Picture of Karma Getting it ready

First things first

The first thing I did when I got the car home was to clear up the debris, the squirrel's nuts and gave it a wash. I then started to get the engine working. There was no battery, so that was the first thing I bought for it.

I was advised to put RedEx in the engine, and spin it over a couple of times without spark plugs in. After a couple of spins, I put the spark plugs back in, and tried to start. And tried again. And tried again. Luckily, this time the engine kicked into life. Not bad after 6 years under a tree.

Once the engine was going, I freed the clutch (by putting it into 4th, depressing the clutch, and starting it up). It was now essentially driveable.

I took it to a local MOT centre, and they gave it a once over, and said that it was a good buy. They also recommended that I took the car to a company down the road called VolksTech, as they were cheap Beetle specialists who would be able to get the floorpans fixed.

Since it was a Saturday, it wasn't easy to get hold of VolksTech, but eventually I met them, and a couple of weeks later, they replaced the floorpans.

Once that had been done, I had a lot of other work on my hands.

I set to work replacing the interior, which was orignally grey with yellow stripes (but now a non-descript grey with non-descript yellow stripes). One of the options I looked at was beige imitation leather, with walnut dashboard.

Dashboard Dashboard 2

You can probably see the wiring loom hanging down. This broke while doing the work!

I also had to do some quite major work to the rear, as there was basically a large sheet of wood which was painted in fibreglass resin holding the lights on. I covered it in body filler, and spent a long time sanding it down.


You may see that there are no doors on the car. There is also no bonnet, but you can't see that from the front. The bonnet was in my cellar, having the holes filled in, and new ones drilled in a more correct place.

A long time

Getting it ready was always 'four weeks away', during the 3 years I spent on it. I even roped in some of my friends from work to help one day!

Christmas 1998 I spent a lot of time on the electrics, and in the process, accidentally broke the windscreen. After a number of phone calls, I found out that I'd have to get it from Roger Wooley, and I picked it up in January. It wasn't actually fitted until April.

Front view Dashboard In the bonnet Rear view (no lights fitted!)

Crunch time

In the first quarter of 1999, my friend [Richard Jelbert](whose brother-in-law I bought it off) was getting married in May, and Adam would also be on the guest list, so I had to get it done for then in order to show it off!

A month before, you could see that there was less and less time before it would be ready. I took two weeks off work, and booked an MOT at the end of the first week. When that time was up, I had the car together, but not painted (I did the final undercoating the morning before the MOT). The car was taken to the MOT station, and of the 24 tests that it can pass on, it failed on 13. However, there were two tests which it failed on which were not necessary for kit cars, and cars of that age - these were the chassis number (kit cars don't need them), and the emissions test (kit cars built before 1986 don't need anything more than the 'blue smoke at 2000 RPM' test). The rest of the failures were really minor things, such as nuts missing or not tightened up, and the exhaust needed a bit of a weld.

The next MOT was booked for Wednesday on the next week (at a different MOT station). Over the weekend, I hired a spray gun, breathing apparatus and a compressor, and sprayed the car. It wasn't the best paint job in the world, but at least it was now red.

I took it to the MOT station, and waited while they tested it. There weren't any instructions on what switch did what, so I heard shouts of 'Oh, it's the fog lights' coming from the depths of the building! At the end, it had passed, which was a relief, because the wedding was only 4 days away.

I then immediately went to a post office, and bought a tax disc for it (the first it had had for 8 years), and went to show the people in the office.

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