Here is the Story of my 1953 Irish Built CKD Oval Window VW Beetle
Birth Certificate information from VW -
Built 7th July 1953 - in Ireland.
11D, VW De Luxe Sedan, RHD
25DIN-PS, 1.1 Liter
Motor Distributors Ltd Dublin
|This is the Story from a few years ago.. When I got involved with a rusty old VW... one that everyone else said to scrap..
|30th March 2008 (Volksworld Show)
|ZU2631 is offered to me in part exchange for my Beetle that I'm trying to
sell. I'm selling to make some space and get some money for your house...
|It was dug out of a barn in Southern Ireland last year and the new owner (the guy I got it from and the guy whose dad sold it to the three brothers) ... decided it was too big a project ..
I maybe foolishly traded it in against my lovely 72 bug...
It was in Ireland... and would be trailered over in a few weeks time... I had only seen a few photographs...
I am told the gutters are good, and it appears to have a floor pan... the engine is a VW recon, and is in bits as they were going to put new bearings and rings on it but couldn't find undersized/ over sized bearings...
It seems to have all its correct bits...
But its in a right state... but how often do you find a RHD 1953 Beetle?
|I part exchanged this at the Volksworld Show against my lovely 55000 mile 1972 beetle... on the basis of these photos... it was in southern Ireland so I didn't see it before buying it!
|My lovely Low mileage '72 Beetle -
|The replacement - a 1953 RHD CKD Irish Built Oval Project...
The story I know so far... it was owned by 3 brothers most its life... there is
a mention of nuns too!
It was "borrowed" by some one the brothers didn't like (they left the keys in it in the 60's) and then the brothers decided not to drive it anymore... it was parked up in 1970 and left...
Oh, and according to Ivan McCucheon... it was probably an Irish built beetle... with Shamrock logo and would be VERY RARE! .. but then he said to cut it up!
|April 29 - 2008
This is Henry, He has been in a Barn in Southern Ireland since 1971... He was parked up after he was "borrowed" by a local lad that the owners didn't like... and so when he came back, they didn't want to drive him again! The car sat in this barn for 36 years! Stuff was piled up round him.. he was eventually dug out and has now made the Journey to Bedfordshire...
He is an original RHD 1953 CKD kit with the Irish Shamrock glass - well, on the windows that haven't been smashed..
This is the first time it has seen rain in nearly 40 years... even though it looks like it has lived in a swamp...
|Some arty ish pics.. to make me feel better about my purchase..
|May 14th 2008 - Todays progress... I took off the wings and gave it a bit of a wash...
|After a bath -
|A full set of Genuine early oval wings -
|Sat Sept 27 2008 - We built an oval beetle cage... to add a little strength... l
|Sunday 28th Sept 2008 was Body off day...
|I found this in the glove box.. Oil Change service mirror hanger... I like him!
|I'm now researching the mirror hanger...
Spooner's Garage Ltd
Roscrea, Co. Tipperary
Tel: 0505 21063
Fax: 0505 21314
looks like they still exist... I've made contact, but not got anywhere... I had really hoped they might have records of the car or maybe an old fella was still known to them who may have worked on it back in the day...
The hanger is dated 28 Feb 1963... its 45 year later, so a bit of a long shot
|Monday Sept 29th - Bare Chassis
|Tuesday Sept 30th - The chassis, drums, backing plates and beam are now down at A B S Blasting... Should be back at the end of the week...
|Oct 15th 2008 - So I went to ABS Blasting and collected my chassis yesterday...
Here is Alex in Action! - Blasting my wings - More on them later...
| My chassis has had a good hard blast with rough grit...
The beam looks awesome and is off for adjusters with Panel Kraft as I type...
|The chassis looks like this... Basically 1/4 very bad, and the edges all rough... and some pin holes in the pans...
|We decided to do a top job and it will have 2 new pan halves (the expensive
thick ones from Heritage!)
Some numbers not often seen...
|When it has the new halves it will go back for a 2nd blast ready for powder
Let me tell you about the wings...
The originals were wrecked... and I'm putting the car back on the road with new underpinnings but without painting it etc...
so the wings need to match the rest of it..
plan A is to make them match... fake Patina if you like...
So we took 4 tatty but solid wings and Alex at ABS Blasing bare metalled them...
I then painted them badly in black without primer...
Alex then blasted them roughly but mostly on the top and some random areas on them to try to re-create the effect of the shell... all we need now is the effect of 55 years of rust / Patina... they are hung up outside waiting for bad weather and some salty water...
|I'll let you know how they get on and if they look anything like the rest of the shell in a few months...
|2 Days of Rust...
|20th October 2008 - Tonight I took 2 ice pick door handles... and made one that works with a key
... simple things... and another job sorted...
