Dec 11, 2010

The story of Karl

The story of Karl (the Type 1 - 1956 European Ragtop) began on May 12, 1956 when he left the factory at Wolfsburg, Germany. Karl was shipped directly to Berlin, Germany complete with factory installed ragtop sunroof, semaphores, and a 36hp motor.

Karl’s charm was quickly discovered by a US military member who decided Karl could not be left behind in Europe. Karl was loaded onto a ship for the long journey to Hollywood, California. And spent most of his life in the Southern California Sun.

Fast forward to the year 2000 at Eaglerock, California. Long time VW restorer/builder Bob Costa and his lifelong friend Guy Levingston decided to build a VW as a childhood re-bonding project. Karl would become this project and was soon mating to a 1963 pan, received a 1641 dp motor, freeway flyer transmission, new interior, and a splash of fresh Coral Red paint, along with lots of special trim to finish everything off. After the completion of the car Karl was shipped to his new home in Boise, Idaho where Guy only took him on outings during the warm Idaho summers – the remainder of the time he was kept locked up in the garage to avoid the harsh weather. Bob Costa passed away shortly after and Guy decided it was time to let Karl find a new family. I spotted Karl on the on February 10, 2009, after speaking to Guy about the car and understanding the interesting history. I decided I had to adopt him. I hired a transport company to pick him up in Boise. Guy was so concerned about the snow and the affects it would have on the car he made special arrangements to meet the transport company several weeks later, after the purchase. Guy wanted to make sure every attempt was made for a safe journey back to California. A full two weeks later the car was delivered to me in South Fresno.

After receiving the car I completely dismantled the entire vehicle and began cleaning and detailing everything from bumper to bumper. I installed a 4 inch narrowed beam (for a new lowered stance) along with a fresh set of chrome Torque Thruster wheels. A NOS Wasso shifter lock, pop-out windows, German dash clock, 1950’s foglight along with lots of other period accessories, that I had collected over the years. In June of 2010 I attended several VW shows in Europe where I scored a km speedometer with correct date code (May 1956), a 1950’s “D” plate for the rear bumper, Berlin tourist pieces, and lots of small European gadgets. I track the adventures of the car at:

Currently I am collecting the original German engine tin to replace the chrome aftermarket pieces. Recently became the proud owner of a very original 66 VW Squareback that I am collecting pieces for as well.

Oct 15, 2010

Type 3 Parts taking over the bathroom

Squareback parts are my new decorating pieces - nothing says klassy like car parts in the house.

Sep 29, 2010

Solvang 2010

I borrowed these shots from Facebook - my camera couldn't touch these shots. Thanks Facebook Friend.

Aug 17, 2010

New Family Member 1966 Squareback

My neighbor for 40 years (Boyd) has finally decided to pass down his son's beloved squareback - it's been sitting outside since 1981 under a car cover and lots of dirt - never painted and with the original interior.

Jul 7, 2010

Trip to Europe - In the paper and parts stash

Here is my parts stash from europe - the speedo took a dive in the city bus and will need to be rebuilt - so much for my 10 euro bargan.

Here I am in the Wolfsburg (The city of Volkswagen) newspaper (The Wolfsburger). I met up with the historian from the Volkswagen Museum while at the Welcome Home Kafer event in Wolfsburg, Germany. I was treated to a special one on one factory tour (off limits to the public). Then was able to ride in the factory shuttle vehicle, during the special kafer parade through the city of Wolfsburg (along with 450+ other early VW vehicles).

I was then interviewed by a reporter from the Wolfburger newspaper - the following day my interview ran along with a photo of me ridding shot gun in the factory shuttle.

Danke Deutschland!!!

Apr 16, 2010

Sebring West Fresno CA

Went over to Sebring West tonight for the VW VIP night. had a total of 81 VW's. Where do these cars come from? there all local cars - but I never see them driving around town. Won peoples choice, the owner of Sebring came over to me - asked me to "button up my car" ad move it under the Sebring West sign - yahoo for me! People's choice out of 81 cars.

Mar 14, 2010

Fresno's Blossom Trail 2010

March 13, 2010 - cruising with Fresno's NOS VW club on the Blossom Trail. Perfect weather - perfect VW's

Feb 6, 2010

The Hazet project

One year after starting the "Hazet' project it is 100% complete. It used to be that my $60 reproduction tool box mixed with some old period tools was "good enough". After a few look downs from fellow VW peeps. i made the plunge - with no idea of what i was doing. I purchased a $150 Hazet box from Idaho, after some research I learned that i had scored a 1956-1959 box and was starting to get a grip on which tools I was going to need and that I hadn't really gotten that great of deal - it was going to cost a small fortune to replace all of the 12 tools. fellow club member learned of my new purchase and offered up 80% of the tools that i would need for the restoration process. $400 later I had a good start of the basic tools and had a grasp of the correct tools. Problem was - the tools were amazing - they made the box look like crap - until I learned the magic of powder coating. I was able to match the hazet grey and had a box worthy of the shiny tools.

i located a decoy duck supply house on-line and found a flocking kit - the results were amazing - $50 later the box looked awesome. I was only missing 5 tools - looking on the samba and ebay for weeks was really frustrating - the prices of these last tools was out of hand. I stayed up all night during Christmas to score a very close to what i need 14mm wobble socket... I searched and searched for these last tools. Finally the end of january i was able to purchase a complete box with all tools (-1screwdriver) $450 shipped including Paypal fees - what a deal - the box was rough - but Hey - no more searching. Most of the tools were either more correct than what i already had or the condition was better - $1200 later (3 boxes, 1 club member collection of tools, 1 ebay purchase, a repop 21x36 wrench and a samba score... off to ebay to sell off the extras of this small fortune of tools

Jan 28, 2010

Rolling in the FRES hood

Decided to roll out the '56 - the sunshine was actually somewhat out. Rolled downtown for the true hood shot and then up to Millerton Lake for the freeway miles.