59 Sliding Ragtop
(thats the only 'before' pic I could find, taken by a crappy disposable camera. Another pic to come when i find them)
|I bought this car from an old man that lived at that base of
south mountain in Phx AZ. It was a nice dry shell. It was a pretty complete rolling pan
with nothing but rims on it - no tyres. It was in his way so he moved it around by pushing
it with a tractor. A few people knew about this car but were "scared away" by
its swamp creature looks. they regret that now. Always makes me laugh when people wont buy
an old vehicle because the paint 'looks crappy' even though they would end up redoing it
anyway or if you primered it, they would buy it no problem heh. The paint was very nasty
looking and had been painted multiple times with different color spray cans. (mostly
green) the price was $250 and I bought it the second I showed up, no questions asked. Me
and a friend went over and spent a day digging it out of the dirt and putting good wheels
on it to drag home.
Negatives: Was missing bumpers and engine. Vinyl interior non existent, missing all seats. All rubber rotten and vent windows sticking slightly out of place because of that. Shag carpet was covering the face of the glovebox door. Original paint Fjord blau was long since covered up, but still visible on dash board, but someone had ruffed it all up and tried to paint it black.
|No title. I went to the DMV and was told to go to the phoenix DMV and do a title search to see who the last registered owner was. If it was on the record, I could take a "power of attorney" slip to him, have him sign it, and become the official owner on DMV's record. So I figured what the heck and went for it. When the guy looked it up on the computer, he found the last registered owner was in 1972 out in phoenix. He frowned and mentioned something about 'the guy probably didn't live there anymore' so he looked over his shoulder and quickly gave me an printout of the last registered owners *Current* address using his drivers license number (he's not supposed to give me current license info). So off I went in search of the last registered owner. I knocked on the door and began to talk to an old man who denied ever owning my 59 beetle. I insisted and showed him the DMV paperwork that had his name all over it. He invited me in and we sat and talked as the guy tried to remember all the vw's he'd ever owned. He finally asked his wife and she said "yah the one with the hole in the roof!! don't you remember??" he couldn't. Finally he decided to just sign it anyway to help me out. Went back to DMV and got the title clear and free.|
|Stripped shell and primered it with a light gray mixed with
Installed new stainless fat chrome, NOS running boards.
Had an original set of bumpers re-chromed.
New windshield/door/ rubber all the way around.
Disassembled the ragtop assembly and had it all powdercoated.
Installed new vinyl top. Was supposed to be the Grey Blue color, but since I knew the vinyl would be trashed before I even got around to painting it Fjord blue again, I decided to go with white to match the light grey primer better.
removed door window wind-up mechanisms, and had them powdercoated.
Installed fender beading.
Installed some used original grey door panels to use for the time being, its just a driver.
Redid all the brakes and went thru the wiring leaving as much original as I could.
Noticed that it appeared to have some tabs on the inside corners of the rear window for an accessory screen cover. When I tried to mess with them, they crumbled into pieces from being baked by the sun.
Installed rebuilt transmission and rebuilt 1600 sp engine.
New tyres all the way around, repainted rims.
I daily drove this beetle to work everyday for 5 years. Primer was starting to fade, rubber was getting dry, vinyl on ragtop was getting cracked. Put 30k on it and the new engine/tranny. Saw a cool bus come up for sale and traded it away for it.