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Samba Feature VW - 1969 Beetle

Steve Larkin of Orange County, California owns this custom 1969 Beetle, here is his story:

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 and 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!


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