ChrisTropea Associate Editor
1/20/20 6:36 p.m.

About a year ago I was searching on Facebook marketplace durring my lunch break and stumbled upon a post that peaked my intrest, A 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle. For the longest time I had wanted an air-cooled VW becasue growing up I was always hearing stories from my dad and grandfather about having various Beetles throughout the years and the memories they had with them, one of which caught fire at a gas station but that is a story for another day. On that day this project in progress seemed to me like a great starting point, even though I did not have the slightest idea what a good starting point should look like other than checking for it to have as little rust as possible. This was part of my biggest problem, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. How hard could it be to completly re-build a Beetle I said to myself. So with cash in hand, off we went with van and trailer to go look at and buy my first project car. As of now it is still in the works and but here it is my first build thread, so lets start at the begining. 

Day 1 

Driving out far west of Deland Florida, we arrived at the sellers house to see the Beetle in his shop. After looking it over we saw it had new floor pans and a mostly straight body minus some dings and small areas of rust that need attention. Confident that this was the car for me  we got to the bargining stage and after a few minitues we agreed to a price, exchanged money and the title, shook hands and begain loading it into the trailer with all its parts. Then we took one last look around the sellers garage for parts that may have been left behind and put the address into the van GPS system set and off on our way home and imedialy got stuck on a soft dirt road. This did not help inpire confidence in my latest decision. But after about an hour of digging and moving the van and trailer around we finally got free and made it onto pavement and headed to Harbor Freight to pick up my new garage ( I agree with what you all are thinking and no I did not think this all the way through). With the garage assmbled and the Beetle unloaded into its new home the hard part begain, deciding on where to start with no idea what to do. 

Patrick MegaDork
1/20/20 7:46 p.m.

I have a ton of vw parts if you end up needing anything.  

Wicked93gs New Reader
1/20/20 8:10 p.m.

A bug is on my list as my next project car(technically I have already, but its too rusty to be worth saving)...oh, the possibilities. Good luck with the build!

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
1/21/20 8:12 a.m.

In reply to Patrick :

Thanks! Once it starts turning back into a car I may get in touch with you about some parts. 

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
1/21/20 8:13 a.m.

In reply to Wicked93gs :

Thanks! It should be fun once it is all together. 

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
1/21/20 4:08 p.m.


New and slightly improved flooring in the "garage". Parts are starting to get inventoried and I am starting to get a feel for how much work it is actually going to take to get this on the road. 

wheelsmithy UltraDork
1/22/20 7:09 p.m.

If you don't have it already, get this:

Don't be put off by the title, it is perhaps the best manual ever written.

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
1/23/20 9:49 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy :

Thanks! That was the first book I bought after getting the car. I definitly need the step-by step guide haha

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/7/20 8:14 a.m.

Time to ge the engine cleaned up and the tins painted and attached. Luckily i had all but one tin, the dog house, which I ordered online and decided that I was going to delete the heat since I live in Florida and it wont be a daily driver. 

And I found this stock style exhaust for a great deal at the local aircooled show. 

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
11/15/21 11:59 a.m.

Time to get this build going again. After a year of the car sitting the Beetle moved from its spot in my parent’s garage to Toms shop. 

Since my last update the car has been painted, the brakes re-built, and brake system got back in working order. Next on the list is to look at all the parts I have and make a spread sheet of what I still need or need to replace and a timeline of when I need those parts to arrive.


ChrisTropea Associate Editor
11/16/21 3:01 p.m.

In reply to MuSTANK :

Thanks! I am excited to get it on the road. I have had it for almost 3 years so its time to get this project moving again. Thankfully there is a decent air-cooled VW community around here so between online for new stuff and marketplace I should have no problem getting what I need. 

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
11/16/21 3:05 p.m.

Toms shop officially has a bug problem.  The plan is to get it wired and install the fuel system to get the car moving under its own power first. Then I can get going on rebuilding the suspension and cleaning up the underside of the car.  

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