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Restoration:1966 1200A Model 115 Sedan with Sunroof (Ragtop)
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LHG Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:25 am    Post subject: Restoration:1966 1200A Model 115 Sedan with Sunroof (Ragtop) Reply with quote

First a little background.
I first heard about this car on January 6, 2009. It was up for sale and the owner wanted it to go to someone who could appreciate what it was and keep it stock. After doing a bit of research and checking out the car I made the 700 mile round trip and bought it on January 10, 2009. What followed was an exhaustive research on the car and what would have been correct for this model.

A classic example of "Rare does not mean Valuable".
It's a rare car, a post 1963 factory ragtop is one of those cars you hear about but rarely see. There are only a handful in the US and maybe less than 20 or so world wide. I can't afford some of the more common expensive cars people seek, so I just call this my Hebmueller Wink Very Happy

I received the Birth Certificate from VW and it confirms that it is a Model 115 which is a 2 door Sedan; Standard Model LHD with sliding roof. One thing I like about this car it doesn't require any explanation about how it was built for this or that special market, or how it happened to come with some odd level of trim. This is just a straight forward, delivered to Germany, stock with no options, 1966 Model 115.

Here is a topic I started to find out more about this model.
1966 European Standard, what was OG
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=336263

Why a complete restoration?
In a word, Rust. For a car that spent a lot of time in California, it's pretty rusty. Most of its life was in San Francisco and then moved to near the river bottom in Chico. Rusty heater channels, cancer bubbles here and there and the drivers side pan was toast. It was also repainted on the outside and needed some body work from getting tapped both front and rear.

Fortunately, it still has most of the Standard parts and hasn't been hacked up. I usually wouldn't take on a car with this much body repair but I'm doing it as a labor of love, or just because I'm foolish!

Restoration Guidlines
Here is the cars Birth Certificate.

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Here is a list I made a while back about some of the differences between a 66 Deluxe and Standard.

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The car has been completely disassembled and most of the correct parts have been obtained... So now let the fun begin!
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Last edited by LHG on Thu May 10, 2012 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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61SNRF
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is great news Brian, best wishes with your "Heb" project! A worthy candidate indeed.

On the one speed wipers, do they have the self parking mechinism? I remember on my '67 1200A that they didn't, you had to just turn them off in the park position.

Do you know the colors of the top and running boards? Curious if they were black or color keyed to the exterior like a deluxe.

Looking forward to the seeing it progress.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

61SNRF wrote:
On the one speed wipers, do they have the self parking mechinism? I remember on my '67 1200A that they didn't, you had to just turn them off in the park position.

Do you know the colors of the top and running boards? Curious if they were black or color keyed to the exterior like a deluxe.


Thanks for the support.
My Wipers are not auto park.

The running boards are black, the fender beading body color, and the ragtop is... I don't know. Blue is NLA so I'll say black Wink

Mine is Sea Blue but this is a good photo of a red 1200A.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian let me know if you need any sheet metal, I have a wrecked 67 coming in within the next few weeks. which might have some stuff you need.

Eric
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Eric. Let me know when it comes in.

Pan/Body separation day. Went OK, didn't lose any bolts in the heater channels.

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Here is the nasty drivers side pan I had to replace. It had a piece welded over the top, everything had big holes.

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Test fitting the WolfsburgWest pan half. It fit PERFECTLY with no trimming and the holes lined up with the body right on.

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The body shop welded in the pan and then I brought it home to get the chassis ready to go.

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The body is on the dolly (it has attachments to roll it) and is at the paint shop. We'll put this on a truck and take it to get media/sand blasted.

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As soon as I got the pan home I tore into the front beam. I need to replace the ball joints and seals.

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That's all for now.
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61SNRF
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work Brian. Looks like you're moving right along.

The new pans look great. I curious how they compare to the originals in the area around the pedal stop mounting. Is it stamped the same and does it look like a stock pedal stop bracket will work?

Also since you're at this point, I didn't see anyone answer your question in the other post whether or not they had tar boards in standards. I can tell you for sure the 1200A I had didn't have them. It had plain painted steel under the mats, very much the same as US Bugs after '71 when they cheapened them up.

If I recall correctly the finish is just about like the engine tin would be, about an 80-90% semi-gloss "chassis" black. I think if you find a nice original post '71 California Beetle and lift the floor mats you can see a good example to match.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am excited to follow this build. You have a great car! I am planning a 1966 build myself. I dig all the research you did to find exactly how to do this resto.

Clint
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The car came back from the blaster today. It got both the sand and soda treatment. We took all the paint off from top to bottom. No real surprises, just a lot of rust that we knew was there. I'm not so sure this car doesn't have some Swiss heritage.

I'll be looking at some donor metal this weekend, hopefully I'll find something solid.

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The luggage tray looked good but what is all that sunshine coming from the bottom right Crying or Very sad

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Front clip looks good but the heater channels are toast.

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Dash is in good shape and the A pillars are solid.

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Clean metal top to bottom.

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Looks like it needs a little pull on the drivers side.

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great Brian, The last time I looked at the car with you, I think we both thought it would be much worse especially the rear quarters at the bottom. Amazing the "A" pillars right down to the bottom look solid and no holes in the master cylinder reservoir area or the rear bumper bracket area either. Things should mover right along with this one!

Don
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished having all of the metal work done on my '63 Rag. Your pictures remind me of what I started with. I'm glad I don't have to do that again. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looking like you are off to a great start.. How did you get the birth cert? I have looked online (not very hard but I swear I looked LOL).
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MC68 wrote:
looking like you are off to a great start.. How did you get the birth cert? I have looked online (not very hard but I swear I looked LOL).


Did you search VW Birth Certificates?
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=398
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

silvertonguedevil wrote:
I just finished having all of the metal work done on my '63 Rag. Your pictures remind me of what I started with. I'm glad I don't have to do that again. Laughing


I just happened to recently see your topic. You are going to have a beautiful car when you are done. I had searched 1200A and it came up in yours when the "desirable car" issue was being discussed!
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We got the epoxy primer on. Now it's time to look for the donor metal I need.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh boy. We are like twins!

Your passenger's side:
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My driver's side before being fixed:
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lookin Good!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got around to making some progress on the 115.

I got the pan ready to go to the powdercoater. While I'm waiting, today I wirewheeled all the original hardware.

The VW logo-ed tranny bolts are pretty cool. Cool

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep the updates coming!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LHG wrote:
Finally got around to making some progress on the 115.

I got the pan ready to go to the powdercoater. While I'm waiting, today I wirewheeled all the original hardware.

The VW logo-ed tranny bolts are pretty cool. Cool


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Want to make that hardware look brand new? Throw it all in a plastic jug and fill it with molasses and let it soak for a couple weeks......comes out shiny and clean. The mix is one part molasses and ten parts water. It may smell a little funky but its cheap, it works good and washes off with a plain old wire brush and water.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Motorhead wrote:
Want to make that hardware look brand new? Throw it all in a plastic jug and fill it with molasses and let it soak for a couple weeks......comes out shiny and clean. The mix is one part molasses and ten parts water. It may smell a little funky but its cheap, it works good and washes off with a plain old wire brush and water.

Yeah, the molasses trick works - even a two-night soak helps a ton. It's an old trick that hanging oil lantern refurbishers use. Makes an amazing difference!
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