Sunday, 18 June 2017

10 years ago

Came across this old email communication recently from exactly 10 years ago (dated 18/06/2007). It is from a local classic car restoration company who I had previously contacted about getting some 'economic' repairs done to the heater channels and body mounts with a view to keep Gretchen on the road. No doubt that this concise reply was a huge contributing factor for me ultimately deciding that I had to tackle this resto myself or part ways with her. The reality was that keeping her running was no longer viable:

"thanks for the pics. sorry to say but i am not willing to do a simple
weld it up for the mot job due to how bad the whole area around the rot
is. if that was just plated up it would be a night mare to get it back
to being a nice car again due to having to weld he floor and body together."
The decision to fully restore the car myself was a tough and intimidating choice to make, especially being totally unskilled in the area of automotive restoration. I am really pleased I stuck with it (I think) and still have my fingers crossed that I can actually pull this off! 


  1. I know you will pull this off! Being able to mig weld sheet metal is a skill not everyone can accomplish with proficiency, but you have mastered. I certainly cannot butt weld in a patch and make the seam disappear like you. I follow your blog and celebrate small victories with you on the body and pan repairs. It's only a matter of time - it will get done.

  2. Thanks for the encouraging words Michael! Your ongoing support for the project and belief in my abilities is heartening. A matter of time is indeed what it all boils down to.

    RE: invisible butt welds. It is all about the random orbital sander! A truly remarkable tool for finishing and blending metal ;-)

  3. I am currently restoring my 1971 Beetle. My ex-partner was a mechanic and he taught me the basics. I'm now close to completing a course that covers bodywork restoration and welding. There are 3 other girls on my course and I am hoping to open a body shop with one of them. Loved your blog; it has inspired me greatly.

    Madonna Gentry @ SVS Autocare

    1. Hi Madonna! All the best with your '71! I am sure that your course will equip you with all the skills you need to bring it back to life. Kind of wish I had done something similar back at the beginning of my project. I lost a lot of time faffing around and for years I worked inefficiently due to my lack of experience and knowledge. Glad to hear you have been inspired by the blog - I feel the content is improving as my practical workshop competency grows and I will continue to share all that I know. Good luck with your future business venture.