Today the new floorpan halves arrived... nice thick steel.. they should be ... they were very expensive!
Hayden now has the job of making them fit an early oval pan... as it is different at the back to standard bug pans..
|1 Week of rust -
|November 20th 2008 - Collected my £82 ebay bargain pop outs today.
|Jan 15th 2009 - this man has been busy today... the chassis is looking great ... thanks
The early (pre 55 I believe) seat runners are flat and not wedge shaped... so needed to be removed and replaced with the originals...
|Jan 18th - The chassis is FINISHED!
I'm well chuffed!
Went and inspected it today
It looks excellent, really nice tidy job. The seat runners seem strong enough too!
|Jan 21st 2009 - he shell is now down at Panel Kraft ... its worse than Hayden remembered...
|Jan 22nd - The chassis is back from its final light blast... Thanks Alex...
|January 23rd - The Chassis is Shiny!
|and the shell is now perched patiently waiting for some magic... at Panel Kraft.
|January 30th 2009 - So this week the
underside of the chassis had the seams sealed, then another night had a
light coat of rubberised Stone chip and tonight some shiny black 2K paint..
|February 8th 2009 - I've spent a few hours tinkering with the chassis this weekend.. its not finished.. but its now on its wheels!
There are still bits missing due to useless parts suppliers! - I've still got lots of bits to put on it and things to tighten and adjust.. but its rolling!
|Feb 12th - 2009 - Today the shell had a few more bits stripped off and its front valance removed... it was hanging by a thread! and then it went off for blasting... just the rear valance, the spare wheel area, the lower few inches internally... and the inner wings... all to help with the welding and so we can see what we have got to stick the new metal to!!
|Feb 19th 2009 chassis is now rolling,
steering, braking, engine on gearbox and both drained and re-filled with new
oils.. hand brake works, shocks fitted.. engine turns over on the starter..
its almost ready to accept the body
|Still waiting for a few bits to finish it and have sent tinwear for a blast and powder coat..
|March 1st 2009 - Blasting - Project
Tea Bag continues...
Alex (http://www.absblasting.co.uk) has been at work blasting the areas of the shell that need the most work...
He has now left Hayden (http://www.panelkraft.co.uk) the "good steel" to weld to... not that there is much left!
Before .... After...
|The good news is that we can now see exactly what we are working with...
|March 3rd 2009 - I've been biting my
tongue for too long.
Let me tell you why my chassis isn't finished.
On Monday the 2nd February I ordered some parts to get it together from Status VW, not cheap, but he said he had what I wanted...
I always phone to order parts as his website is unreliable and you can order stuff online and only later find that it isnt in stock. I called though with my order and was promised all was ok and would all be with me later that week.
On the Thursday I received a small jiffy bag via royal mail. it contained a bill for too much money and only a very small proportion if the parts ordered
I called Barclay @ Status to see where the rest of my parts were and to ask why I had been over charged. I was told that the parts were in a separate package, posted at the same time at the same place... aparantly its cheaper?
I wanted to know why my £7.50 Heater cable (that hadn't arrived) was charged at £9.50 - no apology, just "we can change that"
Why the £3.50 front torsion bar seal was charged at £4.50? - again, no apology, just "we can change that"
Why of the set of 4 rear torsion bar doughnuts only 2 were sent? - aparantly thats all he had in stock and would I like him to order me the rest of them? What? its a set of 4, only any use as a set of 4, I ordered 4, you said you had 4, when you realised you didnt, you didnt tell me or order some in? - they will be over a week... great!
(The ones he sells come in a set of 4 from Wolfsburg west .... they cost $28USD for the 4... Status charges £50 the set... then sends me just 2! - useless!)
I wanted to know why was the £17 hand brake cable (that hadn't arrived) was charged at £32! Aparantly I was reading the website wrong and the hand break cable for the '53 beetle was the "short one for a '53 - yeah, right!) and i needed the long one.. 2 up on the page... listed at £25 ... and yet still i was charged £32!, again, he was going to refund the difference (down to £25 ... (I later ordered one on ebay for £16.99 and it was here the next day!)
So frustrated, I waited for the other parts, I reminded them the following Monday, he blamed the snow saying that there was upto a 5 day delay ... weird, both items were posted at the same time at the same place..
So on the Wednesday I send an email (cos I was sick of talking to someone who treats me like i'm stupid) .. "My parts still haven't arrived. Order was placed Monday 2nd Feb, due to be with me in a couple of days. Its now the end of the 11th Feb. Please now sort this matter out or refund the monies paid" - No reply was received.
