Monday, April 10, 2006

Inspection of my new 1964 Beetle

Hello all.  Well it's been a while since I had an update so I figured it was time again.

Now you may remember last time I had my old '63 sunroof shell and was waiting to get some opinions from Dan at Competition Engineering in Phoenix.  Unfortunately he told me that I was looking at more money to restore that Beetle due to its condition than if I was to start with something a little better.  Dan showed me a lot of areas of problems that I hadn't seen before (see the images from my previous post) and taught me some additional things to look for.

I didn't post an update about that because I was pretty disappointed.  Basically, while I had invested in a good parts car (and especially had the 63 sunroof and all parts) but I was still back to square 0, needing to find the right vehicle for the right price.  Well after a few months of checking out local Beetles, and watching The Samba I found a deal on a Beetle that had been prepped for paint (remember I want to do a full off body restoration, and build/spec out my engine from scratch) that looked promising.

It was about 400 miles away from Phoenix on the other side of L.A.  Got a babysitter for the kid, took the pregnant wife, and had an adventure.  The car looked good so we hitched it to our SUV and towed it 400 miles back home.  That was an adventure but while we had some problems locating safety chains at the last minute, everything worked out in the end.

So here are some pictures of my new 1964 Beetle.  I'll use the roof section and anything else I can from the 63 I already have to make sure it is an authentic 1963 vehicle.

Drivers side rear.  Not much to say.

Under from the rear.  I took a couple of these with the flash so this is actually  a clearer look then when I just bend down with a flashlight.

You can see a half pan replacement had been made.  May or may not be helpful as I was planning on replacing the full pans anyway.

Doesn't look too bad.  Some rust, not too much.  I'm sure the pan that was replaced had some holes in it.

Front suspension, you can see I still have the tow bar attached for easy moving.  That's the black tubular steel piece.

Another shot from under the front.  No the Beetle isn't leaking, those pans are for when I park my Jeep in the garage which does leak...a LOT.  You can see the driver side pan is the original.

Another front suspension shot, not sure what I was going for here.  The exterior was freshly primered and you can see lots of overspray on the suspension components.  Of course, hiding any rust or odd wear.

Left side front, not much to say.

I'm very happy with the condition of the front apron and hood.  Items that are unusable off of my '63 Beetle.

The previous owner says before the tear down for the paint the engine ran.  I have no reason to doubt it.  I hopefully can use the core, but I plan on speccing out my own 1776 size engine with fuel injection and a turbo if possible.  I noticed the odd upright oil cooler.  I hadn't seen that before. 

The only problem area.  This bug has been hit once.  Passenger side just behind the door (rear quarter panel).  This is an interior shot showing some of the effort to repair and still existing damage.

Here's another view of the damaged area.

The dash looks pretty good.  Unfortunately that isn't' a Sapphire I radio in there which you need for a really accurate Herbie replica.  I'll have to find one of those elsewhere.  I don't need a working one, as I'll stealth install a real modern stereo.  You can also see that except for the dash, the interior has been painted with a thick black glossy paint.  This of course covers hidden problem areas.  I noticed that the heater channel in the right rear area (same area that had been hit) has been rusted through.  My guess is there are other areas of concern covered by the black paint.  We'll find out as we prep the car more.

Exterior view.  Most of the trim items, etc. are missing, however, I have a lot of parts from my other Beetle so we'll see what we can put together and what we have to purchase.

Last view.  Looks good to me.  I'm pretty excited to get working on this.