1966 Cosmic Green VW Bug Home

1966 VW Bug Restoration and Customization

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So hereís the quick overview of the work to now:

   My 1966 VW Bug started out as a light blue beetle long before I purchased it (or was even born). My family purchased the beetle around 1992 and from the previous owner who was moving and didnít want to move his project bug. The PO had started doing some body work and left me with the front hood a nice mustard and blue mixture. That was the extent of the POís project. Other than that the beetle was pretty good (we thought).

   The plan was to have the car fixed up and painted by the time I was ready to drive. At some point I pushed the car into the garage and we banged on the old 1300 aircooled engine and got it to run. That was my first time seeing an old air cooled VW engine. We drove the car to the end of the bloc k and parked it in the driveway.

   Some years passed again before I came home for college one summer and decided I would do some work on the bug. I cleared a spot in the garage and started taking the fenders off. Thatís when the work seemed like it would start. I took the old engine out, pulled the interior out, and then I found the rust. More than we thought there was going to be. I built some stands and took the body off the pan. The pan needed replacement along with some fixing of the firewall and kick panels. Then I found the heater channels. Figured with how bad they were I would replace those too. Then the car sat a few more years.

   When I finished college and found the bug still where I left it in the garage being used as a shelf, I decided to work on it some more. This time I was planning to finish the Volkswagen. I finished dismantling everything and began working. First the pans got replaced while I learned to weld. Then the firewall got replaced while my welding improved slowly. Next the kick panels in the foot wells. Finally I was ready to tackle the heater channels. They were loads of fun.

   At this point the body was starting to look refreshed and more solid. I finished up with the rear package shelf and rear quarter panels. Then it was time to lower the car back on the pan and see how I did. Amazingly everything lined up pretty well and I could move onto other stuff (brake lines and little things like that).

   Next I had some family and friends over for sanding the body and after a few days I was ready to prime the car for paint. The change from old blue and spotted primer to a solid grey primer made the car look amazing. I loaded the bug onto a tow dolly and dragged it around town looking for a paint shop. After I picked one I dropped it off and went to work on the engine while the car was turning into its current Cosmic Green self. Engine work was pretty quick since I had purchased a zero mile MoFoCo engine from another guy who was getting out of VWís. The engine just need a few changes back to heater boxes and things like that. After a long while (over a month) the paint shop finally finished and I picked up my new green looking bug.

   I started putting the bug back together. Fenders, lights, new wheels and other little things really started making the car look good. The engine went in and it was really looking like a car. Then seats and the rest of the wiring came together. It was finally time to see if the little bug was going to go.

   First test drive went well. Around the block a few times and it was ready for real action. The beetle looked like it was going to be good to go. A few minor problems arose though, the biggest being a destroyed throw out bearing. A engine pull, pressure plate change, and engine reinstall later and the car was back to driving. Then around 7,500 miles in the engine broke. To early for an engine rebuild but the engine did sit for several years untouched. A big heat problem, a broken ring, and head problems led to a rebuild. Another few months later and the car is where it is now.

   So thatís the quick story up to now. More info on these actual steps can be found in the other sections.