So on Thursday i sent the next email - "Another day gone and still nothing. Tomorrow is 2 working weeks from when I ordered my parts. And I've not even had a reply to yesterdays email. Please now just refund my money. I will buy elsewhere. Karmann Konnection have everything I need. Please let me know when the monies have been refunded" - Still no reply
So on Friday 13th - I send an email - "The post man has already been today... and still nothing. Please refund my Monies TODAY."
having now got to the point that I didn't trust him to reply, I sent a "test email" to the same address from a different account with a sales enquiry... guess what.. I got no reply.. but the test enquiry did... proof that I was being ignored.
So I called him, he claimed not to have received any of my emails .. I told him i needed my money back that day, he said he would..
I got my Barclay Card statement last week 27th Feb. (4 weeks since making the order and 2 since the promise of a refund) .. guess what? None of the original over charging had been refunded and the full refund less the £3.50 part that was usable hadn't been made either..
This Sunday 1st March I sent another email, requesting refund by 6pm tonight (Tuesday 3rd March) with confirmation that it had been done.. guess what... one month on, I'm over £100 out of pocket and still no refund or email from Barclay at Status VW...
Don't get me wrong, I know no one is perfect... but 1 month, and £108.29 for a £3.50 part...
And The chassis still isnt finished
|Weds 4th March - Went to Karmann
Konnection today... Had a nice chat, bought all the parts that Status should
have supplied a month ago... at better prices too!
When I spoke to KK they said they had stuff.. when i arrived to collect they actually did!
I can now finish the chassis at last!
Also got a battered original 60's front clip that I can cut the sides out of for the spare wheel well repair...
Thank you Karmann Konnection
|Well, what a turn up for the books...
this morning march 5th ... in the post I received a partial refund from
The credit memo is back dated to 18th Feb - yeah, right... I'm stupid enough to fall for that one!
The actual credit slip from the machine is dated 2/3/09 at 10.46 .... Strangely just after he had been threatened with internet coverage of this mess!
Sadly the refund is for just £74.35 ... so i now have a £3.50 seal that has cost me about £34!
There is no explanation for the amount, but I can only guess it is £22.50 for 2 of the 4 doughnuts... I may as well have bought a chocolate tea pot! and £4.50 for the £3.50 seal and £7 postage! (there is a discrepancy of 5p... and no explanation... so who knows!)
The best bit is the fact that the "credit memo" blames "Refund for items refused and returned (UPS returned packet refused by customer after 2 delivery attempts)"
Weird... I thought you said they were all posted via ROYAL MAIL .. same place and time... on the same day?
Anyway, I had forgotten, but I have to admit I did get a small package via UPS ... AFTER I had demanded my FULL REFUND... the package was a Jiffy bag, about 4" x 4" and when I had a feel.. I could tell it had the Brake hose clips (already bought from GSF at this point) and the heater cable... still no hand brake cable, still no chassis bungs, still no torsion bar doughnuts, still no reservoir seal ... you get the picture .... so it was refused... and anyway... I was getting my promised refund - right?
Oh, well... shows he did get my email... even though yet again he didn't reply to it
So Status VW - £34 for a £3.50 seal... nope... still not happy
|Right, back to the Nice stuff...
The Skilled operatives at Panel Kraft have started sticking it back together!
|The first heater channel is heading for
an early look (vent welded up) and is tacked in place, along with the new
lower A post... Lining this lot up is going to be the trick... as everything
seems to have dropped... Lucky i have 2 "unwelded" '53 ovals to
compare it too!
Thanks Hayden ... I'm starting to feel motivated again!
|Friday march 6th - Spent a few
hours with the chassis today
got heater cables and seals, gear lever gaiter, rear suspension doughnut grommets and covers all fitted, its surprising how long it all takes.
Also spent some time painting the nuts and bolts that hold it all together.
and fitted my shiny new wheels.
Almost ready to push it round to Haydens workshop for a trial fitting of the body
|went for a "drive" today... Pushed the chassis up the road, over the bridge and down into the workshop....we are going to trial fit the body on Monday so we can make sure sills line up with the bottom plates and get the door gaps right.... then I get to push the chassis home
|One hookeys A post repair..
|Drivers Side heater channel tacked in and A post aligned...
|Today we bolted the Hookeys Channel bottoms to the floor pan...
|and lifted the body on...
|and fitted the doors! - Starting to look like progress.
|I was a happy bunny!
We then spent many hours lining stuff up, measuring and re- fitting doors, checking door gaps etc... my doors being made of cheese didn't help!
After much shoving, pushing etc we were eventually happy with the fit of everything and started to spot weld the heater channels to the botom plates...
|We then undid all the bolts and lifted it back onto the stands so that the welding can be completed, its amazing how much more strength it all has... even with big holes and only a few spot welds and bits tacked into place..
|March 11th - Hayden has been busy,
straightening metal and closing up holes!
