Restoration of Dude's Beetle


The Car as I Brought It
I have always loved early small/ big window beetles, (58-60 ones), as they combine features of early cars (ovals), such as the semaphores and early snowflake tail lights, with later more practical features such as a larger rear window. Thus when I heard of a UK 1958 (59 model) bug for sale, which (I thought) was fairly solid, I decided it was time to build the early cal look beetle I'd always wanted. The only issue was that, I also loved ragtop's, especially genuine Golde ragtops, and the car I had just brought was a solid roof model. However, I had a Golde ragtop section from a previous car and thus I had the roots of my dream cal looker.

In general the car seemed fairly solid, if not a bit rough around the edges, but for a car built in 1958 it was pretty good!


The Bad Bits!
However, after stripping the car down it soon became apparant that it needed a bit more work than originally thought! (isn’t it always the case!).

Body Repair


Goldie Ragtop Section Install
Therefore in typical ‘Dude’ style the first thing I decided to do was to fit the Golde ragtop! I must say a massive thank you to my good friend Phil who help with the install. I'm really pleased with the final finish. (I have lots more photos of the install as well as acurate measurment if anyone’s is interested. Please feel free to drop me a email).

The first thing we did was to remove the golde section from the donor roof.

Next we accuratly measured where the roof was to be installed. (n.b. Measument were taken from the original roof before the section was cut out)

And then the main feature of a ragtop, we cut the hole in the roof!

The donor section was then postioned so that the roof could be trimmed for final fit.

So that the donor section sat flush the edge of the roof it was going in was 'joggled' down.

And finaly the roof section was spot welded in.

All finished!


Nose Section Repairs
Next up came the repairs to the front clip and spare wheel well. I decide that these panels were to far gone to be saved, and thus I fitted new items, which also ended up in me replacing both side of the nose sections. The front valance is an Autocraft pressing which is brilliant (I can't recomend Autocraft enough! Their panels are spot on and a reasonable price!).

The wiring hold down tabs were added as per the original panel (most aftermarket wheel well panels do not include these). I have also fitted captive nuts for the fixing of the inspection plate, rather than stock self tapers, as it just looked neater and is much more durable.

As usual nothing went easy with the front valance install. The front valance seemed for some reason to be to longer than what was original, but it did fit with the wings, which were very accurate daymouldings fibreglass reproductions. Thus I ended up splitting the nose sections to fit the valance and wings, as well as splitting the wheel well!

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