CURRENT PROJECT ~ 1968 VW Bug Convert
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Current Project: 1968 VW Bug Convert
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1968 VW Bug Convert Photo Gallery
Allow us to introduce you to Gertrude.....

This project is a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible. Gertrude has sat idle in a client's garage for about 10 years....she was originally a birthday gift for his wife.....

We will be performing an extensive amount of fabrication that is required, along with refinishing the body, and painting it a custom colour the client has selected.

This Convertible was hit quite hard in the rear passenger corner at one time, and does not appear to line up with the rest of the body. There is extensive damage to the rear quarter panel, inner wheel well area and also the parcel shelf/rear seat area. There is a large amount of corrosion in the main structural areas, heater channels, front firewall, both door hinge posts and the front end and spare tire area.

The previous owner attempted to repair the rust, and cut out some areas of metal. They tried to weld in various places. Unfortunately most of their work is sub par, and most of it requires replacement and repair to re-align the body back to its original positions.

The first item to address is to locate a replacement rear (right) quarter panel. The restoration will need to begin in that area, the damaged quarter panel will need to be removed. The back end of the car will then need to be pulled back into it's original position. Once the replacement quarter panel is fitted, and the rear parcel shelf is replaced, we can proceed with the other structural repairs.

Our client was able to locate an "O.E" (original equipment) factory rear quarter panel. He had it "drop shipped" to our U.S post office box, and we brokered the part into Canada on the client's behalf.

We made a metal material list and placed the order.

We began the "tear down" of Gertrude beginning with removing the engine lid and front hood. We than removed the engine. The next step was to drill out the large amount of factory spot welds and grind off tack welds holding the heavily damaged right rear quarter panel. The damaged panel was then removed.

The extra support panel in the upper engine bay that is welded to the rear parcel shelf was removed next. We drilled out and removed the damaged and rusted rear parcel shelf. The next step was to make more precise cuts to prepare the body for the new quarter panel and new parcel shelf. The bent and damaged areas were reshaped. The new metal order arrived..... we began "dry fitting" the replacement rear quarter panel, rear parcel shelf, and rear apron.

A large amount of grinding and drilling out of spot welds were made to remove the rotted front firewall, and passenger side heater channel and dash to front cowl pieces. We welded the new heater channel to the new lower rail support (as one unit). Fabrication was required before the new front firewall could be installed. We installed the new passenger side heater channel, both front cowl pieces and new front firewall in place.

Once the replacement passenger rear quarter panel was fitted, we welded it and the new rear parcel shelf into place. We removed the incorret passenger rear bumper bracket, and welded the proper replacement bumper bracket. Ground all the welds down smooth. We then rebuilt the driver's rear wheel well area....we replaced the rusted out bumper bracket, main body support & inner engine bay support, installed the new lower rear quarter panel. We also aligned the new apron by bolting both rear fenders in place for proper locations before welding the apron into place.

We moved to the front end area, and removed the damaged and rusted out front nose. After a large amount of measuring and cutting, we dry fitted the new nose assembly to the body , and bolted on the new front fenders to ensure all the gaps line up properly. The new front section was welded into place, all welds ground smooth, and the front area looks like new again!

After all of the metal work was completed, our attention turned to smoothing the body and all of the body panels. There was numerous hours spent block sanding and smoothing, starting from 120 grit sandpaper, then 180 grit, next was 240, then 320 grit and finishing with final 400 grit (applying a high quality high build primer between each level of sandpaper).

Gertude received her new paint finish next. The colour is a correct Volkswagen Factory shade called Sea Green (L381 is the official paint code). The paint is a Premium Single Stage paint and looks fantastic on this convertible!

Our client chose to have all of the engine tin media blasted and powder coated the correct satin black finish. We re installed the tin to the engine and installed the ceramic coated exhaust system.

We think the chassis looks wonderful now!

With the chassis completed, it was time to re unite Gertrude's body to her chassis.

We placed the body onto the chassis after installing the two new engine bay seals (German Quality) that get installed on the body section before it was set on the chassis.

Next step will be to bolt the body to the chassis using the German Quality fastener bolt and washer kit.

Stay tuned as this restoration continues.....

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