71′ Volkswagen Beetle #3/12

Towards the end of last year, I took a drive out around Wales with a good friend of mine and a car club he was a member of for classic Audi owners. While we had stopped for some lunch I got chatting to a young lad called Joe who was accompanying his dad in there Audi 90. The more I got chatting to Joe the clearer it became that he was really into cars, particularly old German ones! Since then, I’ve been waiting for him to get this car on the road.

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When I was young, starting from when I was 2 years old, my dad had classic Audis and it sort of gave me the bug for classics! For me it’s German built cars that shine from the crowd!

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When my great grandmother passed back in 2011 my grandmother decided she would give her grand-kids some money out of the inheritance to buy our first car or anything that would benefit us in the future. I instantly set my eyes on a beetle as I’d always seen them at shows and thought they looked cool and the rounded shape was different and quirky. I had no idea what to look for with what models and problems, i just knew I wanted one!

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I went to look at a late spec 1302 model but the rounded screen and elephant lights didn’t take my fancy. I then saw this 71 for sale with mot and the pictures looked decent!  We drove up to Wigan and took a look! I couldn’t explain the excitement I had thinking this could be mine as a 13 year old.

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The next week we made an offer and we went and picked it up!  At first I did little changes like replace rotten running boards and fit a Dixie air horn!  But once I got in the scene and started looking at others I started getting a vision for mine.

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In June of 2014 I took it for its mot, it wasn’t very good at all and I don’t know how I never found it. The whole of the frame head and bulkhead was rotten and the beam was held on with thin air. My head dropped and I didn’t know where to turn. I took it to a garage and they put it on the ramps and started digging.  I made an agreement that I would work for them and help them out around the shop if they did the welding for me. So we got to stripping the whole front end. More rust was found and cut out. It ended up that I refurbished and rebuilt my beam and got welded any spots that needed welding, I also fitted new discs and shocks and brake lines .

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I finally fixed it and mot’d and the funny thing was it didn’t look any different on the outside! I felt so proud that I did the mechanics myself and I even had a go at welding!  After that it got serious. I got some empi 8 wheels and refurbished them. Fitted a empi short shifter. Painted the bonnet, bumpers and added so many little bits I couldn’t list them all!

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That is what Happens when you have a car you can’t drive!  Slowly heading towards the vision I wanted a cal look fast bug!  last year I decided I wanted to have a go at engine building so I wanted power!  I bought a 1300 case and went on a spending spree of over £1500. I bought:

  • 1641 forged barrels and pistons,
  • Lightened flywheel,
  • Fully flowed big valve heads,
  • 009 dizzy,
  • Merged header,
  • Twin choke webber 40,
  • Electronic ignition,
  • Empi phatboy muffler,
  • Electronic fuel pump and pressure regulator

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I slowly built it up and fitted it to the bug and in March I got insured!  Its now got some poke and shocks most people. I’m happy where the car is at but I still have some big plans involving shortened beam and a monster engine in the rear!  For now I’m going to enjoy driving it over the summer then see what the winter brings!  But from owning a bug since that age it goes to show that you can go from knowing nothing to knowing how and what’s wrong when a problem occurs! I’m young and still have so much to learn but I’m looking forward to putting the skills I’ve learned on this car into all my others I may own!

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All the current #TwelveOfTwenty16 featured cars can be seen on Flickr Here.

Next month we have #4/12 Michael Costigan’s 1931 Austin Seven

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