After getting into VW Campers following a camping holiday disaster, Paul Wallis ended up with this stunning Beetle, which he has restored himself on a shoestring
’d owned a T2 for a few years when my father spotted a Beetle in the garage next to his. When I went to have a peek I found a rusty but basically complete ’62. The car belonged to an old school friend and £50 and two beers later and in June 2006 she was mine! My children named it Horace. I am a metal machinist by trade and my father is into classic bikes, so we had some skills to see the project through.
Wings and running boards were stripped, which revealed very little metal. The brakes were seized and the shoes needed to be replaced. We wanted to keep costs down and keep the car as original as possible by reusing as many of the original Volkswagen parts as we could.
I took photos at each stage so re-assembly was easier, and took these along to BVF at Malvern to show to the Historic VW Club. Based on their help and advice I decided to join the club!
A compression test revealed no compression! Out with the engine it was. I was allowed to work on the car in the garage where it was found. I had never removed a VW engine before. A lifting system was built to lower it onto a mobile platform
before moving it to my father’s workshop. The cylinder heads were removed and the engine given a thorough clean. A home-made engine stand held the engine block while the barrels were removed. One piston ring was in two pieces. The barrels did not look bad, so I thought I could get away with using the original pistons (wrong!). The original VW steel is amazing. Parts such as the tinware looked shot, but using a wire brush, many of these parts came up like new.
The heads needed new valves, so the valve seats needed to be re-cut. I took them to a reputable machinist who machined valves and seats to match. As the pistons were cracked there was no choice but to source a new set, so I bought a 1200cc Kolbenschmidt set for four times the price of the car, and by December 2006 it was engine re-assembly time. My car is fi tted with original stale air heat exchangers so I got a second set to make one good set from the two. Many hours were spent wire-brushing them before treating with high- temperature paint. The rest of the tinware fi tted at this stage was all original.
The engine was built up to check the fi t of the parts on the engine stand, stripped, then refi tted
Owner: Paul Wallis Age: 41 Owner: Woodville, Derbyshire Occupation: Supply Chain Director Cars owned: As well as the Beetle I have a 1974 Bay Window Future plans: To visit the Wolfsburg museum in the Beetle in 2011 Next project: I am waiting to discover another suitably rusty specimen – preferably an Oval or a Cabriolet!
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