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My newest garage accessory; VW dealership sign
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B.P.A. James
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: My newest garage accessory; VW dealership sign Reply with quote

I've always wanted a large lighted VW dealership sign for my garage. Recently one showed up on craigslist from a dealership in Montana that had lost their VW franchise and wanted to sell. I raced to Montana (26 hour round-trip drive) and soon found myself with a large sign wondering how I should properly display it.

I couldn't find a thread with suggestions for mounting or displaying, so I did my own thing. Thought I would post my pictures in case anyone else might benefit from the lessons I learned.

My sign is two sided and had been mounted on a steel pole at the dealership. The VW logos are made of thick acrylic and are in very good condition. The metal middle section holds the ballasts and six high-output bulbs ranging from 5' to 4' in length. Most of the bulbs were broken when I got the sign, and I quickly learned that high output bulbs in non-standard lengths (five feet) are not cheap. I purchased new bulbs at a commercial sign dealership.

I decided to mount the sign on a wall in my garage, but didn't have a wall that was large enough. I opted to build a pony wall to house the sign and also hide part of my HVAC utilities which were unsightly. I used 2x4x10's to frame the wall and then framed the circumference of the sign within my wall. I built a 2x6 pedestal to support the obnoxious weight of the steel ring and ballasts. Four corner studs offer additional support for the drywall to anchor at the extreme edges of the sign's perimeter.

I don't have tape and texture skills, so I outsourced that part to a local handyman. Wiring for the ballasts was accomplished using 12-3 romex and a single pole switch mounted to the left side of the pony wall. The transitions between the radius'ed drywall edge and the sign's perimeter were unsatisfactory, so I used three pieces of vinyl weather stripping from Home Depot to form around the sign and pressure fit between the drywall and acrylic sign-face.

I painted the new pony wall and the adjacent pre-existing wall BEHR's latex Gulf Stream Blue because it was a close match (accounting for fading) to some vintage literature that I had which showed earlier VW signs (that I could never afford to own). Although the wall color is a close match to what I had envisioned, it somewhat clashes with the later sign style that I obtained from the Montana dealership. I also repainted the adjacent door and frame to BEHR's glacier white to better-compliment the new blue wall.

The pictures are better than my descriptions. If I can be of assistance in helping you decide how to mount your own sign, feel free to post a reply in this thread. Also, I have the opposite side of the sign available for purchase to anyone who wants to drive to Idaho to pick it up. Make reasonable offers if you are interested.

--James

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campingbox
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks great James. Good work.

I hung two signs up in our shop today as well:

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I have not yet wired up the light up sign, but hope to get to that shortly. Our shop is nowhere near as clean as yours.


Last edited by campingbox on Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Merlin
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's awesome! Surprised Very Happy
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MAYHEM
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merlin wrote:
That's awesome! Surprised Very Happy


x2 Cool Cool
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Harris
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:53 am    Post subject: My Newest Garage Acc Reply with quote

Very very nice and so well done. The package contruction is outstanding. Give yourself a pat on the back. I love the side view.

Now all you need is a service managers white coat and a clipboard to greet visitors.

Did you have to do a lot of taking to get the sign?
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B.P.A. James
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: My Newest Garage Acc Reply with quote

Harris wrote:


Did you have to do a lot of taking to get the sign?


No, I think the dealership was butt-hurt when VW pulled the franchise and sent them the letter threatening a lawsuit if the signage wasn't removed from their dealership. I saw their advertisement it on Craigslist by pure dumb-luck on the morning it posted. I paypal'ed the money right then. No fuss whatsoever except for the 24 hour drive.

They also had a really cool 3' sign that was trimmed in brushed aluminum but someone beat me to that one.

Thanks for the compliment. Clipboard in hand, lab coat on order!

--James
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B.P.A. James
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

campingbox wrote:
That looks great James. Good work.

I hung two signs up in our shop today as well:

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


I have not yet wired up the light up sign, but hope to get to that shortly. Our shop is nowhere near as clean as yours.


Wow, I love that photograph through the mirror's perspective! I've been to your shop and to your father-in-law's place too. I'd trade my "clean" for your "cool" any day of the week.

--James
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campingbox
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.P.A. James wrote:
campingbox wrote:
That looks great James. Good work.

I hung two signs up in our shop today as well:

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


I have not yet wired up the light up sign, but hope to get to that shortly. Our shop is nowhere near as clean as yours.


Wow, I love that photograph through the mirror's perspective! I've been to your shop and to your father-in-law's place too. I'd trade my "clean" for your "cool" any day of the week.

--James


Hey James! Yes, I remember when you stopped by Sam's place. I don't think you've stopped by our place in Olympia but you're welcome to if you make it out for the Vintage Meet.

Interesting enough, our light up sign came from Montana as well.....but I don't think it's the same one you missed out on.
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vwdug
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject: Nice Sign! I just got one too! Reply with quote

Hey James,

Great job with the install.

