Turning My Ancient VW Bug Into a Drivable Piece of Art

I’m thinking of turning my ancient VW bug into a drivable piece of art. I suppose if I got the thing repainted the original color, it could be considered “art” since such an old beetle is fairly rare, but it might be fun to drive something totally unique, something that screams, “Pat Bertram is here!”

I could, of course, literally paint “Pat Bertram is here” on the side of the car, or do something more productive like “Pat Bertram, author” and give my web address since more than anything I would like some unique way of selling my books. But if I step outside my “author” persona, the ideas are limitless. For example, I’ve seen photos of a bug completely covered with beadwork. I’ve seen one where the body was remade with white wrought iron, making it look like a lace car. The wrought iron body would be drafty, the beadwork would be so heavy the mileage would suffer, so neither would be practical. And besides, cleanboth of those ideas have been done.

I recently saw a photo of a bug that someone had rounded into a perfect sphere, but of course, such a stationary work of art would defeat the purpose of making sure the vehicle is drivable.

Perhaps I could decoupage the car with colored tissue paper, then spray it with clear enamel to make it look like stained glass. Or turn it into something resembling a patchwork quilt. Or even cut out tiny squares of various colors of fabric and arrange them into a mosaic-like design so that up close it doesn’t look like anything but from a distance you could see a floral arrangement, perhaps. Or get the car painted the original marine blue and paint a green ivy border around the bottom. Or paint the car to look like a little fairytale house, complete with window flower boxes and thatched roof. Or . . .

I really hadn’t planned to restore the car since I thought the poor thing was destined for the junk yard, but I found someone who can rebuild the engine and rework the suspension, so maybe I should keep it going one way or another. The trouble is, restored or not, such an old car is a responsibility for a non-car-buff because things are always breaking down, few mechanics know how to fix them, and parts are hard to come by, so I’m not sure I want to do it. Either way, I could do something arty to the body, to have fun with it as long as it lasts.

Feel free to offer suggestions!


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Turning My Ancient VW Bug Into a Drivable Piece of Art”

  1. cicy Rosado Says:

    I think you should have it painted the original color and have a dical on the back window advertizing you as an author,writer that would be mor prestiges and you would be noticed!

  2. Juliet Waldron Says:

    You are so lucky that your Bug has not rusted away–the benefits of living in the dry S. W. instead of the salty East! I’m jealous–I adored my Bugs and miss them terribly. Definitely doll it up in some artistic way!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I am a little annoyed with it at the moment — it hesitates and backfires occasionally, but I’m hoping it will work itself out with a bit of fuel additive. But still, yes, I am lucky to have the Bug after all these years. Some day we’ll come visit you and you can enjoy the nostalgia.

  3. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    Anything that shouts “1960s Hippie” should work, possibly a lot of daisies.

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