Chapter 1 – Preparing to get started

After driving the car for a while one starts to make first observations and a mental to do list starts to develop – despite the fact that the car was relatively solid for its 46 years of age, work on the body and chassis was needed. Sneaking behind the running boards and fenders revealed some work on the heater channels as well as the rear cross members. Also the inner front / firewall needed repair as well as the front apron, in particular in the area around the bumper supports. Also the chassis showed issues near the jack support areas as expected and the chassis head bottom plate needed work. All in all a doable list of work – bear in mind these are the usual spots to fix on a VW Beetle.

This time my strategy was to

  • cut away as little metal as needed to get the rot / rust out
  • refurbish entire sections when possible – conserve as much as possible of the original panels / metal work
  • Try to re-use original spot weld marks during reassembly, this to guarantee the right dimensions/fitting
  • in general go small

I will get back to this later though despite the fact that the time invested will increase, the results, at least in my opinion, are better.

Slowly I started to strip the car and some interesting badly performed restauration jobs of earlier days revealed…rot, filler, bathroom sealer and bitumen, loads of it, this would still end up in more work as I expected!