There are over 2500 hours of restoration and customization
put into this car. Everything that was done on this car was done right the
first time or done over until it was right. Included in the "Full History"
section of the site is the complete text of a major, four part series that
ran in the 2002 issues of the quarterly publication, "Thing Stuff"
(published by the Type 181 Registry).
In no particular order, here are the highlights of the restoration
The old paint was either removed or completely prepared
before recoating. All bare metal was de-rusted and treated with POR-15 Metal
Ready and then primed with PRO-15.
After de-rusting and base primer, the entire car was painted with a second
primer (the POR-15 "Tie Primer") to enhance bonding with the final
All seams were smoothed over and what few body repairs that were needed,
were done with two part epoxy paste, not bondo.
I moved the headlights to the top of the fenders and
put them in 30's style chrome buckets
Relocated the tail lights down to the "European" location and
replaced lenses with 1964 Mustang chromed tail light frames.
Fiber glassed over the side windows on the hard top and
replaced them with 12" round port hole windows using the large VW emblem
from 60's Busses as a window frame (looks super cool!)
Mounted the spare on the front bumper and hand laid
a set of matching hard shell covers
There is an extra front trunk, spare tire cover and set
of air boxes painted the dark brown. You can interchange these with the
cream colored ones for an alternate color scheme (see photo gallery for
Replaced every bolt and screw I could find with stainless
Added comfy leather seats from an Audi 5000 and had the
rears re-covered with matching materials
Modified the stock engine compartment air boxes to actually
be scoops (and made them removable)
Installed a big vent in the engine compartment lid for
vastly superior air cooling of the engine
Added an "outboard" toolkit/trunk to the rear
Custom made side curtains
Brand new disk brake conversion on the front (a must
have on these cars!). New German drums, shoes, wheel cylinders and hardware
on the rear.
The chrome mufflers are complements of Harley Davidson
Trimmed out the entire car with chrome edge trimming
wherever I could fit it on
Made an extra set of cut down, "fair weather"
Custom made rollbar/bikini top frame combination
Stock AM engine was taken down to the case and anything
necessary was rebuilt from there up
New Weber progressive carb
Points replaced with electronic ignition
New engine rubber gasket
Engine tin was de-rusted and painted the dark brown
used on the top & fenders
Customized 15" wheels (chrome with the cream colored
textured coating to match the body of the car)
Full running boards from an Acapulco Type 181
Full flow, spin on, oil filer
Extra capacity 1.5 quart oil sump
All new flexible gas lines and electric fuel pump
Top was completely renovated including all new tinted
New windshield glass as well
Model A Ford style "wind wings" air deflectors
Rear "quarterdeck" removable access panel (great for working
on starter, clutch cable adjustment, etc.)
Starter relay (for super quick starts!)
2.5" "air craft" style ball-swivel air vents in the front
wheel wells (great for hot summer days)
Daytime running lights
Stainless steel wiper arms
Rebuilt wiper motor
Extra VDO instrumentation: cylinder head temperature gauge (on #3), oil
temperature (in case sensor), and volt meter.
Glove compartment lid
Wimpy stock top hold down clamps replaced with four, heavy duty, marine
style chrome "T-Latches"
Five foot long fiberglass "flag pole" on the rear bumper
New KYB-2 gas shocks on all four wheels
All wiring was refurbished and a new fuse block was installed (including
new light switches and flasher)
And to top it off, I added the loudest darn ooogggaaahhh horn I could find
so that when people wave and/or do a thumbs up, I can respond in a way that
they will really get a chuckle out of!