The Great Reveal!!

I had nightmares last night. In my dreams, I drove helplessly around, got lost, couldn’t see where I was going, which makes sense since my six month hiatus from driving was about to end.

Yep. The VW restoration is complete!

Oddly, I didn’t think I’d feel anything for the finished car — I mean, it is just a car — but when I went to pick it up today, I felt awed and overwhelmed at my first glimpse of the restored bug sitting in front of the auto body shop. I knew Pedro did good work, but it’s one thing seeing other old cars looking new, and something else seeing your own. He truly went over and above what he said he would, partly because he is an artist, and partly he felt bad about how long it took.

The artist who restored my Volkswagen

The artist who restored my Volkswagen

The thing shines! He polished the windows, headlights, hubcaps. Replaced all rubber parts and weatherstipping. This in addition to hundreds of hours of bodywork. No bondo for him! Sheet metal and welds all the way. And he did all the things he said he would such as replace the brake and fuel lines that I’d paid someone else to fix. (He tells me God loves me because I could have been killed in that car. Not only did the cheat not replace the brake lines he was supposed to replace, he cut the rear brake line and plugged the hole for the rear brakes on the brake cylinder. Eek.)

And his upholstery guy did a good job on the interior — new padding and slipcovers on the seats, new headliner, new carpeting throughout.

It’s still an old car, of course, with old car crotchets, but not as many as you would think. The last time I drove the car, it was a rattletrap, a junker. It didn’t really matter what happened to it since it seemed to be on its last legs . . . er, wheels. And now, it’s a near classic, a vintage car of some value. That will take getting used to!

I was worried the car wouldn’t start after not being driven for so long, but it started right up. I was worried about forgetting how to drive, but that wasn’t a problem, either. I drove for a couple of hours today to work out any kinks, but the mechanic who did the repair work seven months ago did a wonderful job. There were no mechanical problems, and the car sounds like new. (Like a new old-style-beetle, that is. Not like a new modern day vehicle.)

I’ve often wondered at my folly for going along with such a protracted and rather costly restoration. (I didn’t envision a restoration — I just wanted to get rid of enough rust so it could be painted.) After all, as people keep reminding me, it’s still an old car, and as such doesn’t have the safety features of the new cars. On the other hand, it also doesn’t have a gazillion electronic parts except for the electronic ignition I had put in. It’s mechanical all the way.

Now I’m glad I went ahead with the restoration. It’s past time for a bit of folly, and besides, it’s nice seeing the old bug looking so good.

Restored 72 VW


(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.”)

14 Responses to “The Great Reveal!!”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Glad you got your car back looking so nice, Pat. I hope it runs smoothly too.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It runs beautifully! Pat Bertram author of More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire, available from Second Wind Publishing  From: “Bertram's Blog” To: Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2015 4:21 PM Subject: [Bertram’s Blog] Comment: “The Great Reveal!!” #yiv9181620339 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9181620339 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9181620339 a.yiv9181620339primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9181620339 a.yiv9181620339primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9181620339 a.yiv9181620339primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9181620339 a.yiv9181620339primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9181620339 | | |

  2. paulakaye Says:

    I am so happy for you. It is beautiful!!

  3. LordBeariOfBow Says:

    It looks brand spanking new Pat he certainly did a good job on it and I’ll wager when you drive it now you’ll get more than your share of people stopping to watch you and your Vdub go by, and they will all be admiring looks.. Bet on it!

    You could have slipped in a couple of pics of the interior and lifted the bonnet(hood) so we can have a look at the donk! 😀

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’ll try to get some pictures of the interior. It’s hard because the seats and carpets are black, so there’s not much to see. As for the engine compartment, will see what I can do about that tomorrow. The engine wasn’t restored, just fixed and tuned up. Still, it looks good.

  4. Cicy Rosado Says:

    It’s Darling I love it!!!

  5. snakesinthegrass2014 Says:

    Congrats. It really looks nice. Enjoy!

  6. Coco Ihle Says:

    Congrats, Pat!!! Pedro is truly an artist!!!!!!!! At long last, you have a real beauty!!!!! Now you have a little more control of your adventures! Can’t wait to hear what’s next.

  7. Kathy Says:

    Looks beautiful!!!

  8. Constance Says:

    Mechanical is so much better than all this loaded electronic equipment.

  9. frederick anderson Says:

    The car’s a star! I think you had all of us waiting with breath dangerously bated, but the result makes all the waiting worthwhile. But Pat, though I hate to add a low note, I have to say it has become quite desirable. Look out for predators!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Yeah, I know. I used to have a lot of problems with people trying to steal it even when it was a junker. I haven’t had to worry about it for the past five years because it was mostly garaged (I don’t drive it much) but starting next month, it will be out in the open all the time. Makes me nervous. 

  10. A Time of Preparation | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] be painted, and six months later, six months of learning to do without a vehicle, what I found at The Great Reveal!! was a full body restoration. And because the outside looked so beautiful, I had to have the inside […]

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