Forget Wings... One Little Angel Tools Around Heaven in a '68 Bug
By Susan Anderson
It all started with an email:
Hi. I'm looking for some info on a possible daily driver-type restoration of my 1968 Type 1 VW. My little boy and I had been slowly trying to restore it over the last two years, and he recently passed away from an unexpected tragedy. Some info on the car in its current state: in the last year we have completely rebuilt the original 1500 single port to a 1600 dual-port (currently put a new carb on and I am having issues getting it tuned properly), new transaxle, all parts needed for a front ends drop (narrowed beam, drop spindles, shocks, ball joints, tie rods, and tie rod ends) also put in new door seals.
I would like to have the car painted back to the original Delta Green, put on a roof rack, an exterior sun visor, conversion to run older bumper blades, stock wheels but widened and painted red, possibly tweed interior and incorporate red, yellow, and green in the stitching (my son's favorite colors). Also, want to lower the rear to give it a nice stance all the way around also somehow put the amber or yellow lights on probably the bumpers to bring the whole red, yellow, and green theme tied into the car. I love the stock lowered stance look with the exterior accessories included.
I would love to pick your brain on the vision I have for "Willie" aka "Kaden's Bug," and I have a vision that may even surprise some of you on the Darkside. This Bug has been my passion for the last two years, and my biggest priority is that it lasts for a lifetime.
My wife and I are very interested and serious about getting the car done right for our son Kaden. Hope to hear from you soon.
Is It Dusty In Here?
Most of the restoration projects we tackle at Airkooled Kustoms pull the heartstrings. This client's building a Beetle for his wife - just like the one they drove away in after they got married. That one's restoring the Bug his grandfather and uncles drove for decades - the same Bug the client used to wash as a little boy during summer visits with his grandparents. Then there's the lady who waited fifteen years to see her Ghia complete, even though the shop she first took it to made very little progress in that time. And then, of course, there's Mabel, the '59 Spook built for me.
But this build... This one got everyone right in the gut, including Roger "00-Dub" Moore, who almost lived long enough to see the completed project go home. Roger was the first to voice what everyone noticed: this car wanted to be built. It didn't fight the krew as some do. The inspiration for the design just seemed to download itself into the guys' minds. They even managed to include Kaden's favorite colors red, green, and gold, somehow WITHOUT it looking clownish. Genius touches like the hydro-dipped comic print pulled it all together to create a one-of-a-kind ride any angel would love.
"Daddy, That's the Volkswagen I Want. I Like It."
Not many little kids fall in love with Beetles. Well, at least not unless their parents have a case of Dub Fever. But this one did. The plan was that he and his dad would tinker, restoring "Willie" bit by bit until Kaden was old enough to drive it. That changed with his untimely passing. His parents decided a full restoration would be the perfect way to memorialize their little boy, who loved nothing better than riding with the windows down.
No trailer queen or Sunday driver, this Bug was built to drive and to be enjoyed. Just a few of the custom touches you'll notice if you can get close enough to look:
Dash Converted to a 1968 Euro Style
Disk Brake Upgrade
Upgraded Suspension Package with Rear Sway Bar
3″ Narrowed Beam
Kustom Paint with Hydro Dipped Accents
Kustom Interior by Mountain Honey
Deep Dish Smoothies in Back, Smoothies Up Front
Dubbers Get It
There's nothing quick, cheap, or easy about taking on a restoration project. In fact, anyone who can settle for any other alternative, should. But for volks who get it, there's no better way to honor and remember days and loved ones gone by. It's just a good thing that shops are notoriously dusty places. After all, sometimes our eyes leak a little.