Author Topic: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection  (Read 1477 times)

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Offline Randy

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Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« on: October 20, 2016, 11:24:15 AM »
Well this should cover some past history and the current rebuild of my 'Vert.

30 years ago - The Beginning.
First a few sketches, being a commercial artist everything is usually figured out on paper - I was going for a kind of a pseudo Heb-Cal-Look. This is the sketch I drew for inspiration, similar to the style of a speedster kit, except I didn't like in those kits how high the deck comes up and blocks your rearward view, so I made up my own.





In 1986 I found a '74 sedan in the Buy & Sell for a decent price, quit cigarettes, and spent the next 8 years knee-deep in sunflower seed shells. In a small, hence the choice of a bug, old drafty one car garage I proceeded to "Chop, Cut, & Rebuild".

Of course after diving into it there was way more rust than anticipated, out with the torch! Off comes the front hood, fenders, apron, next the roof, and 4" from the windshield, Then body off the pan to replace pan halves. In the meantime many trips to: California Import Parts, Calif meets, Seattle meets, etc. to aquire the part$.



First a plaster buck was made on the car to shape the rear section, then a mold was pulled from that, and subsequently a final piece was made from the mold.







Re-assembly, not quite as fast as taking it apart, although I managed to do it all completely by myself, fiberglass, body, paint, mechanical, and engine rebuild. The money saved on labor covered the cost of more TOOLS!

A one-piece glass front-end was modified, 1 1/2" added to each fender width, inner fender wells, and extra bracing for street use. New pans and body patch panels welded up. Body and pan mated up.





Mocked up a MGB folding top too!



Bodywork is very time consuming! Painted Light Jade Green, ( a '74 Ford truck colour) inside and out.













Four inches were removed from the windshield and the doors got cut down also.

The interior has Tercel seats and custom door panels I made to match. I took a piece of 1/8" aluminum to make the dash. It has upholstered inserts inthe same gray naugahyde as the door panels. I made the door pulls from wood covered with nauga and aluminum inserts to mimic the curve of the door panel. Found an English-made steering wheel, made my own custom adapter & horn and re-polished and covered the wheel with gray leather. While I was making the adapter I thought I would turn some other interior items on the lathe, dash, window winder & shifter knob, e-brake handle & button, and roller gas pedal.








I rebuilt the engine into a 1641, mild port/polished heads with a three angle grind, 009 distributor, and an Engle 100 cam. Currently has a 34 pict on it but I have a pair of Kadrons waiting to go on. Since there are less air vents I added extra air cooling via a marine bilge blower through the firewall.


Offline FunkyDrummer

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 11:57:48 AM »
Thanks for posting this Randy!! Love that beetle...    :13:

Offline kirin

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 12:04:59 PM »
Love the "vintage" photos! Thanks for the post Randy!
If more power is better. Then too much is just enough.
Why do it once when you can do it thrice?

Offline CommodoreCollector

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2016, 10:25:33 PM »
Great sketch and wow, you nailed it on the build! How goes the process of getting her back onto the road again?

Offline Randy

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2016, 11:13:34 AM »
Thanks! Working on it!

A couple of more pics showing the all aluminum roof, wheels, and dual carbs.









CAUTION: Bad news ahead :(

Offline Randy

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2016, 11:43:07 AM »
So all was going well. We were enjoying a fabulous GCVWS weekend (Aug 19-21 2016), great people all around, awesome. Unfortunately, shortly after leaving the Sunday show, I heard a POP then flames coming from the back. Two fire extinguishers later, to no avail. Firemen arrived within 8 minutes and put it out. It appears to have been an air cleaner/carb/fuel issue. 









BUT, I am more overwhelmed by the response from the VW community, within hours, 2 clubs (DVKK & LGK), had each promised funds to rebuild it! Many others have offered up cash, parts, upholstery, paint and endless help!
Thanks so much!
WHAT A GREAT BUNCH ALL YOU VW PEOPLE ARE!!!!!

Offline Randy

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2016, 01:32:36 PM »
Openroad VW - Aug 18, 2016:



Leaving GCVWS - Aug 19, 2016:



I just can not believe the numerous offers of help to resurrect my car! So glad I belong to the VW community!

Well, so now that I have been challenged by DVKK to have this car back for next years show, I guess I have lots to do!
After dealing with ICBC insurance, I believe they gave me a settlement that was fair, and gave me the opportunity to buy the car back (salvage for parts only).

The first order of business was to examine and determine extent of fire/water damage. Pulled the engine, stripped it down and pulled heads to check for water, as I found some when draining the oil, dried out cylinders and sprayed WD-40, in case, until rebuild. Stripped most of the burnt damage from the body. What a dirty process this was, soot everywhere!





Since the car was a write off, the chassis needs to be replaced, I found a 69 with about 6" of rust where rockers and pan should be. Stripped down the body and only saved a couple of pieces of tin, engine, tranny, seats and spine. Only about 6 bolts holding the body to pan!




Offline Randy

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Fibreglassing
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2016, 03:55:32 PM »
o\!/o
Fortunately being a vw hoarder, I had stored the mold I made 30 yrs ago under my deck, still in great shape (overbuilt, haha).
Now that I have the chance to rebuild this car there are some changes (that I had wished I did first time). Couple of changes will be to the mold. First I moved the rear cowl back 2".



My friend Geoff Peterson, who built the famous Hebrod, told me once that my car was part of the inspiration for the Hebrod. The first time I saw the rear of the car, I said to myself "I should have put the indents in the rear decklid"!



Well now I have the opportunity. I managed to be able to cut out the indents, then glassed them back in, recessed about 3'16". Smoothed it out with a little bondo, a shot of black paint, parting wax, and parting film and already to make a new piece. This time I stepped up and used heat resistant resin. 2 layers of gelcoat, mat, roven, and mat, for now.







This mold creates one piece that has to be cut apart for decklid and upper panel/cowl. I used a cowl section as a mold to finish the underside incorporating rain drainage.



Pieces cut apart and cowl drainage molded in.



Making a couple of filler panels with shrinker/stretcher.



« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 11:58:24 AM by Randy »

Offline bwaz

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2016, 04:38:36 PM »
looking great Randy!
brian waz

Offline kinggeorge13

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2016, 09:01:48 PM »
Awesome.   I'm in Awe.    I may never show any of my welding repairs again!  ha ha
1975 Westy, Serenity
1975 Westy, Jack Sparrow
1979 Kombi, Pistachio
1979 Kombi, Oliver
1977 Tin top camper, Cosmos
1974 Westy, Garfield
1973 Tin top camper, Bart (now thinking he's 1976)
1974 gutted Riviera, Casper
1975 Westy, Stella
1979 Super Beetle, Penelope
1967 Fastback, Green Hornet

Offline Randy

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2016, 08:51:49 AM »
Awesome.   I'm in Awe.    I may never show any of my welding repairs again!  ha ha

Thanks, but it's my grinding that has improved since I started welding!  :c017:

Offline Jeremy

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2016, 11:09:20 AM »
Looking good Randy. Keep us posted.

You got a shrinker/stretcher at home?
'59 Beetle
'59 Single Cab

Offline Geoff

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2016, 06:36:47 PM »
Wow!!! Fantastic progress Randy, So good to see this local pc of VW history being saved.

Offline silas

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Re: Randy's Vert Convert Resurrection
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2017, 08:56:57 PM »
hey randy! awesome car, cool history & build thread and thanks for sharing! always been a big fan of your hard work and craftsmanship & this car!

you've had an incredible 30 year journey with this car, and this is just a new chapter and it looks like you're full steam ahead after the tragic fire in august. wicked!  :rockon:

 

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