The Perfect Beetle Is Out There
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The Perfect Beetle Is Out There

May 11, 2016
5 minutes read

As an auto body parts salesman for Ford, Paul Amicone of Ambler, Penn., is around cars for most of the day, but for the rest, he’s around Volkswagens. Since he was roughly 15 years old, Paul has always wanted to build a Volkswagen that would turn people’s heads, and he began by buying parts, anything he could get his hands on. Through high school and into college, as money got tighter and tighter, his choice of cars became more limited. He owned several Beetles, a 21-Window, a ’67 Camper and a late-model Bus, each one having unique problems that kept them from the perfect car he dreamt of. But his enthusiasm for old aircooled VWs never left him. The perfect car was still out there.

Fellow West Chester VW Club member Wyn Oldroyd started working on a 1964 1200 Beetle, a project car he found rusting away somewhere in the northeast. After sanding it down and welding in a box-full of new metal parts, the finished body sat in a corner of his shop collecting dust. In walks Paul, fresh from college and eager to get started on a rust-free VW, but the sad part for Paul is Wyn had dreams of finishing the car on his own and wouldn’t sell it. In the end, determination was Paul’s virtue, and after some negotiations, Paul was able to take the car away under one condition: That he finish it.

Good to his word, roughly one year later, Paul was done, his 1964 Bug, painted Beryl Green (L478) was everything Wyn Oldroyd had wanted it to be. Starting underneath the car, new pan halves were welded in and then sealed with rust-proof paint. The front and rear lowered slightly, one notch in the rear and a two-inch drop in the front, via sway-a-way adjusters. KYB shocks help keep down the bouncing, while 15-inch American Eagle EMPI-style five-spoke wheels hold 135 Firestones in front and 205/65 Goodyears in the rear. The brakes were kept stock, however.

In the back hides a stock 1300cc engine from a 1966 Beetle. With only 50K on the engine, it still has a few good years left, but after Paul’s work, it’ll sure look good doing it. Converted to 12 volt, a Compufire electronic ignition controls the spark via a 009 distributor and a 65-amp Bosch alternator. Behind all of this are pea shooters and a stock exhaust.

The transmission is a swing-axle variety from a 68 Beetle with short axles from a 64. A Sachs 180mm clutch disc helps ransfer the power and a stock Ghia shifter inside the car selects the gears.

details worth noting on the outside of the car are headlights from a 356, triple-chrome-plated bumpers from BFY and an original 1959 sliding sunroof helped into place by Steve Novak of Hatboro, Penn. The Sikkens single-stage paint was applied by Michael’s Hot Rod shop and color sanded and buffed by Paul himself. We’re not going to tell you where the new sheet metal was added, but there is a significant portion of this car that had rusted away and needed replacing.

Inside, Paul wanted the interior to look as stock as possible. He used gray velour front and rear seat covers with white piping from Sewfine, as well as their gray American loop carpet kit. The sunroof is Haartz, the steering wheel is an unrestored EMPI GT and the door panels feature tigerwood knobs.

Annually, this car sees about 1000 miles of the roads in and around Pennsylvania, mostly heading to and from various East Coast shows. This being the best VW Paul has ever owned, we’re sure he’ll want to take extra special care of it. It is beautifully done.

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Aircooled Magazine is the premier online magazine dedicated to Volkswagen Cars, News, Reviews, Tech, Tutorials, and more. Our publication is completely free to use and is brought to you by VW owners and enthusiast with a passion for the Volkswagen brand. We offer the latest news and reviews of models as well as information about the car world in general.

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