As you can see in the gallery, the owner of this 1965 VW Beetle has spent time carefully illustrating the car’s current condition inside, outside, and underneath, as well as the restoration process. He has also shared a detailed written account of all the work performed along the way. Frankly, as a car enthusiast, I was grinning ear-to-ear reading the story of this iconic Beetles’ past four decades. And so, here is the history of this car in the owner’s words, in story format.
I know very little about the car before 1982 other than it was never in an accident and was all-original. I bought it in 1982 as a fun car and drove it on occasion and maybe put on about 1000 miles.
Time for Paint
Sometime in the winter of 1982 I decided to get the car repainted. As I was removing bits and pieces in preparation for paint I got carried away and the next thing I knew I had all the fenders, trunk and hood removed so that the inner surfaces could be painted.
At about this point I realized that this was starting to become a very expensive paint job and there was no sense putting all those nice shiny body parts back on the floor pan without redoing it as well. I had a cart built for the body shell and proceeded to have any rusty looking areas sand blasted, which made for easy identification of areas that needed to be cut out and replaced with new metal.
I had also purchased a ‘65 sunroof car as a donor that had left side collision damage and had the sunroof and right-side rocker panel transplanted onto this car. Once that was done the shell, fenders, doors, hood, and trunk were sent to a highly respected local body shop for prep and paint.
The owner of the shop was, and still is, a personal friend and he recommended that I replace the hood and left rear fender as new ones were still available. All body parts were painted off the car both inside and outside surfaces.
Once that was underway, I dismantled the entire suspension and had the belly pan, front suspension, gas tank, seat frames and anything else that needed it sand blasted and repainted.
(As seen in the gallery notations, Duraguard was applied to the inside surfaces of all four fenders during this process.)
On To Mechanicals
Next was to purchase all new brake parts, wheel cylinders, shoes, and machined brake drums, as well as new shocks, wheel bearings, kingpins and steering parts. The transmission was sent in for new seals and bearings and to repair the 1st gear “pop out” on deceleration, which I believe was a common Beetle problem.
The starter, generator, carburetor, fuel pump, and distributor were all rebuilt or replaced with new units. Reassembly went quite well for the chassis and the car was assembled to the point of being drivable.
(As seen in the gallery notations, new nuts and bolts were installed throughout during this process.)
Between Now and Then
And then somewhere around 1984 life got in the way. There was a business to run, houses to be built, meetings to attend, kids with their own cars, and on and on and on. The body shell went back on the chassis and then everything else got wrapped up and put into storage until around 1995.
Work slowly restarted, and it was around the spring of 2002 when it was finally road ready, licensed and occasionally driven. It has always been stored indoors, never winter driven, never even been driven in the rain.