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Eamon's 1971 Super Beetle

My '71 1302 Beetle was purchased in 1990, just after it was spotted by one of my parents at a local shop. Not having had any previous experience with any kind of car as I'd just left school. Having passed my test it was time to get out and about. The car had three owners before me and had made its way from the VW dealership in Plaistow UK. I'm not sure if the dealership is still there but I wouldn't think so. I used it on a daily basis to and from work and she got me where I needed to go without fail, through all weathers. I had toyed with the idea of painting the doors a different colour (seemed to be the done thing in the early 90's) and the lower half of the Beetle ended up being a primer grey. During this period an uninsured driver hit me along the side of the car as they pulled off their driveway and into me. I bought two new wings (fenders) from Big Boys Toys when they were in Lakeside Essex, with the intention of replacing and finishing the two tone project. Each week that passed I'd say to myself " I'll make a start on that next week". I kind of did, but putting the wings back on was the most that it amounted to. This is where you can fast forward from 1993 to 2011 when unknown to me the Beetle was removed from the garage and given to a friend of ours who does vehicle body work and paint. As there was nothing else in the garage I never looked in there, so I had no idea the car had gone. Because I work 12 hour shifts, they had plenty of time to take the car without disruption. Now roll forward another three years to 2014 and the wife and me are on our way back from a birthday meal as I'd just turned 40. A fake phone call from my wife's Dad asking us to pick up some nuts and bolts from Tony (the bodywork guy) and drop them back to him. Tony's compound was only a short distance from where we were so it wasn't a problem. We turned into the yard and Tony had his head in the back of a Convertible Karmann Bug. He pretended that he couldn't start it.

If there was one thing that you learn quickly when you own a Bug, it's the firing order. I spotted that two leads were not on the dizzy properly adjusted them and when prompted the car fired up straight away. As I was admiring the Karmann Tony casually mentions that he had another Bug inside that he had just finished for a customer, if I wanted to have a look at. Tony leading the way, we make our way through his workshop and I can see a Marina Blue Bug underneath a slightly opaque cellophane car cover. "Hey Tony that's funny, I've got one that colour in my garage at home". "Have a closer look" he said. As he lifted up the rear section of the cover, I spotted some old Big Boys Toys stickers and I said, "It's even got the same stickers that I've got." At that point it sort of dawned on me that this lovely looking Bug was actually my old one that should be locked away in my garage! At this point I get handed the old number plates and out of nowhere my wife's family appear and burst into the obligatory Happy Birthday song! Now speechless it takes 30 + minutes for it all to sink in. As Tony is only a bodywork guy a decision had been made in the early days that the mechanics and interior would be left for me to finish off as and when. My 1302 is still a work in progress but she is my daily driver and is almost done!

Eamon Harris

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