Friday 23 May 2014

News from the garage

My apologies for the small break in blog posts lately, I have been doing many little odd jobs in the garage and thought it would be most efficient to deliver a round-up post when I had enough news. So, here is a brief overview of the past month of activity....

My glamorous assistant has been dropping by occasionally to continue stripping the shell. Starting to make some real headway at the front end now:

Meanwhile I set about cutting out chunks of rusty bad metal from old repairs that I could no longer stand the sight of:

However, it has recently come to my attention that the front of the car has had a shunt in the past, as there is some buckling and creases along front quarter panels that were not part of the original factory pressings (hard to see from this photo, but it is quite blatant in real life):

I have a feeling that I will end up replacing the front quarter panels entirely, but as my experience and confidence in making these judgement calls is still lacking I shall make this decision at a later date. Even so, I decided to press on and began stripping the passengers side:

As the eagle-eyed of you may gather from the semi-outdoors shots of the shell above, I finally got the rear of the car up on casters! Again, I significantly shortened the width of it to maximise the overall space in the garage:

This one turned out to be more unstable than the front one with a quite a bit of lateral play, so I added some additional support for peace of mind. The shell can now be maneuvered in the garage by one person, however taking in it onto the often muddy terrain outside still requires the assistance of an extra willing person. I am happy though because, with the summer months approaching, I can simply roll the shell outside whenever I need to liberate a bit of workshop space! 

Oh, something I forgot to mention in my previous post; when I was inspecting the state of spare wheel well area I found evidence of an improvised repair using fibre-glass that I was able to pick off in small pieces using my fingers! I am now starting to desensitise to the all the lurking horrors and have accepted that it is all part of the fun of restoring an old car:


  1. Looking good! If I may offer a suggested course of action for eradicating the wrinkles and buckles in the front quarters .... before cutting them apart you may want to try straightening them. I would clamp wood on the inside and outside of the lowest point where the hood would mate with the body (at the front most lower edge of the spare tire well) - then attach a ratcheting tie down to a nearby wall and apply force pulling up and out on the body at that point. Then with very gentle raps with a hammer (maybe backed up by a large stone or a dolly held flush with the sheetmetal on the inside of the body, like where the fuel tank sits) start massaging the metal back straight.

    You should be able to adjust the tension on the strap and hammer along the wrinkles slowly and gently and see large improvements in the overall shape. Keep setting the hood down and checking the progress periodically.

    My front clip was so smashed I had to cut it off and replace it. I found the passenger side quarter was creased and wrinkled, too, and this is pretty much exactly what I did to fix it. Holding the new front clip up to the car and putting the hood on, I saw that the passenger side quarter was pushed backwards and downwards by about 3 inches! After about one and a half hour of massaging, It came back right. Any by 'right' I of course mean, 'close enough that I can smooth it out with bond-o'.

    Looks like you have your hands full at the back end of the heater channels.... Are we having fun yet?!

    1. This is FANTASTIC! Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response. Your suggested method makes a lot of sense and I think I am going to give it a go as I really have nothing to lose by trying. Also, I reckon this will be a good process to make a short video of as I suspect it could be a benefit to other bug owners out there who may also have buckled front ends. Watch this space…

      Thanks again Michael, I am truly grateful for your input and generosity. Keep on keepin' on!