Home > Airkewld Army > The History/Plans of my VW
      The History of each of our VW's has a unique story. So much that we created a section to read about these said stories and they are all interesting, relative and somewhat similar to each of us. Enjoy some of the highlighted stores the PRO's have chosen from the #AirkewldArmy who submitted it here after subscribing.

      • Hello everyone,Way back in the 80’s i was a high school student driving every VW I could get my hands on. I ended up owning quite a few. Bugs, Squareback's, one fast back and my favorite a sweet Notchback. Which got totaled when some dude took a stop sign and I “T” boned him.Fast track to a few years ago while working I came across a 63 VW bug. No engine, minimal interior, no rust but needed a lot of body work. I gave the gentleman $1200.00 bucks and my journey to build the Vw I always wanted back then began. Stripped, media blast , and I began restoring my 63 bug for three years. Buying parts every month religiously .Now a have a beautiful stratus blue 63vw bug which I ended up doing every piece of restoration myself including bodywork and interior. The only thing I didn’t do was spray it. Luckily I got turned on to a Porsche painter which I traded electrical work for part of paint job. It came out fn awesome. Running dual 40 idf Weber’s , not much chrome on engine. Just clean and simple I had purchased a long block from the same gentleman that sold me the bug. He had an old German mechanic that had built the motor for another bug. The day I picked up my engine the old man was not there and by the time I returned a few weeks later. The old man had passed.. one day Ill tear it apart and see what he had put in there. For now, I drive the shit out of my bug. I’ve even done a few VW shows. It’s lowered in the rear and has drop spindles in the front. The plan is to one day install an air ride and drop it into the weeds. Thanks for opportunity, Tom P. Ventura, Ca.
      • I had always wanted a classic vw ever since I was little kid and would ride along with my grandpa in his blue 74 super beetle. Over time I would look at classifieds online and every once in awhile by a hot wheels at Walmart but never seemed to have the money, time, or even space to work on one. Finally about a year and a half ago, I had finally saved up enough to get one, and had the garage space to work on it. Had a couple I was seriously considering and then I was diagnosed with Classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Went through both the chemotherapy and radiation and one of the things that kept me going was telling myself that when I made it through I’d finally buy my VW. I’ve been in remission for 8 months now and in April I finally did it. Bought a 1974 thing. Originally from California it was owned by an air cooled vw mechanic in southeast Missouri until his passing a few years ago. It’s mostly stock and I’ve been doing little things to it to get it ready for driving in modern traffic but like converting the brakes over to disc, tuning the engine a little, and I probably need to get around to installing the seat belts. I love driving it, and the fact that it’s a 74 like my grandpa’s feels like a little tribute to him.
        And while this is the first VW that I’ve worked on and there’s definitely been a learning curve, a sometimes frustrating day in the garage sure as hell beats sitting in chemotherapy. Jay S. Harrisburg, Illinois
      • Hello, My name is Damon Smith and I currently own a 1971 Standard Beetle That I purchased in 1999 as a second vehicle for my then wife and I. It was pretty much in stock condition at the time and I used it as a daily driver for about 7 to 8 years. I did make some modifications along the way, I built a 1776 cc engine for it, this engine lasted a few yrs but eventually it dropped a valve and destroyed the #3 cylinder and head. So I then built a 2005 cc engine to replace it. I put a 2" narrowed front beam on it and lowered the front end and put disk brakes on the front. In 2006 I was active duty Military and received orders to Germany. My then wife and I split at this time and I put the car into storage for the duration of my assignment in Germany. In 2009 I was stationed back in the US in Washington State and I brought the car along with me. I eventually got the car running again and once again used it as my daily commuter to and from work for a couple more years. I eventually just quit driving the car due to all the little projects that it needs ( my intent has always been to restore the car, But life always seems to have other plans). The car has basically been sitting in Storage now since 2012 only being driven around the block or through the neighborhood once a month or so. I have contemplated selling the car multiple times over the years but for whatever reason I have not been able to let it go ( it truly is a part of the family now ). I am Currently retired from the military and working at an FAA repair station in Spokane Valley Wa. I have decided to give the car some much needed love and attention and I am preparing to start a full pan off resto-mod on the car (long overdue). My vision for the car is to put an air ride system on it, a 4"narrowed front beam and a respectable street engine. I am hoping to start this project within the next month. That is the very short story of my Beetle. I look forward to working with the PROs there at Airkewld once I get the body off the pan and take stock of all the real hidden challenges to come. Sincerely, Damon Smith
