Saturday, July 07, 2007

July update

The body shop has been working overtime on my car now so I have lots of pics.

I have some questions/concerns about both the clear-coating over decals and the gray interior. Check out the pics, and see my details at the bottom.

Notice we've changed the blue to the lighter blue of the first movie. The most accurate decals you can get use the darker blue of all of the later movies. The paint shop did a great job matching the blue and actually painting the color onto the decals before application.

See where they drew the body line. I think this veried a lot in the movies, but I sure like it here.

This looks right to me, where the gray meets the L87.

Oops, the Wolfsburg crest holes are still there. We need to fill those and paint. You can see my post about the crest

That 53 decal on the hood is about three inches too high, we'll have to lower it.

Here you can see the gray on the inside of the door jam.

The two fenders above are not finished yet, because you may remember from my previous posting, it turned out the ones I had were aftermarkets that didn't look quite right to me. So I just got these, and they need some sandblasting before painting. Also although they were supposed to be '63s, at least one looks like a '64.. In 1964 VW MOVED their turn signals rearward a few inches. So we'll have to fill in the holes and move the turn signal lights to be accurate.

Some of the loose interior parts painted gray.
Inside the grill here was pretty rough, so I'm showing close ups. Most impressed he was able to sand blast in there.

So there were two surprises for me.

One the paint shop has really been pushing to use the decals and then clear coat over them instead of painting each individual item. I really didn't want to use the decals and wanted to paint. Well, before I said yes, they used the decals. They've assured me they won't crack or peel or fade and are bonded in. They say they've done this for years, and it's the best way to do it. After talking with them, I actually feel pretty good about it. We'll see how long they last in the Arizona heat.

Also, I wanted to personally approve decal positioning before they clear coated over them, but too late. The hood gumball (the circle with the numbers) is too high by about three inches. We'll need to lower it. Also, some of the others need a bit of adjusting as well. I'm working with the shop on that.
Unfortunatly, the gray looks too dark for me. I wanted to match the TMI gray color (got a swatch of material etc.) but they tried to match the darker/bluish gray of the actual movies. Since I can only get interior colors matching the TMI gray (ok, I've since found Sewfine has another gray, however, it doesn't look right either) we'll have to rematch and repaint the interior.

Happy about the progress, but wanted more involvement although I believe we can fix everything here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Herbie Decals

DRAFT-I intend to add more detail to this post later

Herbie front

In this picture from the first Herbie movie, you can see that the stripes didn't go onto the apron, and only on the hood (same for the rear of the car, they only cover the decklid and don't go onto the body below the decklid. The instructions included with the decals say to put it on the body, however, that is for all the other movies after the first one. To look like Herbie in the first movie, we need to not put the decals on the body below the hood and decklids.

Also, after the first movie, the blue color got considerably darker. And the only high quality decals we can get (from Greg Carr aka Doctor Herbie) use the darker color blue of the later movies. To get our light blue color, Brady actually painted over the dark blue on the decals to match the light blue color. I think he was dead on with that color as seen in this picture of my recent work done:

To be finished: add details about getting and installing decals...

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Wolfsburg Crest

Herbie didn't have a visible Wolfsburg Crest, however, some of the cars that were made into Herbies started life having one.

Sometime during 1963 (mid year) they stopped including the crest and lengthened the chrome strip to go closer to the handle.  The Wolfsburg crest, which is just above the hood handle is shown here:
Wolfsburg Crest Picture

You can see in this picture of Herbie #2 from the first movie, it has the shorter chrome strip indicating it originally had the crest.

Friday, June 01, 2007

June update

Ok, it's been way too long since I've posted an update, so here we
Finally we are making some more progress. Competition Engineering has the pan assembled with a new beam and it's out to the powder coaters.

Meanwhile the body/paint shop has been working on my Herbie. Brady at Independent Restorations is doing the body and paint work.

Here are some pics of the work on my Herbie:
Grafted metal inside the left front fender to fix some rust damage.  Notice the antenna hole?  It's on the left side, and Herbie's antenna is on the right, so we'll need to fill that in with some metal too.  Brady doesn't use bondo much, and instead uses metal, because bondo eventually cracks over time.

Some work on the inside of the right fender as well. There were some random rust spots in "strange" places here. I don't think this is a common place needing a rust repair.

Here's a look at the outside of the right front.

Here's one of the big jobs. Grafting in that sunroof.

Hear was the other big job, grafting in the whole right rear quarter panel where the car had been hit before. From the outside...

And from the inside...

And now we start with the bad news. It turns out that I missed seeing bondo on the rear apron. Apparently the whole thing was pretty bondoed up and was in really bad shape. Remember, one of the reasons I bought this car was for the good "never been hit before" front and rear clips. Well, that made me pretty sad. They've already welded in a new rear clip...

