Top 10 Things Not to do to a Bug

It seems as though everybody who's anybody has a "Top 10 List of ...", so I figured why shouldn't I be any different! I'm sure I'm not alone here, but over the course of my obsession with Beetles, I've done one or two things of which I'm not proud. Without further ado, here is the Bugmeister's Top 10 List of What NOT to do to a Bug!"

Oh yeah...if the smaller pictures here aren't gory enough for you, just click them for the technicolor version!

Bad Thing #10: 1956 Baja Beetle

Yeah, I'll catch some flak over this one, but...oh well. I haven't done this myself, but there were a couple oval window Beetles running around town that had been Baja'd (front and rear aprons cut off, etc). While I'm certainly not against the concept of getting creative with a Beetle's body, I do have a problem when it's done to a pre-58. But that's just me...

On the up side, my dad restored a '56 which had been a Baja at one time. He managed to replace the missing portions of the body and wound up with a good looking resto-custom.

Bad Thing #9: Update the Dashboard of a '58

Hi-tech Dash Switches - 39k

Pretty cool switches, huh? Started out with a broken windshield wiper switch, so we fabricated the panel, installed the two "lightup" rocker switches on each side and updated the weapons systems with the ever-faithful "Death Ray" (Bzzzzt Zzzzzap Bwahahaha). The one on the right (Deflector Shield) operated the wipers, the Red one on the left simply lit up for effect. Didn't have anything better to do, so we decided it would become the ARM/DISARM switch for the Death Ray.

The preceding work was finished before I became the proud(?) owner of this fine specimen. The owner had shipped out to sea, and given the car to me (without the keys), so I permanently hotwired it. One toggle switch turned on the power, the other kicked the starter. To avoid theft, I rigged up a pretty skookum deterrant - a piece of chain and lock through the steering wheel and driver's seat rails.

Bad Thing #8: Convince Trusting Friends to swap Body Pans

It wasn't his fault, and we had no other choice...
Chris's '62 was hit on the rear right tire by someone in an intersection, and the body pan was warped as a result. My dad had previously owned this car and put a lot of work into it, so I felt the obligation to perform radical surgery and keep it going.

The first shot shows the front end lifted from the pan...

Wheelie the hard way - 13.7 K

...and in this shot, Chris appears to be in shock - the body on sawhorses, the rolling chassis right behind it...Really, Chris - I DO know what I'm doing...hehehe....

Body here, pan!.gif - 30.3 K

For those of you who might be worried, this patient did live and now resides somewhere in Alberta.

Bad Thing #7: Make a Bug go 0-60 in 4.8 seconds by Dropping from Helicopter

'Nuff Said.

Bad Thing #6: Throw Hazet Tool Kits in the Garbage

Can you believe it? A friend of a friend was out at the local landfill, and spotted this round metal case with a VW crest on it. He thought to himself "Self, I betcha Chris would like this" (Chris is the guy looking shocked above), so he picked it up. Much to his delight, there was an assortment of tools inside this which he added to his toolbox before giving the empty case to Chris

Fortunately, Chris realized what this find was, and retrieved the tools from his friend (most of them, anyhow) and found himself the owner of a Hazet spare tire tool kit missing 2 long screwdrivers and 3 wrenches. Well, Chris, being the good guy he is, knew I was drooling over the toolbox. Eventually, out of gratitude for various jobs I'd done on his Bugs over the years, Chris handed the toolbox to me...

I shudder to imagine what other treasures might be buried in the garbage of time...

Bad Thing #5: Chop up an Oval Window

'It can't be that bad... - 20.0 K Every once in a while, you'll be walking along in a strange neighbourhood, and spot a derelict Beetle sitting in a yard. If you're lucky, the owner doesn't really want to be the owner, and is more than willing to part with his "eyesore". Such was the case with this poor '56 I located in Gibson's BC.


Scrap Metal I quickly negotiated a "give-away" price, and determined that this was one sad Kafer which would not see the road again. Many years of neglect had rusted the majority of the body away, and the cancerous rust was definitely malignent. A family of voles had taken up residence in what remained of the heater channels, and were somewhat perturbed to receive their eviction notice!

To make a long story short, it wasn't long before I had broken the tired thing into parts, which would go to use in keeping other of it's bretheren drivable...

Dead Oval - 19.7 K

Bad Thing #4: Ask a Split Window to break a Pole Sitting Record

During the 1960's, '70s and early '80s, our local VW dealer had a Beetle perched atop a tall pole as an advertising gimmick. It turns out that this Beetle was a Split Window (gasp), complete with a factory sunroof (double gasp). The years of weather, with the open roof, took it's toll on this car and at last report it was pretty much reduced to rusted scrap. Perhaps one day I'll track it down, and perform miracles on it...yeah...right.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), I don't have a single picture of the car. If anybody from Victoria happens to be reading this, and has a picture, PLEASE let me know!

Bad Thing #3: Demolish Restorable Beetles

Remember that '58 which had the "customized" dash switches? The worst thing that ever happened to it was falling into my hands! I swapped the existing engine and trans with ones from a '67 that had been sitting in a horse pasture for 5 years. I probably could have saved the '67, but there were so many spiders in it...I hate spiders. I then drove the '58 while I restored my '71 Super Beetle (this was very early into my VW days). When the '71 was done, I stripped the '58 of useable parts and trashed the body. I'm still kicking myself. Although I lacked the tools and ability to restore the '58 back then, it was very solid and would be an easy resto project now. *sigh*

Bad Thing #2: Let Good Cars Rot

It happens all too often. Somebody has a desirable, restorable car sitting in the tall grass, but won't sell it because they're "going to do something with it one of these years". When one of "these years" finally rolls around, or the guy decides to sell it, the car has rotted away to an unrestorable state. Argh.

Bad Thing #1: Drum Roll Please!

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for - the top of Der Bugmeister's "Things Not to Do List". If you're feeling brave enough, swat here to find out what Bad Thing #1 is...

If what you've seen and read so far has you teetering at the edge of a breakdown, perhaps you should just go browsing another area...

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