require a plate in the rear LHS 1/4 floorpan the rest is pretty solid. A few gentle pokes with a screwdriver took off the underseal and showed up the black paint. However the semaphore holes looked to have been plated over a long time ago, a scrape in the right place took it back to metal instead of filler. So the treasure hunt for some ribbed semaphores (correct for a 54?) begins.

Major concern inside is with the heater channels. The right, from the door forward is pretty much gone, and the left, again, forward of the door looks to have had a repair patch formed over it and welded to the top and the floorpan. It's an old job as in pre 1980, so will need some work. The doors shut though with a reassuring clunk and line up well. It also appears that the bumper hangers are okay, its the ends of both rear inner wings which are a bit shot so will need sorting.

The electrical system will need going over, as will the brakes, and the engine will have a good clean up and service. Despite the wing mounted indicators and 1200 rear lights looking totally out of place, I'd rather spend time and money getting the car inspected and road worthy, and worry about sourcing correct parts further down the line. Replacement bonnet isn't a problem, and nor should be sourcing the hearts - everything is available at a price I guess: but the correct semaphores will need to be tracked down. Am I right in thinking ribbed for a 54?

At least the seats look great...

Matt
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
tman
2009-05-27T23:31:46Z
mattfromportugal wrote:

Am I right in thinking ribbed for a 54?



According to http://www.mattsparts.com/resource/reference.htm  they were smooth from Jan '54 onwards.
Andrew
195x Deluxe oval Beetle
Binz Doublecab
mattfromportugal
2009-05-27T23:37:52Z
Thanks Tman, that should keep costs down a little and make it easier to find them. Will have a few more questions along the way I'm sure. I think aside from the welding jobs, the real pain will be taking that back to black, the OG paint. Nitromors or something similar will take everything off back to the metal? The red was painted on the exterior and interior...

Just a thought, perhaps the mods might want to move this to the restoration forum, or Oval specific forum?

Matt
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
mattfromportugal
2009-08-31T00:51:52Z
Well my apologies for not having posted for so long. Work has begun on the Oval, which now I have the docs through is actually March 1955.

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Basic things, trim and running board removal, removing the wings, rubbing down rust spots etc. Both rear bumper hangers are shot, so I've ordered and received excellent replacements from www.hookyspanelshop.com  . Both heater channels need work, and I'll patch them for the moment, but long term plans will be to replace both as and when I do a body off. If anyone has a pair of NOS for sale, let me know prices... Drivers side rear has a big hole in the floorpan, so will cut out a piece from a donor floorpan and let in for the moment. Anyway, here's some pics. Hope to have it running and on the road by the end of Sept, time allowing.

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In the meantime another project has come my way in the shape of a 1958 single cab which I found hidden in a garage in a village in the centre of Portugal:

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1 owner from new, been sat dry for a long time, lots of history and service manuals etc. A number of spares were in the garage, inc semaphores and handles which were taken off for some reason. She thinks that it might have the tilt and bows, or at least the canvas somewhere. My father in law recalls riding around in this way back in the 60s. There's the twist: I'd been looking for a barn find split for ages, and this one has been almost next door in the village where my wife's parents come from. Lifted the cab floor mat, OG paint, lifted the metal panel on the bed and found wooden strips, underneath looks really solid, but it has been bashed in the front and has a few dents etc that need massaging out.

Plans are for a sympathetic resto back to stock buffing the OG paint etc. Timeline to be back on the road - Late October with luck.

