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1966 VW Beetle Convertible - Full Restoration


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This 1966 VW Beetle Convertible was brought to us by the original owner who wants to restore it to its “original condition, or better!” Purchased in October of 1965, the owner remembers pushing it off the showroom floor in Jacksonville, NC. This sweet vehicle was the family car when the owner and his wife first married, and later became the second vehicle. It was used for trips on back-country roads to picnic with his wife and daughter in Pensacola, FL – where he was stationed as a Marine. The car itself has all its original parts and only 148,000 miles on it and has been a show car for the last 20-25 years.

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While stripping the paint, we found that the vehicle was painted several times, covering multiple areas with body filler. When we removed the body filler we found the metal to be damaged beneath. When media blasting was completed, there were several areas of rust that we found that would need to be repaired. Most of the damage was located beneath the passenger rear area and rear body mounts.

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The front wheel well is a common rust area on any classic VW Beetle. As you can see from the pictures below, the area had been previously repaired and covered with body filler which traps the moisture, making the repair more costly in the end due to a poor quality repair originally. We removed the whole section and replacement pieces were fabricated in house to repair the area properly.

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Both the inside and out of the rockers were rusted. Any rusted areas on the inside of the rockers were cut away and fabricated panels were welded in place. Because this is a convertible, it has braces that run the full length of the rocker to strengthen the body, and as with most reproduction panels - the fit was hardly accurate. The reproduction braces that were purchased had to be extensively modified to fit properly.

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The factory never intended for these cars to stay on the road as long as they have. Many areas of the car were assembled with no treatment of the metal in the seams. In areas like the weatherstrip channels shown below all of the weatherstrips were removed, blasted clean, treated for rust prevention, and new ones welded in place. After doing this the weather strip channels are then blasted again and sealed in epoxy.

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2015 at 7:21 AM, Kiddys Classics said:

The factory never intended for these cars to stay on the road as long as they have. Many areas of the car were assembled with no treatment of the metal in the seams. In areas like the weatherstrip channels shown below all of the weatherstrips were removed, blasted clean, treated for rust prevention, and new ones welded in place. After doing this the weather strip channels are then blasted again and sealed in epoxy.

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Bodies, meaning front deck lid, rear deck lid, doors and fenders assembled loose. ( as in doors partially opened, deck lids open ) Bodies were first steamed cleaned, then immersed in a paint in a huge paint vat completely submerging the body, next a grey primer, next a crème filler primer, then four topcoats of paint. The Karmann coachworks where the convertible is made has higher standards

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