1968 VW Beetle

Robert Lemay

"Well it all started about a year ago, when I found this Bug on the South Carolina craigslist. The guy wanted $2000 for it, so my wife and I decided to take the trip in a 2002 Toyota 4 Runner with 270,000 miles on it, and a homemade VW towbar in hand. We bought it, and towed it home. The car was barely driveable as is, so I decided on a full body off restoration. I was told of the JBugs company by a friend, and started to study and make list of every part I was planning to address. I pulled the engine first,and decided to completely tear it down. Being a 1500 cc single port, I was going to rebuild with 87 mm pistons, and make it a dual port with new heads and manifold. I purchased the EMPI GTV-2 single valve spring heads from J bugs. This would turn it into a 1641 cc engine. All other engine parts were purchased new, the only part left of the original was the case. The body was major work, including new floors, heater channels, firewall, one front, one rear fender, rear apron, and a lot of welding! I would paint the car as well, so many hours of body work went into the final outcome as well. The front end was completely disassembled, and replaced with all new parts. 4 wheel disc brakes were installed. Rear and front heavy duty sway bars were installed with urethane bushings. I purchased the EMPI polished aluminum 5 spoke rims, and fitted them with Contenental 165/60's on all four wheels. I did not replace the transaxle, or do anything to it, as when I removed it, it was working fine. A complete cleaning, and replacement of easy to get to gaskets was all that was done. A new Sachs clutch, and all related parts was installed. A full undercoating was sprayed, as well as all chassis parts before reassembly was started.

The paint job associated with this restoration was as much work as all of the rest of the project!! I highly suggest that if you want to try to paint your project, and are looking for professional results, have a professional do it!! By the time I bought all of the materials, the paint tools, made a place to paint, made every mistake that can be made, I probably spent a lot of $ that I didn't have to.... I am glad that I stuck with it though, and the end result is exactly how I pictured it!!

The interior was made by Sewfine, the carpet was purchased from Jbugs, the floormats are from Coco mats. I installed gauges on the sides of the speedo, and have found that these are of great help while driving. They include a cylinder head gauge, oil pressure, volt, tach, and a clock. A retro stereo was installed with 4 speakers, a subwoofer, and seperate amp. An auxiliary electric heater was installed under the dash to help with the frigid New England winters!! I re- did the entire electrical fuse panel and system under the hood, as the original one was too messy for me, and I wanted more organization all of the extra components. It has proven to work beautifully.

The car has needed much "tweeking" to get it to run and perform as well as it is now, it's a joy to drive! My wife and I love it very much, and use it almost daily, for ice cream runs, go to the store, or just fun cruising around!! I'd like to thank JBugs again for all of their great products, customer service and fast deliveries, incredible for California to Connecticut!!

Thanks Again, Bob Lemay, Sherman, Ct."