A new classic… a ’55 beetle!

At the end of 2013 I was chatting with a good friend over in Portugal who mentioned he’d be looking at selling his Beetle as he could do with the funds. I’ve never really been a huge fan of the beetle but the early beetle does have some nice lines and with the smaller rear window (oval) it does look kind of cute.. Anyway I told my friend I wasn’t in the position to buy a car and certainly not looking in buying a Beetle until he mentioned he’d be happy to let it go to a good home for a fair price. Fast forward and we’re March this year when we struck the deal. Another few months later and the Beetle get’s delivered at a friend in Belgium. In June I take off to Belgium and finally get to see what I’ve bought 🙂

The beetle is in reasonable condition for it’s age..

It has a nice history ..  which I’m sure many of you have heard of .. It’s been around on social media a few times but it’s not completely true.. Remember the story where a retired couple from New York bought a property with a few acres and a so called abandoned barn in Portugal.. Well the story is fake but the barn and the 200 cars are not!

The owner was a car dealer in the 70’s & 80’s and decided to keep some of the more interesting cars that came his way. He kept storing the cars in the barn until it got full then he simply soldered the doors shut and the vehicles have been sitting there collecting dust for years. The barn had some very special cars in it and this Beetle was part of that collection. To cut a long story short my friend Matt bought the car who’d been sitting for some 30 years. It was originally black but had a poor respray. It was in pretty reasonable condition and was missing the semaphores and heart tail lights which Matt replaced with the correct ones.. He patched up some bad areas, took the engine partially apart, overhauled the brakes gave it a quick respray and put an MOT on it only for it to land on his drive and never drive it.. I had a good nose round it..

I know the indicators are not original but I quiet like them and they’re period..

Having never had a beetle nor shown interest in them I had quiet a few people telling me about the special rear lights..


Matt stressed the car had been sitting for over a year, well .. basically since the MOT, so it needed some TLC and a new battery before I could start driving it.. I fitted the new battery, checked the oil (it was still fluid 😛 ), emptied the petrol tank of all dust, poored new fuel in it and about 30 seconds after I first turned the key she was alive.. I did a test-drive round the block and it felt pretty good all together except for the car steering to the right a little when hitting the brake.. I took the risk and drove to the MOT station hoping the brake issue would resolve itself as Matt said it was all overhauled and I thought it might’ve been seized and would come loose after using it a few times.. The result from the MOT test wasn’t good.. at all.. Tyres (on the edge), brakes (more then 50% difference .. ooops 😉 ), hole in the bottom sill etc etc etc.. Only the brakes and a hole needed to be fixed to have it pass the MOT.. With little time and hardly any tools I set about and dismantled the front left hub to find the piston in the brake cylinder had seized.. a bit of massaging, some oil and an hour later the brake issue was sorted.. I bled the brakes twice and it now stopped perfect. The next day I literally patched the hole with a plate ( as said by the MOT man) in the rain outside under an umbrella in about 10 mins.. it’s probably the worst job I’ve ever done 😀 The guy at the MOT station was well impressed with the front brakes, they were now perfect and it received an MOT.. Happy days!

The next few days were spend on partying and recovering from a hangover and then it was back to the UK..

Bye now 🙂

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