Friday, December 26, 2014

1997 photo's (or about then anyway)

Recently a friend from Queensland sent me a bunch of photo's that we think he took back in 1997. I was quite surprised to see them and had no idea they existed so thanks Monas!
I had to have them scanned into digital format before posting here so now that's done, enjoy. I have perhaps 2000 more photographs I need to digitise so perhaps over the coming winter of 2015 (when I am bored) I will start to post them up on the blog.
The first image is of the 'S' parked near the Hackney pub (just outside of the Adelaide CBD) looking pretty shiny and nice with a set of genuine Bosch fog lamps attached up front. I still have these spot lights somewhere but they wont be installed on the freshly restored car so enjoy the image with them.

Next up is a picture of Andrews Type 3 panel van.
Yes it's a genuine panel van squareback but with the metal panels removed and glass installed (the original panels are safely put away for this car).
This is an all original paint car and with all the original parts still in place. It doesn't look any different right now compared to back then almost 20 years ago which is excellent news.
Interestingly, the paint combination of Ruby Red with the white roof is exactly how my panel van was before I went and changed it to black when I was young and stupid. And as a side note, I believe that every panel van assembled in Australia had a white roof.

And there is the 1500 'S' again. Looks so shiny in these images and you would be forgiven for thinking I am a nut job for dismantling the car however the images shown earlier in the blog of the rust and issues with the car demonstrate the reasoning behind it. All original and apart from me lowering it a bit (I may lower it slightly for the rebuild too), just about as stock as it gets and featuring a few accessories such as the mud flaps, venetian, reverse lights and knuckle guards. I have since removed and sold all of those accessories as I want the car to feature only performance based products in the future like the Okrasa heads, SPG crank, Abarth exhaust etc. No showy stuff for me moving forward.

And here it is next to Dave P's 40hp beetle and judging by the tail pipes, it still has the 40hp engine installed...

Thanks again Mona's for the images. These photo's capture the 1500 'S' on probably it's last VW outing before it was stored away for 15 years to await it's restoration which is currently well underway.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Almost a rolling 1500 'S' pan


Well here is perhaps the last update for the 2014.

As you can see, the front suspension and Maico brakes are coming along nicely.
I am awaiting the transaxle nose mount to get to me from the USA - the mount I had put away for the car is the slightly larger later model one which wont fit correctly so that was a bummer and brain fade on my part. As soon as that is here, the transaxle gets installed, the spring plates and the engine. Then the fun begins with altering the tin ware to suit the Okrasa heads.
But one cant rush these things. I have learnt that if I rush it, I tend to balls it up so even though its moving slowly, it's still moving a lot faster than a lot of projects out there that are all talk and no action. Just try to spend 1/2 hour to an hour every day and the results will be there people! Just do it!
With the floor pan rolling shortly, I will jump into the body work of the notchback body for 2015 and see how far I get with that. 2014 has been very productive for me on this car (I also assembled the mechanicals on a 1952 replica split window beetle as well as many other non car things like getting married) so I can't see why the bodywork cant be completed next year.
All the best for 2015!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wet Blasting of electrical parts?

Well this was kind of unexpected. While I was using a wet blaster earlier this week, the thought crossed my mind on how some electrical items like fuse boxes etc would come up if subjected to the wet blasting as the 'grit' is not very damaging or abrasive.
So I went back the next day with an old VW switch of no value, gave it a go and having proved it did no damage to the brass or Bakelite type material, I put my original fuse box for the 1500 'S' in the machine along with the headlight connectors and went for it.
I am glad it did as the result is nothing short of NOS type quality.
Something to consider for your restorations!

I wish I had taken some before photo's now, but let me assure you, it was next to impossible to clean using conventional methods like acetone, carb cleaner etc. I am very pleased with the results.

Monday, November 10, 2014

'S' and earlier VW-1500 arm rests restored

With few exceptions, every notchback I have ever looked at or owned (especially here in Australia), has had knackered rear arm rests. Mine were no exception as you can see below. Amazingly the front arm rests are still like brand new. Go figure.

This is how they looked when removed from the car for the first time. Kind of okay, but clearly in need of a re-skinning and appropriate other works to get the shape back to original.

Clearly this one was quite bad.

