Since the minute the first one rolled off the ship in the US, the Volkswagen Beetle has been a favorite of customizers. Perhaps its the rounded shape or maybe just because they built so many that you need to do something to stand apart. Whatever the reason, this 1969 Beetle is a nice mixture of custom tricks and sturdy VW mechanicals.
Some might call this a California custom simply because of the style: no bumpers, a smooth front end, and a minimum of trim. Whatever the name, the look is a winner, endowing this humble Beetle with an aggressive attitude that makes it look fast, not frugal. Thanks to a vast aftermarket, both here and abroad, plus decades of factory parts that are fairly interchangeable, and you get a car that mixes components to create something unique. Note the Euro-style headlights, the shaved bumpers, the little grilles in the front fenders, and the frenched 1939 Ford teardrop taillights, all of which combine to give it a super smooth look that will attract admirers everywhere it goes. Then theres the medium blue paint with all that pearl in it, which glows in the sun and drapes some pretty darned straight bodywork. Running boards, a big canvas sunroof, and the flat windshield are other styling cues that go back half a century or more, making this VW a wonderful study in contrasts.
The bright interior is not just due to the big sunroof. Flashy two-tone blue upholstery gives the light-hearted Beetle a sunny disposition and the tweed fabric is probably just as durable as the original vinyl stuff. The shape of the seats will be familiar to any Beetle owner, and the wave-shaped door panel design is perhaps meant to capture a California feel. The original single gauge is gone, replaced by a full set of Dolphin white-faced instruments that offer a far more comprehensive look at the goings-on out back. Theres also a Sony AM/FM/CD stereo in the center stack and a cool custom steering wheel with a meaty rim and slick VW logo for a horn button. Billet window cranks, faux carbon-fiber for the dash, and a big T-handle shifter for the transmission add a bit of high-tech cool to the timeless passenger compartment, and the forward trunk is finished with a new gas tank.
Wrapped in space-age heat-shielding, the engine bay still looks like it has pretty much forever. The 1641 cc flat four is bigger than some, so it makes good torque and with a few smart upgrades, it feels quite peppy around town. A single Weber carburetor makes the most of the engines modest size and the exhaust might be a bit more aggressive than stock, but those are all big plusses in any VW enthusiasts book. The 4-speed shifts nicely once you acclimate to the characteristically vague shifter action and on a lightweight car such as this, the stock brakes are more than adequate. Climbing around underneath, youll find that the pan is in excellent shape and theres a lot of new components, so you can drive this one without worries. The stance is downright perfect and even with modest 195/50/15 front and 215/60/15 rear tires, it looks fast just sitting still.
VWs have always held a special place in the motoring publics hearts, and with this mild custom, you can drive an icon without looking like everyone else. Call today!