Why a VW Beetle convertible restoration? You may ask.

Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Restoration: Okay, it’s not a Jaguar, Lotus or Ferrari. We would not be restoring a Volkswagen Beetle convertible here at @Dillybrookcars, all things being equal. However, as we all know, cars have stories behind them that make you do things you would not normally do, and this is one of them:

I came across this 1975 right hand drive VW Beetle convertible 1303S when scouring the Japanese market back in August 2015. It stood out and caught my eye. Admittedly, I have always had a soft spot for air cooled VW Beetles (and Karman Ghias and Beach Buggies for what it is worth!).

When I was 15, my first project car was a Beach Buggy (The blue one in the photo). It became my first car, and the mode of transport I chose to take my future wife on our first date! I am glad she accepted that zooming around Weston Beach with a Steve McQueen wannabe was perfectly ok, rather than expecting a meal and red roses … The Buggy was followed by a VW Karman Ghia convertible project ,and then a VW Beetle 1200. The latter was going to be my daily run around, until using it as such demonstrated to my 17 year old self that it was clearly much too slow.

Back to this lovely Volkswagen Beetle convertible restoration, then: when it arrived @Dillybrookcars, my crew decided while it was an entirely appealing car, it realistically needed a little TLC including welding and painting. So off it went to slumber in storage. Fast forward more than 3 years and enter my 17 year old son now – just like his dad at that age, he was enthusiastic to start his first project.

Being a keen welder, opinion was that he could start on the Beetle. The car was shaken out of its inertia in order to be stripped down, only to find that the small welding job on its floor was increasing weekly. The work being much greater than anticipated, the team decided that new floor pans were entirely unavoidable. Off came the body, and the car was in pieces before we could say “Ferrari Testarossa”!

Meanwhile, my formerly fired up son had started a new full time job, and the restoration project was left to Pete and Neil in the workshop to complete the task. Same old … but hey –

we decided we had gone this far and it was such a solid nice car that we would do a complete nut and bolt restoration. This is the story so far – follow our Volkswagen Beetle convertible restoration journey, you’ll never know where it will lead ….

Roll on a few months and the floor pan is fully restored after being sand blasted. The underside was then stone chip coated for protection and the remaining VW Beetle convertible floor pan was painted.

The Volkswagen Air-cooled 1600 1303S engine was removed and striped down to inspect its condition. Upon inspection Pete made the decision to replace main bearings, big end bearings, piston rings and valve seals with new, he then re ground the valves and polished heads finally the engine was fully detailed ready for re assembly.

The gearbox was checked and detailed with a new clutch assembly installed then refitted to the floor pan. All new brake pipes, wheel cylinders, brake shoes, wheel bearings and master cylinder were all installed then the engine was attached to the gearbox.

21st November 2019 : The restoration of the Volkswagen Beetle 1303S convertible is progressing well and today she is off to the paintshop, we have completed all welding as required and now it’s off to Bob and his team to make the bodywork gleam again.

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