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Last updated: 11/23/00

































1959 Volkswagen Beetle (Ragtop)
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Here are some before and after pictures of the car after applying the Custom-Vintage look:

Before After


The car's history:
According to the build sheet from Germany, the car is a european model that was manufactured on 12/1/58, and delivered to Aschaffenburg, Germany on 12/2/58.  I am not sure how the car made it to the states, but am pretty sure that it lived in California for most of it's life.  The Previous Owner said that the original semiphores are still in the B-Pillar, but they are buried under bondo.  

Specifics (before conversion):
The car has a 1300 Single Port engine that runs excellent.  It has been converted to 12V (generator and bulbs only), it has new brakes, new ragtop and headliner, new 180mm clutch/disc, and more. There is no significant rust on the car, not even under the battery under the rear seat.  There are some small areas where there is a little rust, like the bottom corner of the door (about the size of a nickel).  It appears that there is a later pan under the body, but I haven't compared numbers to tell for sure.  I found out after purchasing the car, that the bulkhead was wasted and needed to be replaced desparately (see Specifics (after conversion)).

Specifics (after conversion):
I am nearing the end of my Custom-Vintage conversion and have spent quite a bit more than initially expected.  The following is a list of items that have been done to make the full conversion:

  • Replace steering bulkhead ($400).  This job was done by Mike's VW in Tigard, OR, 503-968-7730, he did an awesome job!  I was really concerned, but it came out great.  Mike has done at least 12 to 15 of these jobs, so he definately has the experience to do the job right.  If you call him, tell him Dean sent you.
  • Replaced the Master Cylinder and all of the front brake hoses.   One of the previous owners did a terrible job replacing these, he didn't use any of the factory brake hose clips, everything was taped with electrical tape.
  • Replaced the old worn out clutch hook, and replaced the standard accelerator pedal with the roler pedal.
  • Lowered the rear end 1 notch on the outside of the torsion bars (about 3")
  • Installed an adjustable front beam and lowered the front end (about 5")
  • Installed a set of stock 5-lug chrome wheels (5-1/2" rear, 4-1/2" front) with the big emblem stock chrome hubcaps
  • Installed 195-60 X 15 Rear tires, 135SR 15 Front tires with 2-1/2" white wall inserts (made by Atlas)
  • Installed VDO Cockpit Royale White-faced gauges (Oil Pressure, Oil Temperature, Voltmeter, and Clock)

2275cc Engine:



Accessories that came with the car:
The car came with a Worlfsburg hood crest, blue background, and it came with some cool wind deflectors, and something referred to as a "bee catcher".   I don't know if the bee catcher is a dealer accessory or what, but I do know that it is made for the beetle.  This bee catcher solved a common problem for ragtop owners, bees flying into the open ragtop.  Here's how it works, if you get a bee in the car, close all of the windows and the top, and open the small door in the bee catcher.   This creates a vacuum and sucks the bee right out of the car and back outside.   The previous owner paid to get all of the ID numbers from Germany, and on the printout they mentioned that the car came with the options code(s) of 158.  If anyone knows what these options are, I would love to know.

Pictures: Click on an image to see the larger version

The wing deflectors The Bee Catcher

Wing Wind Deflectors

Bee Catcher