I also JUST bought a very similar sign (about 6ft tall). I'm wondering what you had to pay for it, or what would be a good price to pay? Mine is also double sided and used to be mounted on a pole. Has everything (except the pole) and still lights up. I went to the dealership because I found out they were selling a smaller sign and when i got there they said "we have another one if your interested", needless to say, I ended up buying two signs (the smaller is a wall mounted type).

I now find my self wondering what to do with such a large Piece of VW goodness.

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B.P.A. James
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi VWdug,

Your sign is similar, if not identical to mine. The surround is the same and the sign face looks to be also. Nice score. I can't predict the market in your area, but I paid $300 for mine, which I felt was a very inexpensive price. When i arrived to pick up my sign, the dealer told me that he received numerous queries directly after I paypal'd him the cash. One guy offered him $800. I feel fortunate to have got the whole enchilada for $300.

I traded the other side of my sign to someone for a set of splitty safari windows, which I value between $450-$550. Bear in mind that i kept the guts with my sign, so the person I traded with will have to devise his own lighting surround and mechanisms which won't be cheap. I paid $180 just for the HO bulbs and another $150 for the construction materials to build the wall. I figure I'm into mine about $900 considering the installation and the fuel costs for the truck I borrowed for the 24+ hour trip. Some might feel it excessive, but I think it is the perfect addition to my garage, and for me, worth it!

Shortly after I got mine, my buddy and fellow club member, got a 12 foot double sided sign with the lighting fixture for an even lower cost than i paid, from someone several states away. That seller is a long-haul truck driver and he delivered it to my buddy for no additional cost. His sign is the same as ours, just WAY bigger. It is perfect for his huge two story shop, but it would overpower my small garage. I'll ask him to post a picture for all to covet!

Congrats again on your purchase.

--James
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69 Jim
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.P.A. James wrote:
Hi VWdug,

Your sign is similar, if not identical to mine. The surround is the same and the sign face looks to be also. Nice score. I can't predict the market in your area, but I paid $300 for mine, which I felt was a very inexpensive price. When i arrived to pick up my sign, the dealer told me that he received numerous queries directly after I paypal'd him the cash. One guy offered him $800. I feel fortunate to have got the whole enchilada for $300.

I traded the other side of my sign to someone for a set of splitty safari windows, which I value between $450-$550. Bear in mind that i kept the guts with my sign, so the person I traded with will have to devise his own lighting surround and mechanisms which won't be cheap. I paid $180 just for the HO bulbs and another $150 for the construction materials to build the wall. I figure I'm into mine about $900 considering the installation and the fuel costs for the truck I borrowed for the 24+ hour trip. Some might feel it excessive, but I think it is the perfect addition to my garage, and for me, worth it!

Shortly after I got mine, my buddy and fellow club member, got a 12 foot double sided sign with the lighting fixture for an even lower cost than i paid, from someone several states away. That seller is a long-haul truck driver and he delivered it to my buddy for no additional cost. His sign is the same as ours, just WAY bigger. It is perfect for his huge two story shop, but it would overpower my small garage. I'll ask him to post a picture for all to covet!

Congrats again on your purchase.

--James
Great deal, you really scored.
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vwdug
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:23 pm    Post subject: Thanks, Reply with quote

Thanks for the info James!

I am not quite sure what I'm going to do with this monster just yet. I was thinking of selling one of the sides but would feel bad about breaking it up. I feel this is just the right size, any larger and it would be just too big for someone to use for personal use (as you did). Cool story about your buddy with the larger sign though!

From what I was told evertying works with this Sign. I even went on their Facebook page and found a picture of this one lit up last year for a community event they did. It's nice to see that it actually worked a short time ago.

I'll include a pic of the big sign Lit and also the smaller sign (3.5-4ft in diameter) I purchased. The smaller one is complete but they just took it off the building so it's in a few pieces. I'm going to try and talk my Boss into letting me attach it to my wall at my desk here at the Real Estate office ...hope he goes for it haha.

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Thanks again,

-Doug
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NOTAHONDA
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freaking epic man, nice work
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toydude111
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Sign! Here's a shot of my big sign.
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vwdug
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:35 pm    Post subject: For Sale Reply with quote

Think I'm going to Post Mine up for sale. Maybe I'll Half it out and keep the other Half for my self for later. I guess it depends on the response I get
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

toydude111 wrote:
Great Sign! Here's a shot of my big sign.
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i think i may be getting 2 of those big signs soon what era are they from?
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

toydude111 wrote:
Great Sign! Here's a shot of my big sign.
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I have this sign double sided what's it worth?
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crimson ghost
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really neeed to find one for my new place I'm working on. Confused
If anyone is thinking of selling for a reasonable price hit me up.
Thanks
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PASHN8
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd also love a large VW sign.

Anyone selling or have any leads? Smile
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Bob Loblaw
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaaahhhh... Supply & demand. The demand seems high, but the supply seems low. That makes 'em pretty valuable.
The dealership I work at is going through renovations, and I've been promised the big round sign in the GMs office when the time comes.
I've already scored all the old parts manuals.
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