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Francois's 1973 Super Beetle

My first one was a '74 Beetle in 1988, my second one, a '98 New Beetle in 2003, and my latest, a '73 Super Beetle in 2018. I took these pictures at the same location and 15 years separate each picture from the next...30 years total. The story of my latest Beetle is pretty simple, I was looking for a "rat look" standard Beetle beater to start a project from...I was not quick enough to move and the one I had found was sold when I called the owner back to say OK! So now I was in the mood to get a Bug...was ready to move...but no cars were showing-up in my "close to home" searches. Then this "too clean Super Beetle" shows up...I call the guy, he was almost done putting the car to his taste but needed to part with it. Motor was 1 year/500 miles old, floors were brand new, interior was all stock and new and the car was on nice chrome wheels and new tires too! Hey, even if it was not what I was looking for to start with, we struck a deal because the car was too nice to pass up. Now, the wheels and tires were new but they had something...they were too wide in front and too narrow in the rear...so that would have to change. I ordered new chrome front wheels from CIP1 and 135 SR-15 to match. The rear rubber was swapped for 225's to fill the wells. In order to tuck the fronties deep enough, a combination of shorter springs and adjustable 3 bold struts were ordered again from CIP1 who became my Christmas Toys distributor...since I was doing the mods during winter.

I trimmed the body/frame area above the tie rods to give it more clearance on full bottom travel. Once the stance was like I wanted it...the painting party began... I've always loved drawing and playing with paint... So I imagined a story around the paint scheme I wanted to go with... The car would be a 73 base...and paint would tear off and show an older version underneath...the Herbie from the Fully Loaded movie... and then again, that Herbie paint would tear off to show bare rusted plates covering part of the car. When I showed the drawings to my wife, she immediately told me not to do it... The car is too clean, you should leave it like it is. OK... Deal! She gave me a good idea, the theme would go a step further and I would keep her side absolutely stock...while going crazy on my side of the car. People tend to give names to their Bugs... I never did...but with my car now having 2 distinct personalities... the nice Dr. Jekyll on the passenger side and the weird Mr. Hyde on the driver's side...I just had to name it JEKYLL. Then, last month, the Province of Quebec just authorized the use of personalized license plates so I tried to obtain JEKYLL but this was impossible since it's considered as a trademark. So I opted for my plan-B, "1BUG".I use the car on the weekend, and during the week for short trips to the grocery store. I have just found the time to wet-sand and buff the clear coat to get rid of the imperfections that happen when you do this type of work in a "home garage". I've not been to any VW meetings yet but I can't wait to see if people will like it or just think I'm crazy for what I did to the car, we'll see then. As for the future, the things I'd like to do to the car is get a set of 15 X 9 or 15 X 10 wheels with huge rubber in the back, then cut and reweld and shape the rear guards to fit the rubber entirely inside the car and repaint as-is. I'd like to fit modern seats in place of the stock front ones, just to sit a bit lower but that's about it for now since the motor is still practically new. But... when I get a chance I'd like to go a bit bigger just for the fun of having the power available at the pedal, especially on the no 2 and 3 gears. I'm not a speed freak but I like the 0-60 feeling...A LOT!

Francois Bigras

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