      • Hello, My Name is Edward and this is the story of the two VWs I never thought I would own. The first one I bought was roughly a year ago at the beginning of the pandemic, A few miles away from me layed a neglected Bradley GT. The VW kit car, this one based on a 1964 frame with a swing axle transmission, was run down, broken and missing pieces. I had seen a Bradley GT once when I was graduating from high school and at the time knew nothing about them until 5 years later one popped up out of nowhere and I bought it on an impulse, getting myself into way more work than I was prepared for. I decided I would rebuild the car from the ground up learning as I go since it came with a donor body that had no frame. I ripped apart the main car taking all the fiberglass panels apart and sanding them and am now preparing myself to attempt to paint them in primer. I have learned to weld to fix the frame on the car as it had severe rust at the head buying replacement metal parts to weld on getting that done. This is where the 2nd VW pops up 2 months later. My brother decided he would take the donor body and rebuild that and we would both have Bradley GT Kit cars. He proceeded to go out and look for a donor car that the frame could be used for the Bradley GT. He settled on a VW Super Beetle from 1974 that seemed to have everything. Ripping the body off we started panel by panel as he was looking into selling parts he wasn't going to need to recoup the money and when we got to the frame we realized that the front suspension was completely different. Both of us new to VW later learned that the frame would not work. This being the case we started researching how to convert it into the proper front suspension for the Bradley. This was not meant to be as while we were looking into it over a few weeks he was driving and found a 79 corvette for pennies and decided to do that instead of the Bradley, abandoning the donor body and the 1974 Super Beetle. With the Super Beetle taking up space he was getting ready to dump it as he no longer wanted it as he had a corvette and I swooped in to buy it as being a Michigan car It had extremely little rust for being as old as it is and i decided i will also restore that car as well. Currently the super Beetle sits in pieces as I work on finishing the Bradley. In a few days I'm going to make the drop pans for it and put the Bradley body back onto the frame it came on for good with no rust left, learning a lot in the process. The Bradley will require it to fabricate the plexiglass doors, plexiglass rear window, make a new interior and the final challenge for that car rebuild the motor with the hope of having it done sometime in april/may 2022. The super beetle sits for now as it needs everything to be inspected and cleaned up still. From initial inspections the transmission seems frozen as the owner before my brother had blowtorched through the axles and will need a new one or be rebuilt. The seats are missing and the hunt for that will go on. This being said i plan to finish bradley 1 first, then complete the super beetle, Bradley 2 is unknown as i dont want to see it go to a junkyard but unsure if i will be able to find it a home or finance its rebuild after the beetle. Thank You For Reading Edward Jager
      • I'm currently building a 1973 standard beetle. I got this car 6 months ago. It turned out to be a complete basket case! Lol. I pulled all the old drive train out and built a sweet fuel injected 1835cc motor and got a pro street transmission for it. I'm replacing the complete wire harness and replacing some rusty floors and qtr sections right now. Hopefully I'll be installing the drive train very soon. I am going to get the full disc brake kit from airkewld when it's available. I would love to get the full air ride set up to go with it some day. I've been a vw fan since 1992 when I got my very first car, a 1964 type 2! Looking forward to getting a bunch of cool stuff from you guys. Thanks, Joe Hobson
      • Hello everyone, Way back in the 80’s i was a high school student driving every VW I could get my hands on. I ended up owning quite a few. Bugs, squarebacks, one fast back and my favorite a sweet notchback. Which got totaled when some dude took a stop sign and I “T” boned him.Fast track to a few years ago while working I came across a 63 VW bug. No engine, minimal interior, no rust but needed a lot of body work. I gave the gentleman $1200.00 bucks and my journey to build the Vw I always wanted back then began. Stripped, media blast , and I began restoring my 63 bug for three years. Buying parts every month religiously .Now a have a beautiful stratus blue 63vw bug which I ended up doing every piece of restoration myself including bodywork and interior. The only thing I didn’t do was spray it. Luckily I got turned on to a Porsche painter which I traded electrical work for part of paint job. It came out fn awesome. Running dual 40 idf Weber’s , not much chrome on engine. Just clean and simple I had purchased a long block from the same gentleman that sold me the bug. He had an old German mechanic that had built the motor for another bug. The day I picked up my engine the old man was not there and by the time I returned a few weeks later. The old man had passed.. one day Ill tear it apart and see what he had put in there. For now, I drive the shit out of my bug. I’ve even done a few VW shows. It’s lowered in the rear and has drop spindles in the front. The plan is to one day install an air ride and drop it into the weeds. Thanks for opportunity, Tom P. Ventura , Ca.
