story starts back in 1965 when my dad
bought a Type 1 off of the lot from
San Bruno VW. The VW he bought was one
of a few with a sunroof and because
he lived in California, you need to
have a sunroof at a minimum. This was
my dad's trusty daily driver where he
would commute from Mountain View to
Palo Alto for work. Naturally it was
also used to take my mom out on dates,
camping, etc. When they finally married
back in 1967 and started to think about
a family, they naturally bought a VW
Bay Window Type 2. These two cars were
they mainstay until the late 70's and
they sold the van. However, the VW stayed
with the family.
remember as a kid going to see the San
Francisco 49er's in the Beetle back
in the mid 80's with my dad at Candlestick
park. I also remember taking a long
road trip with him to go camping to
Burney Falls State park in far Northern
California, even during the peak heat
season. The car just seemed to keep
running, of course with some occasional
wrenching. I helped him with those projects
as well. I think he liked my help because
my hands were smaller than his back
in those days.
was his daily driver until he had one
of those dreaded engine fires you hear
and see. He was fortunate because someone
flagged him down and with the help of
a fire extinguisher from a friendly
motorist, he was able to put the fire
out relatively quickly. At this point
he knew it was time for a newer vehicle
and he bought his first pickup truck
in 1986. This But he still couldn't
part with the Beetle. He had the motor
completely rebuilt and the paint repaired.
After he remarried and bought a home
it was time to find a storage spot for
the VW. It was either garaged or under
an awning for a number of years in Morgan
Hill at my uncles property before I
took the car over and first started
to dissemble it for what I thought at
the time was going to be a simple restoration.
This was around 1999.
then I got married, had a kid and the
car sat in my garage for years mostly
untouched with parts in about four different
large boxes. To be frank, I wasn't really
interested in doing much to it. That
was until I moved around 2004. My buddy
George owned a body shop at the time
and he and I agreed to have him paint
the car when he had some free time away
from insurance work. Needless to say,
when owning a body shop, there wasn't
a whole lot of free time George had.
I didn't mind, since life was still
throwing me curve balls, I was getting
a divorce, I was traveling more for
work, my career was changing and I was
taking on more responsibility, and you
know, life. The car was with George
for another five years! I guess I can
chalk it up to free storage....
forward to 2009. George called me one
day and said, "Hey man, I started
working on your car." This was
the point where I knew I had to start
getting serious about finishing it.
So it started. This is the VW in it's
first photo from George with the paint
being removed down to the metal.
The pan then came to me with the engine
on it and I started the disassembly
process in September 2011. Well, at
least the pan had a nice place to rest
in my garage for a few years. Yes, there
have been some gaps in the process!!
My buddy George finished all the paint
in December 2011 and it sat in my garage,
body off the pan for another three years!
I think I was more intimidated then
excited when George returned the car
to me because after seeing the body
work, I knew I had to take this car
to the next level.
Another move in 2014 and this was when
I finally made the decision to get this
car done. Moving all of the boxes, the
unfinished pan, the transmission, the
engine, and the restored body and having
to take multiple trips, it was the kick
in my rear I needed to get this car
Fast forward to the finished pan with
all of the goodies including a rebuilt
and powder coated transmission with
a freeway flyer, four wheel disc brakes,
fully dynamatted, 4" narrowed beam,
adjustable front and rear shocks and
fitted with Empi Fuchs. I
finally took the finished car out for
it's maiden voyage, 98% complete with
my dad on May 20, 2018.
have shown this car a few times at shows
around the South San Francisco Bay Area
and I drive it there. Although not taken
out daily, it has about 1,000 miles
on the car since I finished it a year
and a half ago. I plan on trying to
show it more at shows both in NorCal
and in SoCal as my schedule allows.
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