Chris from Chris Gilley Beetles came to see Gertie today... They are a small, two man business based in South Manchester who specialise exclusively in the repair and restoration of VW type 1 Beetles and Karmanns. Chris has been in the Beetle and Karmann restoration business for 14 years.
On August 6th, 2004 Gertie will be transported to Chris' workshop where her body work will be restored to her former glory.
Initial steps will be the removal of the body off the chassis where new floor pan halfs will be fitted along with new heater channels; whilst Gertie's heater works great the metal work is a bit rough.
She'll get repairs in the spare wheel well, under the wheel arches and anywhere else where her metal needs restoring. Chris will also cut the hole for Gertie's ragtop sunroof to be fitted.
The original 6 volt electrics will be converted to 12 volt along with the single circuit braking system being replaced by dual circuit; may not be original but safety overrides authenticity.
The strip down is almost complete, interior all out, both bumpers and front wings removed, lights and switches boxed up.
More parts pictures online inc head and tail lamps and some VW made wiper arms. I've replaced the Webasto sunroof with a Britax model; the frame on the Webasto wasn't the right curvature so it had to go. Once it arrives next week I'll have it covered in grey vinyl to match the wing beading and running board covers that I have yet to find...
We just got back from VW North West in Tatton Park, Knutsford. Managed to get OEM seals, Hella horn and clear lens for indicators, and a new dash handle, gear-knob and cigarette lighter. Visit the parts page for pictures.
Unfortunately the only pair of towel rail bumpers were rusty so we left them there for someone else to buy. Looks like its now on to finding imported bumpers for Gertie.
We've also ordered a set of OEM Classic smooth vinyl seat covers, door & side panels and new seat pads. All thats left now is the carpets, and of course the bumpers.
Gertie was towed away to day to Chris Gilley Beetles. Over the next 3 weeks the chassis will be separated from the body and the floorpan halves replaced along with the heater channels; the new link pin front beam will be installed along with a dual brake system. I'll be getting regular email updates with pictures and paying Gertie several visits with my camera. Its getting exciting...
Gertie gets a boyfriend.
The floorpan was separated from the chassis this week; a good clean up, welding here & there and finally a few coats of Hammerite.
The hole for the sunroof has now been cut and most of the paint removed. Not long now until the primer coat is applied and the whole body prepped for painting.
The welding is complete and sealed, the floorpan propped against the wall, all that Gertie needs now is a nice shiny coat of L87 Peral White paint...
Current estimate is that the body will be primered on Tuesday 5th October with the paint fairly soon afterwards.
Better get ordering the carpet...
Primer coat applied, top coat to go on on Friday 8th October...
Gertie now proudly wears her new coat of L87, Pearl White paint... Pics here
Gertie came home restored. Over the weekend we fitted all the interior bits except for the carpets - thought it best to wait until we tested for leaks and for the sound proofing to arrive(!). You can view the results of her transformation by clicking here.
I hear you ask, what about her Herbie stripes & gumballs? You'll have to wait for spring for those but in the meantime we are having a 'big' engine built and looking for some 15" by 6" wide 5 wheels.
And what about Gertie's restoration website? It will updated regularly with her adventures and stories about her travels; some restored classics sit in garages, not Gertie, she'll be out and about at weekends and during the evenings.
We hope you have enjoyed the story so far, the pictures of her nuts and bolts and we hope you'll keep coming back to check on her new life...
Thanks for sharing our experience, all 1203 of you to date...!