54 Gertie has been nagging me to join on here. I was already registered, but somewhat of a lurker before.
This is my '66 ('65 built) bug, which I have owned since the tender age of 16.
It was due a restoration, so last summer I took it off the road (still with 10 months MOT on it) to do a bit of work on it.
This is how I aim to make it look.
As with all restorations, the first thing I needed to do was strip it down.
It isn't a good thing to find you can do this with your bare hands alone...
Someone had previously welded the body to the floorpan
so a lot of cutting with an angle grinder later gave this...
And 'lo, I ended up with this.
Before tucking it into the garage for the night.
More updates to come - the pictures above were taken 7 months ago. :)
Glad you finally posted after all this time! :wink:
Good luck and long live the stock!
Just a bit more...
Luckily, I had these nice red floorpans from VW Heritage. Much nicer than the normal repro ones ;)
Took me a few weeks to get round to fitting them though, after a few small repairs to the front section. I had only done the framehead bottom 2 or 3 year ago, so that was OK already.
As with any restoration project, the more you dig, the more bodges you find..
And the other side was not much prettier.
Anyway, work progressed, fitting new channels and rear outriggers. These were all genuine VW Mexican items. I know the pressings are not correct, but compared to the repro channels I bought the quality is in another world. I'd rather have good quality metal even if it means I have the wrong heater vents for the year of car.
At the front, there was literally no metal worth welding to. Everything was too far gone.
So I had to make brackets to hold it in place until I could start replacing the metal around the channel.
Obviously, getting the doors to fit nicely was a high priority. The bodyshell had been repaired and bodged so badly in the past that it was quite distorted (so I did not brace it when cutting the channels out). After a lot of fiddling, I managed to get things to line up correctly.
To do this required removing quite a lot of metal...
All of the above was either rotten, bodged or both. It had had a front clip put on OVER the original metal.
Even the fuel tank support was double layered.
Cue a genuine VW mexico front 1/4 panel.
A lot of plug welds enabled me to copy the look of the original spotwelds.
And eventually looks like this when tidied up.
And a new Hookys A pillar bottom completed this area.
And it lines up well with the bonnet, too :D
Should only need a tiny bit of lead to get it looking really smooth :wink:
All of the above repairs are just bare metal with a layer of very thin rattle-can primer to keep the damp out.
Whilst replacing the front 1/4, I also cut out the bulkhead...
Which was replaced with a reproduction one (I could not find a NOS or genuine one in good condition).
I also cut out the passenger side rear 1/4, which had been the subject of many bodges by previous owners.
Welding it below the trimline should keep any distortion to a minimum, and it will be less noticable due to the proximity of the chrome trim.
And finished (After a LOT of time spent welding and filing smooth) it looks like this...
Spot the join 😉 - this again is without any filler being applied. I intend to use lead filler on the bodywork after using proper bodywork techniques to ensure very little is needed 🙂 .
Finally, I welded up the hole in the dashboard where it had been cut for a horrible 1980s cassette player.
And with the blanking plate.
Again, don't worry, the primer is just to stop moisture getting in, and will all be stripped properly before painting.
All that is left to do now is to do the same to the drivers side, then replace all of the rotten engine bay panels before finding a stock height axle beam and getting it back to standard height. Then it will be painted in the original L360 Sea Blue. :wink:
Im gonna have a go at bodging together a number plate to look like the original raised letter types! I currently have plastic ones with raised letters but the plastic is very dull and looks to new!:wink: :lol:
Great to see one having 'mod' reversal for a change rather than becoming a ground scraper