Steve Larkin of Orange County, California owns this custom 1969 Beetle, here is
I found my 1969 Beetle in November of 2001, after seeing it on
TheSamba.com. Purchased from the original owner in San Jose,
California for $300, it had only 43,000 original miles on it and a
top speed of about 35 mph. There was a cloud of smoke for a mile,
then a HUGE bang, the smoke cleared and we were up to 55 mph.
We drove it directly to Concours Autobody & Repair in Campbell,
where my good friend Derek Lafferty let me do the restoration. He
spent A LOT of time teaching me how to do the work, and shot the
paint for me. I had just recently quit my job after 14 years and
used my severance package to fund the project.
The restoration took
me about 3 months to complete, and I still feel the pain! I will never
forget the 16 hour days at the bodyshop! When I brought the car into
the shop it had so much moss on it, I didn't know if I should water
it, mow it, or sand it. Derek suggested weed killer. I gave away the
original motor with 43,600 miles on it to a kid in a Northern California VW Club
purchased the turn key 1776 dual carb motor from Peninsula
Automotive in Campbell, CA. I performed most of the restoration
myself, including the entire interior, and I will never sew again!
Although it's not my commute vehicle, I
drive my Beetle as much as I can, usually about 60% of the time in
an average week.
My wife and I proudly used it on our wedding day, and we intend to
keep it and eventually give it to our first child.
Since moving to Southern California, I
have entered it in a few shows I had always wanted to attend. I was fortunate
enough to take first place at the last two VW Jamborees and two
second places at the VW Classic.
This never would have happend with out Derek, and I owe him all the
thanks in the world - he helped make my dream come true!
Thanks Steve, for letting us feature your '69 Beetle!