'74 1303s


It's a 1303s, metallic gold with brown and cream seats, brown carpets and door panels,  with padded steering wheel & GT wheels & is  apparently a special edition. It came with service history, a load of receipts for work done and even an mpg history of the engine for most journeys.

Plans

Body-wise it needs 4 wings, 2 doors, 2 floorpan halves, a rear valance and a few other tiny bits of welding here and there to make it completely solid. The front has had a new framehead & heater channels were put in when a previous owner had it. Also need to rebuild on the engine. The colour is going to change to metallic blue, with the standard black interior which is a  lot nicer than gold and brown!  

Restoration

Finally(!) started on it. The body was taken off the chassis, the rusty pan halves cut out and new ones were fitted. The rest of the chassis was then cleaned up and given a coat of primer.

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4 of the bolt holes on the d/s sill had sheared (a common problem with repro heater channels - the bolts are only held in place with a tiny spot-weld), so I fitted a heater channel bottom plate on that side. The other side was fine. Two of the front body mounts had the same problem so these were repaired too.

Next was a small hole at the bottom of the d/s  suspension tower legs (pretty good going as this area is usually rotten) and the bottom of the wing to a post seam was replaced (another common rot spot). 

 

There were a few bubbles appearing near the sunroof, so this was bare-metalled and the rust cut out and a new bit let in. The usual rot in the corner behind the back seat was present on the p/s. This was cut out & new metal let in. 

Moving around the back, two engine bay side trays needed replacing as did the 2 rear bumper mounts and the rear valance - car is now  6 different colours!


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The area between the bottom of the rear 'ear' vent and the wing was rotten. This was replaced with a section cut from a donor car. Other than that not a lot else needed doing welding-wise on the body. Two good doors were sourced and fitted and a new set of 4 wings. 

Prep
Oh I hate sanding - many an hour was spend sanding and priming the bare shell. A final run over with 400 and a couple of bits of stopper to cover some minor imperfections and it was ready for paint.

Whilst it was waiting to go into the paintshop I fitted new tie rod ends (bit of a nightmare as everything had seized up). I also replaced the brake system, including new solid and flexi pipes, wheel cylinders, master cylinder etc. A new body to floorpan seal was added and the body bolted down fully. The callipers were good, so these were renewed and new bleed nipples added to them.

Paint
Paint is being done by Nick (07974054593) in Speed Blue to match the new owners new beetle (it's that really pale blue/silvery colour). Top job as usual. Pics below show the colour coat, although the blue doesn't really stand out here due to the spray booth lighting.

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We then bolted on all the panels and he applied another coat of colour (this means there's no colour variations from painting the panels separately with metallic). This was then wet flatted to remove any specks and a few coats of  laquer were added on top.

 

Rebuild

The mission was on to get the car up running, mot'd & road tested in 2 weeks for the new owners birthday (it was a surprise birthday present from his wife),  A few good mates came over and helped for a couple of days (thanks John, Gav, Rich, Sam & Chimpy) and Kirst got stuck in too.  As usual Murphey's law appeared in the form of lots of fiddly little bits. The wiring loom went in fine, with only a couple of extra wires being needed for the brake light switch and a dodgy wiper switch was replaced.  A recon 1600 engine was supplied by Laurie Petitte (07977535161 good engines, good prices, nice bloke). This was built up using good known parts from my stash of bits (the Mrs is glad to see parts leaving the loft rather than going up there!). Another mate, Lee, came over and helped start it up and Dave did the timing. 

A couple of very late nights and it was ready for it's mot - passed first time.

After that, final additions were refit the headlining (sod of a job) , fit some rear seatbelts and a new set of carpets to finish it off. It runs really well & is a far better drive over speedhumps etc than a torsion beam bug. 

Some build up pics (click to enlarge):


Finished Result

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It was a bit overcast on the day so it doesn't show the blue off as well.

 


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