      • I had always wanted a classic vw ever since I was little kid and would ride along with my grandpa in his blue 74 super beetle. Over time I would look at classifieds online and every once in awhile by a hot wheels at Walmart but never seemed to have the money, time, or even space to work on one. Finally about a year and a half ago, I had finally saved up enough to get one, and had the garage space to work on it. Had a couple I was seriously considering and then I was diagnosed with Classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Went through both the chemotherapy and radiation and one of the things that kept me going was telling myself that when I made it through I’d finally buy my VW. I’ve been in remission for 8 months now and in April I finally did it. Bought a 1974 thing. Originally from California it was owned by an air cooled vw mechanic in southeast Missouri until his passing a few years ago. It’s mostly stock and I’ve been doing little things to it to get it ready for driving in modern traffic but like converting the brakes over to disc, tuning the engine a little, and I probably need to get around to installing the seat belts. I love driving it, and the fact that it’s a 74 like my grandpa’s feels like a little tribute to him. And while this is the first VW that I’ve worked on and there’s definitely been a learning curve, a sometimes frustrating day in the garage sure as hell beats sitting in chemotherapy. Jay Susie Harrisburg, Illinois

      • Hello, My name is Damon Smith and I currently own a 1971 Standard Beetle That I purchased in 1999 as a second vehicle for my then wife and I. It was pretty much in stock condition at the time and I used it as a daily driver for about 7 to 8 years. I did make some modifications along the way, I built a 1776 cc engine for it, this engine lasted a few yrs but eventually it dropped a valve and destroyed the #3 cylinder and head. So I then built a 2005 cc engine to replace it. I put a 2" narrowed front beam on it and lowered the front end and put disk brakes on the front. In 2006 I was active duty Military and received orders to Germany. My then wife and I split at this time and I put the car into storage for the duration of my assignment in Germany. In 2009 I was stationed back in the US in Washington State and I brought the car along with me. I eventually got the car running again and once again used it as my daily commuter to and from work for a couple more years. I eventually just quit driving the car due to all the little projects that it needs ( my intent has always been to restore the car, But life always seems to have other plans). The car has basically been sitting in Storage now since 2012 only being driven around the block or through the neighborhood once a month or so. I have contemplated selling the car multiple times over the years but for whatever reason I have not been able to let it go ( it truly is a part of the family now ). I am Currently retired from the military and working at an FAA repair station in Spokane Valley Wa. I have decided to give the car some much needed love and attention and I am preparing to start a full pan off resto-mod on the car (long overdue). My vision for the car is to put an air ride system on it, a 4"narrowed front beam and a respectable street engine. I am hoping to start this project within the next month. That is the very short story of my Beetle. I look forward to working with the PROs there at Airkewled once I get the body off the pan and take stock of all the real hidden challenges to come. Sincerley,Damon Smith
      • Hello, My Name is Edward and this is the story of the two VWs I never thought I would own. The first one I bought was roughly a year ago at the beginning of the pandemic, A few miles away from me layed a neglected Bradley GT. The VW kit car, this one based on a 1964 frame with a swing axle transmission, was run down, broken and missing pieces. I had seen a Bradley GT once when I was graduating from high school and at the time knew nothing about them until 5 years later one popped up out of nowhere and I bought it on an impulse, getting myself into way more work than I was prepared for. I decided I would rebuild the car from the ground up learning as I go since it came with a donor body that had no frame. I ripped apart the main car taking all the fiberglass panels apart and sanding them and am now preparing myself to attempt to paint them in primer. I have learned to weld to fix the frame on the car as it had severe rust at the head buying replacement metal parts to weld on getting that done. This is where the 2nd VW pops up 2 months later. My brother decided he would take the donor body and rebuild that and we would both have Bradley GT Kit cars. He proceeded to go out and look for a donor car that the frame could be used for the Bradley GT. He settled on a VW Super Beetle from 1974 that seemed to have everything. Ripping the body off we started panel by panel as he was looking into selling parts he wasn't going to need to recoup the money and when we got to the frame we realized that the front suspension was completely different. Both of us new to VW later learned that the frame would not work. This being the case we started researching how to convert it into the proper front suspension for the Bradley. This was not meant to