CURRENT PROJECT ~ 1978 VW Convertible
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Current Project: 1978 VW Convertible
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1978 VW Convertible Photo Gallery
Allow us to introduce you to Winnie.....

Winnie is a 1978 Volkswagen Super Beetle Convertible that appears to be a limited "Special Edition".

Our client ordered a Birth Certificate from Germany to confirm not only if this is a true "numbers matching" Super Beetle, but also verify if it is in fact one of the very rare Canadian special editions!

Winnie came to our spa for a total Ground Up / Pan Off restoration. There was a special "triple white" (meaning white exterior paint, white interior and a white convertible top) edition that was built in limited supply for the Canadian market place.

This car has the same special "different looking" stamped steel wheels, rear window defroster, upgraded gas heater, and some other features we noticed.

This Super Beetle Convertible has been sitting in a barn for about 20 years.

The motor is seized (it will not roll over). We noted the spark plugs were missing (it looked like they have been removed for many years) based on the amount of rust around the cylinder heads. We poured our "magic anti seize" liquid into each cylinder every day for 2 weeks hoping to free the motor did not work.

We will probably be replacing the motor with a more reliable carbureted version (after we consult with our client).

Winnie's transformation began with us starting the dis assembly.

The front and rear bumper brackets along with front and rear fenders were removed first. The hood and engine lid next. All of the under front hood components were removed, the gas heater, spare tire, windshield washer lines and jug and gas tank.

We removed the engine from the chassis after unbolting it from the transmission and dropped it out through the bottom and out of the way after unhooking the heater controls, fuel line and starter.

The front seats were removed (with their very rusty seat frames), and the rear seat cushion and back were removed next.

Both doors were taken apart (door panels, window regulators, glass, handles and trim). The complete interior was also removed (old nasty carpet, underlay and all trim along with the complete dash board assembly.

The smell of Winnie's interior was terrible from the "barn friends" that lived and visited her in the barn she was stored in for many years.

All of the bolts that held the body to the chassis were removed next.

The body was lifted off of the chassis/pan assembly after the front struts and steering was unbolted and set on one of our beetle body dollies. The chassis section will need to have new floor pans for both the driver and passenger sides (very common on Beetles).

The front steering and suspension components were removed from the front frame head of the chassis. We installed one of our front wheeled dollies to move the chassis easily around the shop.

The complete convertible top was unhooked and removed from the body. The remainder of interior trim was carefully removed and labelled and put into bins.

We unbolted both doors from the body and began to prepare the body for media blasting. With the body degreased and wiped down, the complete body was media blasted to bare metal. Both door frames were media blasted and the exterior of both doors were sanded to bare metal.

There were some rusty sections that required new steel patches.

The rusted out areas were cut out and new steel patches were made and welded into place. All of the welds were ground smooth.

The rusted out rear apron panel (at the rear engine bay opening) was removed from the body after all of the factory spot welds were drilled out. (We will be welding in a new replacement rear apron panel later).

With all of the old factory paint sanded and removed from all areas of the body, it was washed and wiped down with a special degreaser and cleaning solution before the complete body received two coats of a special two part black epoxy metal sealer (to protect the complete car from future rust).

The complete body will receive two coats of grey high build primer next.

Stay tuned as this Pan Off restoration continues....

Stay tuned as this Pan Off restoration continues .....

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