This is the better of the 2 however it was extremely brittle so needed the treatment.

Backsides of the arm rests were still as original and in decent condition. I have seen these rust away on the odd occasion over the years.

And this is how they look now.
The original 'course' pattern vinyl does not exist here in Australia (that I am aware of) so I chose this grain and ran with it.

The vinyl has been vacuum formed as per original and is extremely tight against the foam underneath. A lot of folk get their arm rests reupholstered with material over the top of the original foam and that (to me) looks like crap.

The ends of the arm rests required a bit of re-shaping due to damage but came out very well.

And the back sides of them still look the business.

Nicely formed vinyl even on the edges should remain in situ for another 50 years I hope.

So there you have it. If your arm rests are cracked or broken, it's not the end of the world. In fact, it's probably good that way so you can fix them up and get them as close to original as you can. The company that did this can colour the vinyl grey or any other colour you desire (within reason) so for owners of VW-1500 cars requiring grey arm rests, this is the solution.

For more details head to:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hollywood delivers again

I recently rediscovered a couple of old VDO gauges that were made to suit the VW's during the 1960's. I bought these back about 20-25 years ago from a VW workshop I used to mess about in.
The oil pressure gauge was NOS and in the box still.
The oil temperature gauge was in very good condition but the needle was faded slightly as you can see below.
Both of them had until this point in time remained untested also, so when a mate with an early Type 1 KM speedo said he wanted to get it restored by North Hollywood Speedo  (, I thought this was a good time to send my 2 x gauges off for the treatment as well because I may end up using them on the notchback as they tick the boxes for me with the theme of the car being 'period correct performance only'.
Here they are ready to go. Quite good condition and I know a lot of folk would just fit them as is.

The speedo was quite good considering it's from an oval and about 60 years old. Not common to find a KM one here in Australia.

This is the image that convinced us that it needed some love. If the hood is up on the car, this is what will greet you. Not very nice. North Hollywood re-zinc plated all of the gauges as part of the restoration works (as well as zero out the odometer, confirm the desired tyre size and calibrate to suit).

Quite nice. This one is NOS and never been fitted. I sent it off anyway just to make it an equal for the oil temp gauge I was also sending over. 

Again, quite a nice gauge and considering it was used, the face is excellent and over all could have been used as is but the needle was decidedly faded to a bit of a yellow colour.

This is the back of the oil pressure gauge. 

This is the back of the oil temp gauge. 

The backs of all 3 x gauges prior to sending over to North Hollywood.

And wow, here they are now they are back home. The work these guys do is 2nd to none and I can only recommend them for any VDO work you may also have.
As you may have seen in an earlier post, they have already done the 3 x original gauges for the 1500 'S' so if I end up using all 5 of the gauges, I can rest assured knowing they will all now work and due to the correct brand new senders also purchased from them, will probably be as accurate as is possible. Which may be a very good thing considering the beautiful little 1602cc engine I have ready for the car.
Next up for the gauges will be the purchase of some 6V LED's for the lighting of them I think. I have read some good feedback on them so why not give them a go. 6V globes aren't exactly bright!
The car that is getting the Type 1 KM speedo is also moving along nicely too and will end up being built to a similar standard to my 1500 'S' so that will be good to see / assist with as well.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Doors

Here are the doors after I dismantled them to bare bones and dropped them off to Minus-Paint.
Very clean and mostly original paint except for a small repair to the drivers side door on the leading edge (which I was never fully aware of the extent of it's damage).

Insides were clean as a whistle.

The residue is from the factory fitted tar paper stuff was a bugger to remove.

Here they are after being dipped - you can see some minor work that was carried out probably during the 1960's or 1970's on the leading edge of the drivers side door mentioned previously.

This is after being stuck in the de-rusting tank and then hand rubbed back to bare steel before the black etch primer was applied. Sensational condition.

The doors look fantastic. There is zero rust in both of them which is great news.

About 2 or 3 small shopping trolley dings in each door to be fixed (extremely minor) and some minor rework required on the leading edge of the drivers side door as already noted.

If you look closely at this image, you can see the date stamp inked into the door - 25  6  64.

This lines up well with the car as it was assembled during early September 1964.

The doors are now etch primed black and sitting in dry storage awaiting works.