be as while we were looking into it over a few weeks he was driving and found a 79 corvette for pennies and decided to do that instead of the Bradley, abandoning the donor body and the 1974 Super Beetle. With the Super Beetle taking up space he was getting ready to dump it as he no longer wanted it as he had a corvette and I swooped in to buy it as being a Michigan car It had extremely little rust for being as old as it is and i decided i will also restore that car as well. Currently the super Beetle sits in pieces as I work on finishing the Bradley. In a few days I'm going to make the drop pans for it and put the Bradley body back onto the frame it came on for good with no rust left, learning a lot in the process. The Bradley will require it to fabricate the plexiglass doors, plexiglass rear window, make a new interior and the final challenge for that car rebuild the motor with the hope of having it done sometime in april/may 2022. The super beetle sits for now as it needs everything to be inspected and cleaned up still. From initial inspections the transmission seems frozen as the owner before my brother had blowtorched through the axles and will need a new one or be rebuilt. The seats are missing and the hunt for that will go on. This being said i plan to finish bradley 1 first, then complete the super beetle, Bradley 2 is unknown as i dont want to see it go to a junkyard but unsure if i will be able to find it a home or finance its rebuild after the beetle.Thank You For Reading, Edward Jager
      • Hi, I have been building VW's since I was 15, that is a lot of years at this point. I have had 2 in VW Trends, a 68 chop top bug with suicide doors and a permanent convertible Squareback with a chopped windshield and suicide doors on the cover. I am now in the process of building 2 more cars. A 61 23 window bus that I have owned since 1995 and a 57 convertible bug. I have been very impressed with your parts you have and videos that I have seen since I have sort of been out of the game for some time now. Things have com a long way in the past 10 years. I definitely want to use your suspension parts on both of the cars I am currently building. Bernie Bergmann is now building 2 2498cc engines for both cars. The bus is now on the rotisserie and getting painted, so getting close.
      • I rebuilt a 1963 type 1 back in high school and regret selling it in my early 20’s. I am coming up on my 40th bday and recently purchased this 1966. I was looking for a weekend card that was clean but something I could work on to improve its performance. Currently it is up on stands as I tear down the suspension and brakes. Waiting for the back order email on a Bad Ass disc break kit. Trying to get it back out on the street for weekend adventures in the central Arizona area.
      • Back into the vintage VW world again after about a 10yr hiatus! Recently acquired a rust free 1968 California beetle here in Michigan that I plan to build up over time being I now have a new outbuilding to dedicate the space to. I plan to build the chassis over the next year from front to back then move to painting of the body once I decide upon the look of this build. Either way the initial plans are for a complete new front end including a 2” narrowed adjustable beam (MI roads are just too sketchy to go any further), dropped spindles and a wide 5 disc brake conversion in front.
      • Last May, I drove 1000 miles from Phoenix to Texas to buy a 56 oval. It was an abandoned project with a guy who knew nothing about Vw’s other than he thought they were cool. He bought the unfinished project from someone else, and was going to hire someone to finish the build. He kept getting pushed off, so A few years later, he decided to go buy one already done and sell this one off. Because the car was jammed in a small storage facility and covered with lots of other parts, he couldn’t provide many pics. So for me it was a gamble. There were enough other parts that came with the car that if the car was a dud, I could still recoup my money by selling off all the extra parts.
        Long story short, I get to TX and meet the guy,,, he opens the storage and the car is jam packed in there with 30-40 boxes of other stuff. I do my best to get a better look at the car real quick, but too much stuff to move. The seller was in a hurry, so I made the deal and he said he couldn’t help with the loading because of an injury,,, he asked me to close the door when I was done and drove off. 2 hours later I get the car out and was doing my best to stay positive. The previous owner started modifying the car into something ultra custom. One side of the car was done, and the other side untouched. He shaved the drip rails, recessed the hinges, removed the exterior door handles and welded it smooth. He was modifying the suspension for air bags (included with the purchase) and had chopped up the body for this mod. My guess is this had to be a very old abandoned project since he was going with 4 individual air bags and they looked massive for this car. Because I just finished a restoration on a 62 panel, I felt I could continue and finish this car. My biggest obstacles are,,,
        1. Front beam
        2. Rear shock towers were cut out and 4-link fabricated in its place. I have the parts for the other side but not sure I like this idea.
