(c)Tero Virta, 1995-2009

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My '52 Split

I bought this '52 Split some time ago in Spring and have been storing it in "secret lair". Started slowly taking it apart, but for some reason took first pictures only couple of weeks ago, so these are as much as "before" pictures as there are. I was originally looking for roughly 10 years younger car as my first Beetle was a 1963 and I really like the combination of looks looks and practicality on 1962-64 Sedans. I like the square rear window as the whole car looks perhaps better balanced than Splits or Ovals, but this Split was too much to resist, so it'll replace the one that got away.

Just in case you're wondering the background, no, I am not into 80's Peugeots too :)

One major issue is the poor panel fitting done long time ago. The car had been out of traffic since Summer of 1971, so maybe this repair took place already in 60's. The driver's side has some pop-rivet mounted thin metal sheet baked with filler, just something that gave one more year of driving until the next MOT test. Wonder what the guy who did these repairs would think about some idiot 40 years later trying to fully restore the car :)

Pan is surprisingly solid. Bit strange detailing on the hand brake lever, shifter and pedals.

Spare-wheel well doesn't look too bad neither.

The headlining didn't escape the "hippie" detailing neither.

The Plan

Gotta have the layout, right Jyri? :) As I've read "real" (native Californians) Cal Look guys' stories in the Lounge I was toying with the idea of what if I had been in their shoes and got a Beetle as a first car when 16 years old; "how could or would I have built it or where would I have picked the influences". This was the trigger for finding a new project Beetle and sort of a theme for the car.

Okay, when I was teenager in mid 80's I wasn't interested in VWs but Street Rods and Muscle Cars. I did like Porsches back then and actually 944 even more than 911 (well, that has changed..). So as I was thinking about the theme, I wanted to use Porsche stuff like gauges in this project but with Split dash both the speedo and rev counter should be same size which is not the case with 911 or 914 gauges. Couple of ebay searches later I learned that 924/944 gauges are same size and to my surprise when receiving my "proof-of-concept" gauges (don't know whether these suckers work or not.. cheap anyway..) arrived they bolt right into Split dash pods.

924/944 seats also look suitable so at least the plan now is to hunt a pair of them. Wheels-wise I am going to start with wheels I already have; 4.5/6" Fuchs or Gas Burners, but if you happen to have vacant a pair of 911-numbered 7x15s Fuchs do email me. Colour-wise I have been thinking would the world be ready for the nostalgia revival of India Red?

Continuing with the 80's theme I need to find C-cassette player to the car and find out whether my mother threw my NWOBHM collection away :)

With that nipple-type of glass swapped to flat one I think the gauges are going to look just great. Great thing about the speedo is that it's from some US spec model from the times when lower speed limits were enforced and it displays only 140 km/h. The dials with "typical Porsche speeds" exceeding 200 km/h would look rather ridiculous in Bug (even though it could be theoretically capable of reaching them depending on the engine).

Next steps on the "layout-list" are to figure out what switches etc to use among other details and on "real project-list" continue disassembly, scrape the rust protection stuff off, have the empty shell blasted and off to body shop. I am not going to do the body work, being old enough to know the constraints I have. The fun starts when I get the painted shell back.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vintage Helsinki Photos

Yesterday's local paper had an article about exhibition of Helsinki photos from 40 years ago.

Looks like every traffic/rush-hour related photo has a Volkswagen in it, but strange that the most of the photos have crappy weather, just like in sunny weather the photographers have had better things to do. Or maybe they have wanted to get the maximum depression in the rush-hour photos? :)

The Type III Fastback above with Fuchs-like hubcaps is pretty cool.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The latest Boxertje magazine

Received a copy of the Dutch/Belgian VW magazine Boxertje today, I'm "well chuffed" as they say in UK :)