The day we found it

The day is May 31, 2018. We are dropping a customer’s car off at their house, and we stumble upon a VW fan’s paradise. 

5 Classic Volkswagen’s parked in a driveway a few houses down. They looked a little tired, and could use a really good cleaning and restoration. We approached the homeowner to see what his plan is for the vehicles. 

His first words: “Which one?”

We get to talking, and he proceeds to tell us he had these vehicles stored for approximately 30 years in a barn. The barn was changing ownership and he had to get them out of the barn as soon as possible.

Steve bee-lined on the Black 1959 Bug sitting in the driveway. Miguel fell in love with the 1974 Super Beetle Pickup behind the Karman in the picture above, that is another story.

We both make the owner an offer right on the spot, and he graciously accepted. We got there in the nick of time, as he had multiple people arrive that day making him offers for the whole lot. He was kind enough to say he had another offer.

Bringing it home.

The day it was towed into the shop

Now that the vehicle has arrived at our shop, it allowed us to perform a complete inspection. Aside from a thick layer of dirt, it was in great shape.

Being stored in a barn for ~30 years had been gentle on these cars, with no weathering of the paint, and very little patina. We then washed it down to see what we were truly working with. Unbelievably, a decent paint under the layer of grime. We discovered it was a fresh repaint before it went into storage, which was a big bonus.

We used a hearty cutting compound to cut through the over 30 years of crust that built up on the chrome and paint

It was then we got to working on polishing the paint and the chrome to make it shine. Now, time for the mechanical. 

All nicely cleaned, and polished

Having sat for around 30 years, we knew what needed to be done first to get the Bug started. We pulled the tank out and cleaned out the varnish. After flushing the tank multiple times, we got it all clean, and topped it off with a fresh tank of brand new fuel.

Before we flushed out the fuel

Next on the agenda was to replace the two fuel filters. We wanted the fuel to be as filtered as possible, so we got 2 OEM Bosch fuel filters and replaced the old, grungy filters. After this was done, we turned the key.

She sputtered to life, and sounded very healthy! She ran and idled beautifully, no chugging or stalling. It was time now to inspect the brakes, and lines.

Now it’s running, can it stop?

Time to take all the brakes apart and inspect the drums, shoes and all the lines. When we took the drums apart, we discovered this car was in need of at the very least, wheel cylinders all around as they had been sitting dry for the duration of its storage.

The moment we took the brakes apart

Then we made a list and jumped on, a great source for all classic VW parts, and they’re located in Canada! We ordered brake drums, shoes, wheel cylinders and all associated hardware as well as lines. We also picked up some random bits here and there, including a new set of carpets for the interior of the Bug.

All new brakes

The new brakes are looking nice, and will ensure the Bug will be able to brake as effectively as VW originally intended. We then decided it was time to change out the old crusty wiring, and replace it with a new, complete wiring harness. 

Old wiring
New wiring all laid out, ready to be installed

Now that all the wiring has been replaced, we attacked some minor cosmetic things like replacing all the carpeting, painting the interior of the front trunk.

Exterior Work

After all the mechanical work was done, including an engine refresh, oil change and tune up, we moved on to the exterior.

A new set of white-wall tires were ordered from Coker Tire in the states. Before installing the new tires, we stripped the old tires from the rim and had them sand blasted and painted the outer rim a high gloss black to match the body paint, and the centers a high gloss white.

With the wheels looking like new, we could then mount and balance the new tires. The white walls really added a classic look to the VW!

We then tidied up some more exterior and interior bits, and now it’s all done!

The Finished Product

After many hours of hard work, the Bug is finished, and for sale. If interested, please send us an email through our contact form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for following the build, we hope you enjoyed it!