I've also been working on a VW blog for the local restoration specialist: I hope I'm allowed to post a link to it, if not mods, remove if neccesary. There are a few things on there which you might find interesting, mostly Oval and Split beetle stuff, Split screen vans and show reports etc.

http://vintagevans.wordpress.com  

Best regards from Portugal, Matt
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
Si Med
2009-08-31T10:47:35Z
Hi Matt, nice update love the single cab.
I only just realised the north Portugal classic was the week after i left Valenca 😞
Did you see the split van used to feed the cows on the small road to Senhora de Peneda?
54 UK rhd
mattfromportugal
2009-08-31T11:08:36Z
Hi Si Med, no I didn't but if you can give me a few details I'll make an effort to chase it down. How did it look? It's a bit of a trek up from Lisbon but if it's worth it...
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
Si Med
2009-08-31T11:26:03Z
Hi Matt, it was 3-4 years ago when i saw it and i wouldn't say it looked salvageable. Looked to be around 2 foot deep in mud and majorly rotten. I will look on google maps and see if i can find it.
54 UK rhd
mattfromportugal
2009-11-01T19:16:35Z
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Well, my March '55 Oval is back on the road, after passing the inspection yesterday I took her to Cascais for the monthly get together, accompanied by the 1963 Ambulance and 1951 11G belonging to Vintage Vans.

Still quite a bit to do, body looks rough and ready, just lacking year correct semaphores and single tip exhaust to complete, as well as welding up the rear valance. Will run it as is for the moment, started collecting some of Steve Hook's panels for a body off next year when it will have replacement heater channels. Welded in a NS floorpan section in the back, using a repro panel which was matched up, very little corrosion in the floorpans so they won't need replacing. Bodywork will consist of door repairs, (bottoms and where the hinges are) and tidying up the wings, all OG.

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Replacing the later 1200 bonnet, at some stage in the past the rear OS lower 1/4 panel was replaced, but not so well, so will have to be redone at some stage.

OG paint was L41, still undecided whether to colour match the red, (brushed on pre 1980), take it off and try to keep what OG there is and colour match, or take back to bare metal inside and out and respray black. Quite like the "mottled" appearance at present, though it was noted on the inspection that it needs to be repainted... (Portugal seems to be strict on things like that). Officialdom are not fans of patina...

Replacement solids, having been media blasted and sprayed for another project, (but no longer required) with 5 NOS Camacs, as the old ones that came with it were completely shot.

Great to have her on the road, despite no carpets or headlining. The Single cab is next on the list.

Take care,

Matt
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
Rich Oakley
2009-11-01T20:15:20Z
Great stuff Matt. Have you got the pick-up home yet?
47 Beetle, 56 UK Karmann Cabriolet, 56 UK Beetle, 57 UK Type 2, 59 UK Beetle, 66 UK Fastback.
mattfromportugal
2009-11-01T20:51:23Z
Rich, I pick her (it?) up on the 14th, I'll be sure to get some "extraction" pics. Hope that it will be a quick job to get her on the road. The only thing on my list then will be a late 50s splittie so the family can enjoy the odd camping trip. Mind you, beggars can't be choosers, so if I find an early sixties small rear hatch will be just as happy :d
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
54 Gertie
2009-11-01T20:59:35Z
Hi Matt

What a lovely car you have there. Cant wait to see it in the original black, black with those raised letter Portugese number plates will look amazing I think. 😎

More photos please! :wink:
William
mattfromportugal
2009-11-01T22:28:30Z
Here's a video from when I'd stripped the wings, running boards etc



The semaphore holes had been welded up... so were cut in:

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I need to take some more photos.

I can't take credit for the work that has been carried out, other than a few bits and pieces on the bodywork: I'm lucky to know the couple that run Vintage Vans  who have given me a lot of help, for which I am very grateful.

Some of you might know that I write a blog about some of their finds here in Portugal, I hope Rob doesn't mind if I link through to it: note that it's not my intention to conduct any business on their behalf, but some of the vehicles they discover, restore or sell on are incredible, and reminds me of what Owen was recovering from Sweden over 15 years ago. (There are still a lot of undiscovered gems hidden away in barns over here, such as the single cab, or barndoor recently recovered.) Vintage Vans blog .

I must admit it's great to be behind the wheel of my own vintage VW again, after such a long hiatus. Take care,

Matt
Semaphores sourced, thanks Rich... looking for Westy SO23 interior parts.
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