View original topic: 1961 Turkis Ragtop Build Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
laneven28 Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:26 pm

So Iíve been a samba member for several years, but have primarily lurked around reading otherís posts and hunting the classifieds. Iíve owned many VWís since I was 16 Ė Iím 40 now Ė and have been fortunate to own and build some great cars over the years. That said, I feel like I know very little compared to many of you out there, so please be gentle as this is my first build thread.

I have 3 boys and since they were young, I knew Iíd build a VW with and for them when they were old enough to drive. In the summer of 2008, my oldest son was 14, and I knew it was time to start hunting for his first VW. While Iíve primarily owned ovals, I wanted a big window ragtop for my sonís first VW so he could see out the back but enjoy the ragtop and styling of an early car. After searching for a couple months, I found a 60 ragtop advertised on the samba for $600 in western Oregon. The price was right and I really didnít expect much so I bought it sight unseen, then drove 12 hours one way to pick it up. As expected, it turned out to be a mess. Rusted out floors, rusty channels, big dent in the side, ugly 80ís paint job, no engine, no seats, more rust, but many of the parts were there. And it wasnít a 60 Ė it was a 61. I was more put off by that than all the rust, but got over it quickly. Put on some good wheels & tires, and towed it home to Utah without any problems. Once home, it went into storage until the next summer.

Once I got the car into the garage and took a good look at the condition, I realized I was in way over my head. Over the winter I learned the car was built in August 1960, one of the very first 61ís, and originally Turkis Ė a big bonus as it has the 6 month only interior style. I decided it was a good challenge, so we rolled up our sleeves and tore it apart. Unfortunately, it didnít take long before my oldest son decided he didnít want a VW for a first car so the project lost some momentum until my middle son decided he did want it, so the project picked back up again in mid-2010 and is still going strong today. Plan is to have it driving by early summer, and thereís a lot to get done before then.

Enough with the history, letís get some pics posted. These are from the summer of 2009 when we brought the bug home from storage, and took a good look at what we had to work with.

Quite the turd, huh? Stay tuned - it looks dramatically different today. I'll begin detailing what's been done along the way.

YouBugMe58 Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:35 pm

Looks like a great project. I just started my first vw restore also. Almost like yours but mine is a 59 euro ragtop. Ragtops are just cool. Good luck, I am learning also.
Good luck, keep us posted with your progress.

GB2S Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:25 pm

I have all the seats out of a 63 Canadian standard if you want them. Just pay the shipping.


6Kabrio7 Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:39 pm

A turkis green 61 ragtop is a very special volkswagen, One that I have contemplated wanting to own for years now. I see them pop up in the classifieds occasionally with the green color steering wheels(pastel blue) I think? Good luck bring her back to her former glory.

laneven28 Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:19 am

YouBugMe58 - I'm watching your build with great interest. Love the car, and your plans for it.

I appreciate the offer for seats GB2S, although I have since bought all seats and most parts for the car.

61 Turkis cars are a special breed, and I feel very fortunate to have stumbled across one. The car is being restored, although I'm still undecided on the drive train. I have the original tranny and have picked up a numbers correct 40hp case, but the car is going to be driven daily and on the freeway. I'm leaning towards using 1600 with a freeway flyer, but would rather keep it 100% stock. I'm open to anyone's thoughts on this point.

On with the build - first thing we did was strip the car clean, carefully storing all parts. Next I gave the boys a grinder with a paint stipping disc, schooled them on proper technique and safety, and over the next several weeks, they began to take the shell down to bare metal.

Sprayed self etching primer on the bare metal to protect until epoxy and final body work & paint

buguy Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:01 pm

Yikes! Your letting them grind/sand near that lowlight with the top down??!! But seriously....I gotta have some kids!! I would get 3x more stuff done!!

pOrk Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:04 pm

Cool project, whats the oldest kit want for a first car?

laneven28 Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:46 pm

Yea, seems crazy on the surface I realize, but the ghia has since been torn down and is currently at the body shop (has been since Sept 2010) so no harm done.

My oldest son chose a Hyundai for a first car. He's loved it, and it suits him well. My middle son is way excited for the bug, however, and will have his license this coming May. We're working to have it done, or near done by that point. He's is convinced it's going to be a chick magnet :D

cruisinvdub Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:24 pm

this is totally awesome to see a father and son project in the works. great job guys

buguy Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:13 pm

Ahhhhaaaa! A chick magnet!!

GB2S Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:44 pm

How did you spray the primer? compressor, spray can?


laneven28 Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:26 pm

That primer is from a spray can - Eastwood's self etching primer - and was only for short term protection. It's all coming off when the final epoxy primer/2k/paint goes on.

DerekR Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:35 pm

This is great to see! I too have been working on bugs with my boys. We finished a 60 ragtop for my second oldest boy a year ago and that got my oldest boy interested (or jealous) and we are now doing a 61 ragtop for him. I am trying to get my 62 ragtop back together after paint last month and my wife is left parking in the driveway. She is a trooper! I am local to you (in Riverton) and have many extra parts. Let me know if you need anything.

ConcreteAce Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:41 pm

Great father and son project! looks like you scored getting the 61 with the correct tank in it. I searched for a long time for that tank for my old 61. Looking forward to watching this thread!

laneven28 Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:49 pm

Good to meet ya neighbor - sounds like you've been traveling the same road as me for a while now with several early big windows. Iíd love to see them sometime. My wife has been very tolerant with my projects in the garage as well Ė I hope that continues as Iím going to need the space for a while longer :D I appreciate your offer, and will certainly keep you in mind as the project continues.

ConcreteAce Ė Glad you finally found the correct tank. Thereís a lot of unique parts for these 61ís and they donít come up for sale very often. Despite all the rust problems my car has, I was very fortunate that it came with most of the correct parts.

Iím going to be tied up for a few days with work. Iíll continue posting pictures of the progress later next week.

epic number3 Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:51 pm

my name is wade, the son. the one that owns the bug. i have been working on this project with my father for around 2 or 3 years. as you know my older brother didnt want the car and when i picked up the project (best rebound ever) it took off. this is something that i truly enjoy and a great bonding experience. we are learning as we go and are constantly making mistakes (though its annoying its also funny). any tips would be greatly appreciated.

jzjames Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:51 pm

Way to go Wade.
Projects are good.. How old are you and when do you think youll have this bug driving?

jwaj2002 Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:00 pm

so... what is a turkis supposed to look like?

stale air Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:24 pm

jwaj2002 wrote: so... what is a turkis supposed to look like?

GŁteAndTite Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:25 pm

stale air wrote: jwaj2002 wrote: so... what is a turkis supposed to look like?

that is a little too light. you can see a strip of the original turkis green where the right front fender bolted up on your car

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