Welcome Rod Vinning
Welcome Rod Vinning

Meet Rodney (Hot Rod on completion!). He's a 1970 Beetle/Collander, we bought him as a first car for Luke (Our eldest, due to take the driving test in around 12 months). He's also our test vehicle for some of the techy items on Vanana Splits. The rubberless windows, the Raspberry Pi / BOSE speaker / Ipad system, reversing camera etc. So we intend restoring him over the next 12 months and posting the images on this page, eventually we'll get our webcam streaming live images of the build to you too, throw in a dash of Ideal Clubworld for the tunes and you can watch the blood, sweat and tears as they happen.

Floor pans are new the rest is messy. Perfect starting material for any young driver! Tax free and cheap insurance, it was this or a Corsa (superglue on the bonnet and ramraid Halfords) no thank you!. When your car is in this much need of attention and you've rebuilt it yourself, if it breaks down you can jump straight in and have a go, If your Corsa breaks down you sit and wait for the AA (Other motoring organisations are available) to arrive.

Back end has seen better days but it's better than the front! might be able to save the apron but the body mounts are history. I'm looking at reworking the ventilation slots at the rear to take a high level brake light too.

Front end near side had been in an accident and was reshaped/battered within an inch of perfect, the petrol tank area was all bent under too. This has got to go.

Too far gone to save, so we went out to GSF and bought some new bits.

So from the front to the back, we have: 1 full front clip, both lower inner wings, 1 Napoleons Hat, 1 kicker panel above the hat, 2 full cills, 2 rear wing mount panels........so far.

And so to work. We lopped the front end off and proceeded to massage the new front end in.....which is not so easy when the panel is 10mm wider than it should be across the petrol tank support stiffener. Break out the drill and remove the spot welds on the new panel to squeeze the sides in to get the desired measurements, the extreme width across the outer wings was also out by 28mm but that was easily resolved. Now all we need to do is to get it aligned.

Because Rodders was bought without any of the minor parts I decided to get some new seats Alfa Romeo GT - Full set.

The trouble with alfa seats is, the bases are just that little bit wider than the standard beetle ones at the rear and they're just scraping the vw frames at the front. Time for some alterations. I'm going to fit some 40x40x4mm box sections with the alfa bolt hole positions drilled into them, and a second set of holes at the same diameter as the tube that form the existing beetle frames. The plan is to cut out 30mm sections of the vw frames, ease the tubes apart and sit the box section inbetween, the tubes will reposition themselves inside the box and I'll have a nice area to weld around. As there is now a gap inside the box, the bolts that were scraping will slot through and everything will be lovely.

Section removed, incidentally the rear cross bar is in for some re working later as the seat on the drivers side has additional engineering that needs to be where the bar is. Its not a problem. I'll alter both seats for the sake of symmetry.

Box sections set into the frame ( the hole in the front was already in - its not a goof hole)

All done, After a trial fit it became obvious that the rake of the seat was wrong ( you were looking at the sun visors ) So I removed 25mm from the front where the upright meets the flat curve, re created the flattened end on the tube and welded the 2 together again.

Seats in, eldest in and youngest Ferris Buellering.

Wow, what a piece of automotive neglect. It'll run ...We've had a chat! its not responding to a full on Christine "Show Me" but it turns and theres only a small amount of end float.

One of our neighbours sells shotblasting equipment, he wishes he hadn't brought that up in conversation!". So I sent a box of bits round

Back from blasting

Into primer and sand and primer and sand and primer and sand.

Then top coat and sand etc etc - nice and shiny! guess what colour Rodney is going to be... thats right electric blue with pink dots. ( VW Tornado Red )

Lets make something today. I like to do stuff differently to others, I like things to look factory but using items that didn't exist in those days. So taking inspiration from the early T1 dashboard design i decided to make a mount for a tablet ( internet ready, blue tooth compatible ) to fix on the dashboard. Thats the template in the photo.

I cut the shape out of sheet steel and mitred the internal corners.

Clamped the steel to a section of angle and began to work the steel over slowly with a big hammer. Once it was at 90 degrees to the face it was easy to fold over fully. the picture shows 2 edges done, 1 halfway over and the final shot edge to do.

The tricky bit, curving and welding a section of tube to give depth for the tablet and the curved edge to make the whole thing look nice.

Threaded studs to mount the unit to the dashboard and make the whole thing secure once fitted.

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  • LesterKoeni (Tuesday, February 23 16 01:16 am GMT)

    I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content. Your article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed
    to your Feed too.

  • Frederick J Powell (Friday, February 22 13 11:36 am GMT)

    Dubs for life FANTASTIC.