Let's go way on back to 1996. When Beetles were still a daily sight on the roads of Bristol, and I bought a 1200 1973 Beetle from one of my old mates. It was in the style of the day: de-chromed, custom interior, pastel turquoise paint job, flower sticker in the back window...
Over the next few years "Thumper" was my daily driver for the commute between Bristol and Bath. While I had grand plans to make the car my own, but all I really did was spew cash into keeping him on the road, and fitting one piece windows.
In 1999 the MOT estimate was the end of the road. Thumper was shut in my mum's garage and a Ford Escort took his place.
In 2001 I moved to a new house, and Thumper moved to a new garage. Ever so often, I'd drink a few beers, sit in the little fella and dream of restoring him. Sometimes, I'd even get the sockets out and take a wing or bumper off. Trouble was, every bolt that came out was accompanied by half a panel's worth of rust; Thumper was not healthy.
In 2009, with the Credit Crunch in full effect, I was made redundant, and finally had the budget (and time) to get Thumper back in shape.
Now I'm nearing the end of the project, I felt it was time to share the story with you guys.
This is Thumper circa 2009. Doesn't look too bad from this angle does he?
This was lurking underneath:
So, I got some quotes, took out the engine, and sent him off to Mark at VDub Resto in Bristol, for some major surgery. I didn't know half of it...