I bought my bug in 1996 to replace a Vauxhall Nova I managed to write off. Made on Saint Patrick’s day in 1970, originally L60D Elm Green and sold by Lightfoots Garage in Carlisle.
She was restored badly in 1996/7 by a VW specialist who’s the idea of bodywork was to tack panels in then sculpt the rest from Isopon P38 (other brands of filler are available). She was taken off the road in early 2001 when the rust started to rear its ugly head again after just over 3 years of use and deposited on my parent’s drive. After a few years of being left unloved (and with my parents wanting their drive clear again) it was time to either scrap her or save her. The latter option was chosen as I’d grown rather attached to her. I took a night course in welding and got to work.
The rot had set in pretty badly by now and required the whole lower 6-8″ of the shell, front clip, the floorplans, framehead bottom, napoleons hat, bulkhead, engine bay panels and numerous other bits to be replaced. Not even the dashboard or scuttle had survived the tin worm so they were both chopped out and replaced with a cut from another donor bug. The main roof panel is about the only bit to not have needed welding. A long-running thread (now stretched to 2) on the VZi forum chronicles the long-running saga.
I decided to change her colour as 90% of the original paint was now gone anyway. The chosen hue is RAL 6033 Mint Turquoise. I borrowed a spray gun and taught myself to paint, shooting the new colour over the inside and outside. Some homemade Cartune stripes, a Kamei front spoiler and some EMPI 8 spoke replicas give it a little bit of a sporty look.
The interior is the original as fitted by the factory in 1970, but I chose to replace the headliner with a smaller 1200 style one I made myself. A few period details, plus home made front and rear parcel shelves and a sports steering wheel are the only changes from stock.
She’s still running her original F code 1300 engine, now with 145k or so miles on it and just fitted with a pair of taper tips and an old Sparkrite SX2000 electronic ignition box.