        3. Recess drivers side door hinges, and remove ext door handle
        4. Finish removing drip rail
        5. Extensive metal fab.
        I figured the front can be done easily with a narrowed beam. The rear will be a challenge since he cut off the factory shock mounts. Maybe a new pan would be easier??? Regardless,,,, I’m gonna make this car awesome. Anyway,,, You guys rock the bug chassis. I’m a huge fan of the channel and the work you do. Keep up the good work. Best wishes and success,, William
      • I bought my 66 Beetle from a guy getting ready to move, and had to clear stuff out. It’s a shell now (with all the parts in a box) and Its almost completely down to metal and we’re doing body work. It has brand new powder coated pans, but stock rusty suspension. Once the body work is done, I’ll be separating the body and pan (only a couple bolts at this point) to work on the suspension with the body attached. Really want air, and to lay the pans down, just not sure it’s in the budget. My daughters (12,13) are helping with everything during this build, I’m hoping to create the memories for them that my Dad did for me when I was little. This is our first VW project as a family, and my first VW since a 25 year hiatus from the air cooled scene. My only goals for the bug is for it to bring my family closer together, share many nights together in our garage, and to fully enjoy it and have something my daughters can be proud to cruise around town in and participate in local shows. Thank you for this opportunity to share my story. Tristan Judkins and family.
      • I’m very happy to find this email in my inbox, I really appreciated and with great enthusiasm here I write my story. I’m almost 55 years old from Guadalajara México, my dad bough this 1966 grey bug in a local dealer and drove it for a 8 years, but in that time he has some issues in the gear box and he took the car to a workshop of a friend of him, but my dad at the same time had thinking to get a new bug… together we walk around 5 kms to the dealer and we have a new 1974 bug. We were so happy with the new blue beetle, that we quickly forgot the old 1966 gray beetle, I was just 8 years old… A few years passed and I remember that the old 1966 was still in the workshop of my father's friend, he also had a small farm in the same place, some chickens, rabbits and a couple of goats, which they lived inside the car! Can you imagine how it deteriorated? When I was a teenager and started high school in the early 80's, I wanted a car and my father said to me: how about you fix 1966? So I tried to get it out but the car was really bad and I didn't have the money to make it work properly.So my mother bought me a used bug from 1978 and again we forgot the old 1966 ...The years passed and I went to university, and when I finished I found a good job in a bank, before I had another pair of beetles because they were very cheap and I really love them. But my new role as a bank executive led me to drive more sober cars ...I found my girlfriend in the bank and we got married in 2000, and then I decided to take out the old 1966 ...I invested good time and money and managed to return it to the streets …In 2003 my daughter came to the world and then the bank executive job also ended, I was happy with my baby and with the old 1966, however it was dangerous to carry the baby in the beetle, and then I had to buy an SUV .At that time the old 1966 painting had some flaws and I thought it would be good to take it to a good restoration job, here I found Mr. Don Goyo body shop, he knows how to work in the old school style ...the work started and removed the old paint and rust but you know? history repeated itself and again we abandoned it! the old 1966 stayed with Don Goyo another 17 years! meantime 5 years ago I got a good 1990 beetle, and I started to customize it and made it a good engine, and put some new wheels, a short time ago my father celebrated 2 years of his death, and the old 1966 came to my mind, and a I went rescued it from Don Goyo's workshop in order to bring it back to life again and for ever. My Plan:I would like paint it with the M9A chalk grey from Porsche: build a 1776cc engine, with dual webers, porsche style fan, and sebring type exhaust, all with old school look.I'm thinking of interiors in navy blue or red ...of course with a PRObuilt suspension from you Guys, and a set of the 17” rotiform 356 wheels…This bug will never be abandoned any more!!Thanks!Alejandro Villegas Loredo

Have a comment on the History/Plans listed above? Fill out this form and a PRO will help shortly!

Name:


Year & Model VW: (example: 1958 Ghia, 1966 Beetle)


Mobile Number:


Email Address:


Question: