The early years  (1989 - 2002)

Julie's car has actually been restored twice since she bought it, but the first time was just a patch-up and respray to keep it roadworthy. Here's a brief account of that first revitalisation.

Weekend work

When we first made the acquaintance of LEB number 250 in 1989, it was in daily use in Buxton, Derbyshire. Although it was in pretty good condition generally, the outdoor life was starting to take its toll, and a bit of rust was starting to appear, particularly on the quarter panel seam in front of the driver's door. It was time to give the poor old thing a bit of attention to tide it through the next few years of active service, so Julie treated it to a respray and had the dodgy quarter panel patched up. Here's John, starting the preparation by removing the bumpers. John used to spend a great deal of weekend time lying on that street near our flat in Leyton, resolving various Volkswagen issues.


The rot sets in

Here are a couple of close-ups of that dodgy front quarter panel seam. As you can see, things were getting ugly around the upper door hinge.


Preparation

Here's number 250 under preparation for its respray. The panel beater made an ingenious (if non-standard) repair to the rotten seam. You may be able to see that the metal ridge in front of the hinges is deeper than normal for a Beetle. That's because it came off a Mini !


Back in service

Here's the repainted, reassembled vehicle, looking quite smart. Of course, it was only a matter of weeks before someone drove into it, and wrecked everything on the driver's side. But let's not talk about that...


In need of a rest

Julie used the car daily for the next five or six years in her capacity as a visiting nurse, and it did many hard urban miles on the mean and potholed streets of Hackney and Walthamstow. Inevitably, it eventually began to show its age, with that old devil rust making various appearances. The time came when the old donkey had to be put out to pasture.

Actually, it spent the next few years 'resting' in a nice cosy shed, courtesy of Julie's father-in-law, who kept the rain off it in exchange for an annual rent of a case of good wine. In the meantime, Julie saved up far, far more money than a Beetle would ever be worth to anyone but its owner, in order to have it resurrected once again.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Restoration timeline

2002
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May - Jun Jul - Aug
Sep Oct Nov - Dec
2003
Jan - Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
2004
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
2005
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
2006
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
2007
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
2008
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec