My Beetle Restoration


The Car

The car is a 1960 VW Beetle built in February, 1960. Originally, it came from the factory in L41 black with 78 True Red interior. It has since been repainted a light blue and then black again. It hasn’t been driven since around 1985, the last year that it was registered in Minnesota. It has mainly been outdoors under a shed for most of the last 25 years. Here’s what I know about its history:

1960 – Manufactured in Germany

1960-Early 1980’s – Unknown

Early 1980’s – The car was won in a radio contest in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. It was driven for a couple of years and the engine caught on fire. The owner then put in a rebuilt engine and drove it for a few more years, all the while experiencing electrical problems that were likely caused by the engine fire. Frustrated with the electrical problems, they stopped driving it and parked it under a shed (somewhere around 1985).

2008 – In June of 2008, it was purchased in an auction and was towed to Fargo, ND (about 45 miles). By this time, the weather had taken its toll and rust had completely destroyed the floor pans and damaged many of the lower panels. The owner did a few things to it like replacing the passenger side rear fender with a used fender, replacing the hood with a correct used hood (with holes for a 4-tab emblem), removing the seats, removing what was left of the sunroof cover (ragtop), removing the headliner, and removing the carpet in the luggage area. While he owned it, the car spent time both in and out of his garage.

2010 – In June of 2010, I found the car for sale in an ad on After a few weeks of asking questions about it, I made an agreement to purchase it. In mid-July, I picked it up and towed it back to Round Rock, TX. It was then in its new home in my garage.

My intentions are to restore this car to its original condition. I don’t really want to enter it in any shows, but do want it very close to being show quality. At least I want to be as close to show quality as I am able to get it to be – and afford for it to be. I won’t mind taking it to car club meetings and let people look at it, but have no desire to enter it in any competition and have it put under a microscope. I do intend to drive it occasionally when the weather is good.

Anyway, I expect the restoration to take many years and I have no goal date for completion just yet. I hope you enjoy my journey to restore this old car…

Legal stuff: The methods used to restore this car are mine and are by no means provided for a “how to” of restoring a car. I am an amateur and my chronicles of the processes used are for entertainment purposes only. If you want to emulate what I have done, do so at your own risk. I offer no warranties or guarantees that any of this will work for you. If you harm yourself doing what I did, I’m very sorry, but I make no claims to knowing what I am doing.

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