Ending the Year with a Beetle

Seven months in, I'd like to share a little progress on the Beetle.

Category: vw-beetle


If anything can kill a writing project, it would be another project. For seven months, I’ve been working on a VW Beetle. Time to provide a status update.

In late April, I bought the VW Beetle. In other articles, I’ve described my overall plan. Now it’s time to provide a bit of an update.

  • 9 May - removed the interior
  • 16 May - pulled to the engine
  • 17 May - removed to the wiring
  • 25 May - separated the body from the chassis

from May until October, I worked on the chassis. I replaced the floor pans. I replaced the Napoleon hat, and the lower frame head. I rebuilt the rear brakes, the rear torsion bar, and I replaced the front brakes with Carmen Ghia disc brakes. I rebuilt the front struts. All the remains, is to refresh the shifting, install new brake lines, and mounts the front struts to the chassis and body.

I had hoped to finish all that by Labor Day, but I did not. I did finish it by Halloween. Now that I have a bit of a Christmas break, I’m turning my attention to the body. There are five parts of the body that connects to the chassis: right and left heater channel, rear cross members, and a front bulkhead. The heater channels and cross members are out, and I am working on the front bulkhead now.

My goal is to finish replacing the metal between the chassis and the body, those five parts, by New Year’s Day. Then, I will try to finish one quarter of the car each month between January and April. If successful, I will finish the body by April, and then try to finish the chassis by May. Then, the car can go to the paint shop and I can rebuild the engine.

Once back in the paint shop, I will start reinstalling all of the wires and redo the interior. In all likelihood the car probably will not be on the road again until maybe a year from now.

So how am I doing with the schedule? My stretch goal was to have everything done by May. My realistic goal was to have everything done by May 2017. Right now, it’s apparent that my May 2016 stretch goal is not gonna happen. I underestimated the bodywork, or overestimate my ability.

Had I known how much work was involved, I would not have bought the car. But, I don’t like to turn down a challenge and there’s a competitive side of me that does not want to admit defeat – especially when I’m competing against myself. I will have this car on the road.

All that said, I do want to finish Luctation soon. I will use some of my Christmas break for that as well.

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Photo Credit: Rust Kills Cars (Ben Wilson Rights Reserved.)