Now you probably noticed, just as I did, that this is after-market sheet metal. I told him I was a little disappointed they used after-market sheet metal without asking me. He responded, "Well, I didn't think you would mind, since all your fenders were after-market." That's when my hear sunk. That's right, the primered up fenders I got attached to this '64 Beetle were after-market and I didn't realize it. Yes it's my fault for not seeing it, and it's obvious now, however, I really thought I had original fenders and that was one of the reasons I paid what I did for a non-running shell.

So I had a pretty sad day and now have to figure out how to proceed. I'm already $1,000 over budget on this body work, because of the unexpected bondo and just basically more work that was needed that had been hidden by the primer.

BTW can't say enough good things about Brady and the work he is doing at Independent Restoration. My disappointment is in no way because of him or his work.

So I decided the aftermarket rear apron and rear fenders are ok.  Most people say the aftermarket front fenders don't have all of the same curves to them, so I will find some original front fenders.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A 200MPH speedometer

In the original Herbie The Love Bug movie, the speedometer should've gone to 90MPH because in 1963 that's what shipped in Beetles. The truth is, Disney wasn't 100% consistent and some shots even showed an earlier 80MPH speedo.

Difficult to see, but you can see it here:

Herbie Fully Loaded introduced the idea of a 200MPH speedometer. Although I am basing my replica on the original Herbie from the first movie, I thought the idea of a 200MPH speedometer sounded pretty cool. And the way they did it, they kept the same font and styling of an original gauge, but just increased the numbers so at the end it was 200 instead of 90.

So how do you get a 200 MPH speedometer? You go to the source. North Hollywood Speedometer (NHS) made the custom gauges for Disney. And they aren't just a standard speedometer with a different face. The mechanical components inside were reworked so they were accurate with the new numbers. Now I suppose that means, if you ever only get up to 100 MPH that makes half of the gauge pretty much unused, but it's just too cool to pass up.

I've contacted NHS and talked to Waldek. He really knows his stuff. He even said when adjusting for the 200MPH gauge, he could calibrate it to deal with the fact that I'll be running larger than stock tires (which always throws off a speedometer.) Looks like it'll cost around $275 depending on shipping and if I send one of my own cores (and in what condition they are in.) I'm also talking with him about doing a 1963 accurate replica of a tachometer (no Herbie didn't actually have a tachometer, but if it is period accurate, I think I'll add one, as he should have had a tachometer.) I'll cover information about the tachometer in a later post.

Lastly, I haven't fully investigated this, but I'm thinking that perhaps more accuracy could be achieved on the speedometer and tachometer if the internals were replaced with modern (i.e. electronic) internals. I'll have to ask that question when I place the order. I'm still doing a bit of research and figuring out the best timing for this.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Upcoming Posts

I think of more that I want to put up here than I have time to put up, so I'm going to list some upcoming posts that I plan on making:

  • Information about the 200MPH speedometer from Herbie Fully Loaded. (done)

  • Information about Herbie graphics and decals.

  • Information and pictures of the second batch of parts that I have yet to unpack.

  • Laundry list of items (either feature/comfort/perfomance) that I will allow myself to deviate from an original restoration.

  • Information about Herbie wheels and tire sizes.

  • Information about a 1963 period accurate tachometer.

  • Information on possible suspension changes from a stock Beetle.

  • Information on disc brakes.

  • Information on modern air conditioning.

  • Information on exhaust and turbo.

  • Information on transmissions and possible 5 speed.

  • Information on interior coverings (from TMI and Sewfine.)

I'm listing these as much for your information as a reminder to myself to write articles about these topics.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What Radio Did Herbie Have?

Ah, this is a good question. And unfortunately there is no right answer. In general the Sapphire 1 (or Sapphire I) seems to have appeared most often, but you'll find many different radios appeared in Herbie even in the same movie. It just wasn't a detail they were very careful with.

There are two great pages setup with information about the radios. First, Brian, setup this web page showing clips from all the classic movies:

Radios from Older Herbie Movies

Then for a pic of the radio from the latest Herbie Fully Loaded movie we can see this:

Which BTW I got from a great site that has detailed screen caps (screen shots, screen captures, whatever you want to call them) from all the movie DVDs. You can see all of that here: Herbie Movies This has been a great resource for checking on parts and colors to make sure my Herbie will be an accurate replica. BTW if you go to his site (lobousland) and click on Resto you can see his pictures of his Herbie restoration.

When looking through the movies for Herbie details, there's enough variations in Herbie between the movies you can kind of pick and choose what features you want yours to have. I'm trying mostly to stick with the way Herbie looked in the very first movie although may end up including a 200MPH speedometer as seen in Herbie Fully Loaded, simply because that sounds so cool.

BTW since we are talking about radios, I haven't dealt with this person before, but I've had multiple recommendations that if you are looking for a rebuilt VW radio, this is the place.