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Pet Project/My Creation

Nathan Watkins

I began searching for a VW Bug as a back-up vehicle and a beginning to an electric vehicle conversion. Most of the VWs at the time that were in my budget were Baja Bugs with no titles (deal breaker). I found my current Bug under my budget, due to it being a work in progress. The previous owner had given up on the project.

It’s a red Bug that is missing fenders and an interior (great for conversion). The owner said it runs, even though it’s missing the carb, and fuel pump. After the purchase, it sat in my back yard (for five years) while I planned what the body needed, and what I needed for the transition.

My wife got tired of it sitting around, and would not allow me to begin any new projects, until some were done to free up storage in the garage. Last year I finally began to work on the VW. I got the engine running last November after an oil change, tune up, wire correction/replacement and converting the points/condenser to solid state electronics.

Now I’m budgeting for shop repairs to replace rusting floor pans with new. After that, the plan is to make welding modifications for possible battery tray mounting. Another shop will apply a coat of Line-X to prevent any future rust to the bottom interior and bottom exterior of chassis.

I acquired some original German fenders while visiting Las Vegas, and will be slowly applying the fenders, while saving up for floor pan replacement. I’ll also be researching modern style headlights, and prepping the fenders for Line-X application.

After the Line-X stage to the body/components, I will start preparing the Beetle for its true colors. At this point, I’m trying to determine the original color for my Bug. I’m also troubleshooting rest of wiring – now that the engine is running – for correction and replacement in preparation of the electric motor replacement. I have an Advanced Motors 4001A dual stub motor already mated to a VW adaptor and lightweight flywheel waiting to mate up to the transaxle to this beloved Bug. I will leave this story with these words "Either engine or electric motor, this Bug is still air-cooled!" Thank you for reading, and I hope it was amusing to some people's point of view.

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