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Trial Build


Body Back On
Well it’s clear the body’s back on from the ragtop photos, but here are some better shots of it on.

The next photo shows the beam. It’s proper tight to the body!


Body mounts
I thought I’d try and make it a look a bit nicer, as well as try and stop the dreaded rust, so I replaced the body mounts and bolts with stainless steel items, or ones made from aluminium.


Ragtop repair/ install
At last a real landmark moment, and what feels like a real turning point for the car! I’ve finally got the ragtop in!

As usually it was not straight forward, and although only a partial picture, you can see how bad the ragtop fabric and the mechanism was to begin with.

Here’s the rear bow section which only had two mounted studs left on it, as well as the end being partially rotted away

However this was soon repaired!

A few other bits of brackets broken and fixed.

All mechanical parts got a repaint.

And the guide rails got a polish! Yes I know not 100% perfect, but this is only a trial build, and my arms nearly fell off getting them to this point!

Rails installed in the car.

And the ragtop section built back up. At this point I got to say a massive thank you to Dayne at Touch of Class who made me up a ‘temporary’ top. He did an amazing job!

The actual ragtop will be done in mohair, but this temporary cover is just to make sure all the mechanisms work, and keep the water out the pan where my garage roof leak thanks to the shit*y wet weather in the UK!

And the ragtop installed! Please note, yes I know the edges are lipped up. I haven’t put the side tension straps in, as I couldn’t get the special rivets I needed to do so. This will be sorted out soon!

And the inside, showing the rebuilt mechanism.

And here’s the ragtop open, the most important bit of having a ragtop.


In terms of the interior the first thing to go back in was the rear seat.

For the front seats I've fitted a set of early Porsche 911 seats. Now whilst the actual size of the seats is similar to a stock beetle they mount very differently. In a Porsche they are fixed directly to runners on the floor, where as a beetle has a frame that raises the seat. This meant that after removing the seats of the stock runner frames I then had to section the seat to take about 50mm out of them to get them to the right height. However, when they were slid back the seat now caught the tunnel at the back of the runners so I then had to add 20mm BACK INTO the seat frame at the back to lift the back of the seat up and clear. Add to this having to custom make stops, and catches for the seat backs so that they didn’t just fall back and locked in position it was a lot of work.

Anyway I’m really pleased with the end result. Here’s them mounted in my daily (also another 59!)


I was never happy that the 912 seats did not allow the use of crotch strap. Thus I modified them so they can be fitted.



Here's some interior parts detailed and fitted.

Fuel tank hold down clamps.

Polished ID tag and ‘Made in German’ badge!

Grab handles and coat hook

I’ve also finalised the dash layout.

I decided not to run a radio, as I couldn’t find anywhere to hide speakers, and I’m not gonna hear it with the motor at 6,00rpm anyway!!

To finish the radio plate off nice, I adapted a glove box trim piece. I really like how it turned out.

Here the glovebox with a genuine EMPI glove box pull (added later). I know it might be a little resto cal, but I love it and I can actually open the glovebox with it as well!!

Looking at the interior, a few more bits added as well. There’s a genuine 58-59 only plastic sun visor. These are different from the oval ones as they are curved, rather than square, and being two years only are very hard to find. Cheers to Delly and Steve for this, it’s your old one!


Harness bar
I’ve actually decided that, despite not being able to race in MSA classes (i.e. VWDRC, OLFF etc), I’m not going to fit a roll cage. I know some people think I’m mental, but I built this car to use and enjoy, and having a full cage does get in the way (I know from the race car). I could actually live with a 4 point cage, but MSA rules say I got to have a 6 point due to the ragtop, and I’m just not willing to have all the scaffolding down the A pillar.

However, and bear with me cause I’m getting there, I’m not happy to run without decent seatbelt/ restraint either. At the moment there’s nothing, as 59 didn’t come with belts. I don’t like the look of standard later 3 point belt, and I’m not willing to fit the harness using the ‘easy break your spine route’ of fixing them to the centre of the rear seats.

Thus I’ve come up with the following design, which allows 4 point harnesses to be fitted, the ragtop to be easily opened, and for passengers in the back (with a bit of climbing under tubes!)

I’ve actually made a prototype version of this with thinner tube (gonna use CDS tube for real thing), and here’s how it fits. Thank you to the wife for being my glamorous assistant!

It will attach to the B pillars using welded on plates with welded in nuts, and another plate welded to the bar will bolt to this. A bar (not shown) will also drop down to the tunnel. This will stop it pulling down when people grab hold of it getting in the back!. Here’s the plates I made.

And here’s a mock up of how the plates will fit on the bar (excuse the terrible bend, pipes to thin, and the pipe bender just kinked it!). Good enough for a template though.

Well I decide that I wasn’t up to the job of fabricating the harness bar myself thus I went to see Bob at Concept Racing. I cannot recommend Bob’s work highly enough, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Stunning TIG welding.

Harness loops to keep the belt in place.

And with the seats and harnesses fitted.

Welded in inserts to attach the harnesses.


Battery in the stock location under the rear seat. I did originally run a gel battery, but the one i had degraded, so went for a standard type.

and heres the MSD system hidden away under other side of the rear seat.

And here's it all connected up to the wiring loom, with quick release connectors. Note the mid tunnel connectors allowing the loom to be conpletly removed (This will be rapped later with looming cloth to neaten it up).

Here is the indicator control box which adapts the rear snowflake tail lights to be used as indicators, as well as makes the semaphores flash. A big thanks to Larry from Retro Custom, who is the genius behind the wiring for this.

And heres it fitted in the glovebox. Also note the cigar lighter for charging stuff like mobile phones (I didn't call it a cigar lighter as I dont smoke).

Wipers have also been converted to run a later two speed wiper motor, making it much more practical than the standard single speed wiper.

And here’s the horn! It an genuine BOSCH horn from a 356 porsche. I think it looks pretty cool!

I also fitted a quick connect/ disconnect wiring terminal to the decklid so it can quickly and easily be removed.

And finally here is the loom all done behind the dash. Here is it before tidying.

And after tidying

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