He has also striped down the 60's spare wheel well and it has had a trial fit..
|The spare wheel well remains are now being blasted by Alex @ ABS Blasting and Hayden @ Panel Kraft will make it fit!
|Sunday March 15th - Hayden has been a
little busy! The front end is all together and mocked up with a fairly good
bonnet and some old wings ... It looks like a car again!
Must be the first time in many years that it has had a spare wheel well...
I'm quite happy!
THANK YOU HAYDEN - Panel Kraft is the best!
|March 18th 2009 - Hayden and I have both
been busy ...
I've been in my workshop making the finishing touches to the chassis...
It starts and drives
The tinwear has been Blasted by Alex at http://www.absblasting.co.uk and has just come back in lovely black powder coat from Mark at http://www.perfect-coatings.co.uk and looks lovely... I even had the Genuine VW heat exchangers done - I suspect that the exhaust parts will burn off but the rest should last well...
I can finish off the engine tin when the body is on...
|It has been driven out the garage and up
Hayden has been busy and Project Tetly Teabag is looking a world better!
|March 21st - Hayden and I have just got
in from a late one down at Panel Kraft (its 11pm on a Friday!)
Thanks Hayden, I appreciate the dedication!
If all goes to plan, the shell will be back on (again) tomorrow afternoon...
|Saturday March 22nd - Right, been a bit
quiet on the updates... We've been busy with a few long days /nights....
The wheel arches have been primed, prepped and Shutzd ...
|and painted black in the arches and the new panels...
|Saturday was busy! - The Go cart arrives...
|How many VW club members does it take to change a light bulb? Or even lift a body shell? - Thanks guys.
|Bolting it all down, adding wings, wiring lights... etc
|9pm ... its been a long day..
|OK, so not complete.. but driveable!
It has been driven as a whole car for the first time in 38 + years!
I'm knackered but happy!
Thanks to everyone who helped get me another step closer!
|Sunday March 22nd - Setting the tracking
and fitting the fuel reserve tap...
|Sunday March 29th - So, The story is
MOT A week or so ago...
Continued building stuff all week... finishing jobs etc...
Test Drive to Petrol Station Weds... about 10 miles..
Thursday ... 60 Mile round Trip to DVLA... First proper run in 39 years! ... Man at DVLA didnt look impressed...
Friday... About 80 Mile trip to Volksworld... Didn't miss a beat... amazing!
Weekend outside at the show ...
And Today... Drove home...
Big Thanks to Ivan for letting me Put the car on display (and for the offer of £50 for the RHD Dash ) and to krystal for sorting me out a wicked spot to park up.
I have a Tax Disc, and the new number plates are in the post ... a present from the wife...
I took a few pics...
|As did a few others...
|70mph so I'm told...
|Number Plates Arrived today... I screwed em on... they need to be aged... but they were a present and it feels wrong!
|Then I parked him next to my LHD 53 Oval!
|Monday April 27th 2009 - We went to Big Bang on Friday...
|Sunday May 17th - Dubs at the Park 2009 -
went to Dubs At The park today ...
Heavy Rain most of the way there with 56 year old wipers... Rainex saves lives!
We won a prize!
|May 30th - Number plate ageing... and yes, I got in trouble!
|July 15th - Henry won BEST IN SHOW @ the Herts VW Club Show & Shine last night
|Friday Jan 1st 2010 - Henry won the Dunstable Show & Shine Rat trophy back in October
and is in the new February 2010 issue of Volksworld - a small picture taken at Dubs in the Park - but descibed as a "58 or 59"
There is also mention of the "Herts VW Club black oval" in the London Volksfest write up too.
|Friday May 21st 2010 - Henry Passed his
2nd MOT today (Yes I know its late, I've been busy!)
800 miles in a year!
|Jan 6th 2012 - new wheels
|June 17th 2012 - Took Henry for a Run down to Knebworth today..
|Summer 2012 - Lavenham Vintage VW meet.
|Friday August 17th 2012 - Looked him over and then took him for an MOT this week -
|Bit of gearbox oil on the rear left shoes and wheel ... all cleaned up, greased the beam and King and link pins and he passed without problems.
|It had been a while since Henry had been out for a run, so on the Saturday Morning of Big Bang 2013, I took him for a run and put him in the Rust and Prime Show - He won best Rat Beetle Well done Henry! His crash gearbox with 1600 engine attached always takes a while to get used to but he always goes well (quite nippy) and always behaves. He is very bouncy and rattly though...
|Henry Returned to Ireland in 2018. Its where he belongs.
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