View original topic: Restoration thread: my 60 strato blue coupe Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
TRS63 Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:23 am

Hello all,

As I always loved reading build thread, I decided to take the time and document my journey here too.

A bit of background: I am a 30 years old french mechanical engineer living in Germany that felt in love with metal shaping. I always wanted a ghia and was already part of the local club as much as collecting everything I can about this car before getting one.

My first aircooled is a 62 ragtop bug I bought 4 years ago as a barn find and it is now enjoyed every day when there is no salt on the roads.

But back to this topic: I bought in September 2017 a 60 (sept 59) strato blue ghia here on the samba. Originally from Portland, Oregon but I bought it already imported. As the pictures were showing, it was in poor condition (and still is..) but I decided to save it. It will end up as a vintage/oldspeed restored ghia.

Here is a picture from the ad:

And when it came home:

I am of course already much further, and doings as much as I can (I’m a father of a young boy) to finish it for Hessisch Oldendorf 2021.

I will bring the thread up to the actual stand in the next days.


John Moxon Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:12 am

Welcome Antoine.

Sept '59 is quite a rare bird and although Strato blue is a great colour, not a stock one for a Ghia. Not trying to dissuade you from your choice but there is a great blue in the stock selection for the '60 Ghia ;) :

What are your intentions for the Vintage Speed angle? :)

TRS63 Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:32 am

Hi John,

Thanks a lot! I know about all the one year only parts and I am slowly collecting them. I will put some more infos here. :D

About the color: it's the original colour, L364, as confirmed by the birth certificate. Can also be seen as a 60 color on your link :wink:

Edit: here a picture of the birth certificate:

The vintage speed is not fixed yet (only do I know that I dream about a sebring style exhaust), focus is first on the frame and body restoration.


John Moxon Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:57 am

TRS63 wrote: Hi John,

About the color: it's the original colour, L364, as confirmed by the birth certificate. Can also be seen as a 60 color on your link :wink:


Ha! :oops: I didn't scroll down far enough to notice the Strato. I've always associated it as a Beetle colour...a friend had Strato '56. :)

TRS63 Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:19 am

No problem at all :wink:
So, after its arrival, I did a bit of disassembly and created some reinforcement to "replace" the doors:

And then it was time to build a dolly and take off the body:

Now you can enjoy the view on the terrible fiberglass pan riveted by the previous owner :shock: :evil:

Stay tuned! :wink:


jeffrey8164 Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:42 am

You’re off to a good start.


rbsurfguy Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:33 am

Awesome, Welcome Antoine!!!! Can't wait to see what you do to this Ghia.

GHIA Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:43 am

Allez Antoine on attend la suite. :D

Inchpincher61 Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:31 pm

Awesome project but a lot of work!!

I am excited to see the resurrection of that beauty...for me its some kind of a time travel...I was at the same point about two years ago but its worth it so "stay tuned" :wink:

Braukuche Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:03 pm

1960 is the best of the high light models. Has lots of lowlight features, the bulkhead mat, lowlight style door panels, 36hp, crashbox, screw terminals on the earlier models...of course that's also. What makes them expensive to restore accurately.

TRS63 Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:56 pm

Thanks to all of you!
Braukuche, I think the same, which is why I want to save this one! :oops:
Ghia: je vais aussi faire des update côté français, promis!
Inchpincher61: I don't know where in Germany you are but if you come to Stuttgart, please "Komm vorbei" :wink:

So, the next update :D
I first decided to start on the frame, removing the undercoat:

And then preparing to its opening as the fuel line was untight:


Then it was time to change all the rusted lines and close it back..

Of course with rust protection!


And protected:

Stay tuned :wink:


sputnick60 Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:54 am

Antoine, Your approach is very thorough. I think this already deserves a place in the stickies.

TRS63 Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:48 am

Thanks a lot Nicholas, that means a lot to me!
I am trying to do my best on it, doesn't want to do a show car but a (really) nice driver :wink:

So, I have a bit of time for an update :D

Now that the bottom was ready, time to turn the frame and do the same, clean and primed:

And then I started to adjust the half pan:

Used the future heater channel to adjust:

And then after cleaning/primering the half pan, it was time to weld them:

I also finished to clean/put in primer the back end:

To be continued :)


c21darrel Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:59 am

Good luck on a perhaps one of the more difficult ghias to build. Great progress. After looking at your start, its odd more dont just open up the tunnel like you did and de-rust and clean. It much more economical and a better way. Cheers! Keep it up!

kiwighia68 Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:30 pm

Definitely a sticky, please Mr Moderator. The work on the tunnel deserves a sticky on its own.

Unbelievable detail and thoroughness.

TRS63 Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:04 pm

Thanks a lot guys, it really means a lot to me! I will of course continue to document it. I am also already a bit further, as soon as this thread is up to date it will be sadly slower on updates :oops:
Well, as I am already here, I can also show you some of the parts I already found/bought :D
I got myself some NOS front fender panels:

The 60 only rear light backplate:

The 60 only nose grill with their 3 screws:

A NOS indicator switch:

And 1 NOS and 1 good used chrom trim for the door, also a 60 only part:

Of course, if any of you has a 60 only part (incl. the ones I already got) and wants to sell it, please send me a pm :)

I will update more this weekend, stay tuned! :)


c21darrel Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:53 pm

I can see we are going to learn a lot on this one. :)
Did not know about 3 screw air intakes. Did know about the door trim. What makes the tail light holders 60 only?

TRS63 Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:01 pm

c21darrel wrote: I can see we are going to learn a lot on this one. :)
Did not know about 3 screw air intakes. Did know about the door trim. What makes the tail light holders 60 only?

They are not with connectors, the wiring is connected using screws :wink:


Braukuche Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:41 pm

When I did my 60 it drove me nuts that I couldnt get the right scraper for it. Hopefully you have better luck.
I don't think I've ever seen anyone open the tunnel and replace the tubes and clean it out. most people just cut a flap and bend it back to access whatever is broken and then just bend it back sort of and leave it. Nice job!

c21darrel Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:48 pm

I thought spade connectors started later 62ish, wrong again. :cry: . 1960 last year for screw connectors. Well, said we were going to learn on this one :)

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