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Old March 21st 2020, 14:11
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owdlvr owdlvr is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada - West Coast
Posts: 794
Dave's new 1969 mild GL build...

GL Post

Oh gosh…not another car?!

As my business, Classic Car Adventures, has continued to grow the success has been both a blessing and a curse. Now, when the Rally Bug, or ’58 Beetle, want an upgrade or suddenly need new parts, the months saving for funds have disappeared. The curse, however, is that I’m traveling far more than I used to…and my time for wrenching away on projects in the garage has shrunk significantly. I continue to plug away on my actual German look project when I can, but I’m beginning to realize that Dec/Jan might be my only months out of the year to really work on it.

About a year ago my buddy posted a 1969 Beetle up for sale, at a price that was far too high to consider. A month or so ago, it was posted again…this time with a price drop. It was still priced far too high, but I started to look at it under a different light. As my orange German Look project continues to progress (albeit, very slowly), I’m starting to to get to the point where I’ll be able to prep the shell for paint. I’ve started pricing out paint jobs, and suddenly this 1969 Beetle doesn’t seem like such a horrible price to pay.

And so, I found myself negotiating with my buddy Geoff in Vancouver over the car. While we were negotiating on price and details, I was actually hammering down the east coast of the USA in a Porsche 911 which I had borrowed for an event. Should I have been negotiating on a red ’69 beetle, while driving a red 911 and thinking of the German Look build? Probably not. But, thats what I was doing!

And so, with mere weeks to go before the worldwide coronavirus shutdown, I put a hefty deposit down on this 1969 Beetle. Back in the 90’s it won a number of west coast shows as a cal-look beetle. The car won awards without ever having carpet installed, or the driver’s door panel, as even the inside of the doors were wet sanded and perfect. It was given a freshening up in-around the year 2000, and has been in storage since the end of 2001. The motor was pulled, but I bought the rest.

The pan is basically perfect, though we’ll know for sure once I get it home and up on axle stands for a full check over. What I could see with the flashlight, makes me pretty happy. The body is 95% perfect. The paint is desperate for a cut polish, but being single-stage there is lots to work with. There is a pretty bad run in the paint next to the rear vents. Either this car was repainted when it was refreshed in 2000 (unsure) or show-winning standards back in the 90s were significantly lower! Either way, I can live with it. It does have one rust bubble that I could find, low on the front quarter, coming from one of the fender mounting bolts. It’s low enough that a repair can be blended and hidden, so I figure it is what it is.

Interior wise, it’s all black. Stock seats, black covers. Black panels, black headliner. No carpets. Not exactly my favourite, but I can work with it. Car comes with an empi Hurst shifter, Formuling Steering wheel in great shape, a mix of VDO and Autometer gauges…and who knows what in the boxes.

(The white is polishing compound dust.)

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I hate Cal-look style. I mean, I understand it. I appreciate the history. But the whole “you must do X, Y, Z” drives me insane. I swear I will never own a Cal-Look car. I also hate Fuch wheels on Beetles, and swore I would never own a car with them. Hilarously I passed on the car when it was first posted because of the wheels! Thinking about this car, however, and it dawned on me that the Cal-look modifications are a simple recipe to correct. It seems to me that with the wheels swapped, and a couple of other exterior changes, I’ve got myself a very nice mild German look car…very similar to my original 1969 build.

It just so happens I have a set of genuine 17” Porsche twist wheels in the shop, and a brand new set of Michelin tires to match. I have to do some research to see what will fit, but the chassis has a 3” narrowed beam and a narrowed IRS rear end…so I’m hopeful I can squeeze them in under the stock fenders. My pre-purchase plan was a set of Braid wheels for the car, but given that the covid-19 virus situation is crippling my company, I’ll be spending as little money as possible!

The chassis comes equipped with disc brakes all around, as well as what appear to be Koni shocks. Will need to do a full assessment once I get it home. The gearbox has been modified for drag racing, and gearsets and ratios are unknown. Fortunately my ’73 project has a refreshed box just waiting for another project, so I’ll be able to swap over into a useable box for highway use.

All the photos thus far are from my buddy Geoff who sold me the car. It's currently stored underground, and I arrived having flown in with both phones basically dead. As soon as I can move my '63 MG Midget out of the shop, and it's socially acceptable to leave the house again, I'll go and pick it up to start the light modifications and get it roadworthy.

Only problem is the engine...not really in the mood for dropping $6k to build a 2110cc given our current economic climate. I might be able to assemble most of a 1776cc out of parts kicking around the shop...we shall see.
'71 Type 1 - Rally Project
'58 Type 1 - I bought an early!?!
'73 Type 1 - Proper Germanlook project
'68 Type 1 - Interm German 'look' project
'75 Type 1 - Family Heirloom
'93 Chevy 3500 pickup - Cummins Swap
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