have been in my family as far back as
I can remember. My dad had a 1966 Savanah
Beige Beetle, and all 3 of my older
siblings had Beetles from various years.
So when I went away to college I decided
to buy a 1971 Beetle. I loved that car
and drove it everywhere. Unfortunately
when you're in college beer money is
more important than car care. As a result,
I drove the poor little Bug into the
ground. Flash forward....
few years ago I was feeling nostalgic
(and turning 50) and decided it was
time to get a VW back in the family.
After getting the go ahead from my wife
the search was on. It was not as easy
as I remembered to find a decent Bug.
There weren't many entry level Bugs
in my area and the ones I did find were
total basket cases. As a result I had
to broaden my search. So I contacted
my brother in San Jose, California.
He always said "Bugs are everywhere
out there. Within a week he found a
"nice" 1970 project Bug for
me, and shortly thereafter "Heidi"
was on a trailer heading to Florida.
Talk about anticipation.... When she
finally arrived I was really excited
but also a little bummed about the condition.
guess my brother and I had different
opinions about what was a good deal.
When my "Heidi" (as I call
her) arrived she sported a badly faded
red and white two-tone paint job that
needed to go. In addition I discovered
there was at least a half inch of bondo
filler on the driver door and even more
behind the pillar that my brother missed.
worse the luggage tray was riddled with
rust and the engine badly needed a rebuild.
After seeing this I took a deep breath
and promptly bought John Muirs "How
to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual
of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Complete
Idiot" and I got to work...
Since that first week I have basically
done a frame on restoration of the car.
All the rust was cut out replaced with
donor parts. The interior was gutted
and sealed with POR15. I wasn't a fan
of the Cal Look windows so I put vent
windows back in the doors and rebuilt
the window regulators. I also rewired,
and reupholstered everything.
has been resprayed to her original Elm
Green and undercoated for daily driving.
The old engine was rebuilt and slightly
updated to a 1641cc. I decided to keep
it a single port to help avoid overheating
in the hot South Florida conditions.
I also added some modern features for
comfort. Some of which are; Scat front
seats, retractable seat belts, Retro-sound
radio, LED lighting and some fun colored
interior accents too. I know I've left
off a whole lot of what I've done but
I wanted to keep my information brief
I've finished restoring Heidi a whole
new world has opened up to me. I have
entered her and won many trophies at
local car shows. I get to relive the
joy of younger years by driving an air-cooled
bug once again. But best of all, I've
found a new VW family by joining the
are just a cool group of car enthusiast
that all have one thing in common. Love
for everything VW. I'm trying to think
why it took me so long to get back to
my VW roots.