Today we will get to know our expert in the mechanics of older cars, Jim King. Definitely born in the wrong era, ‘Young Jim’ loves his old vehicles – from retro VW`s to Stags and veteran caravans. He has even been known to dress up, re-enacting the war years in his spare time!
Although Jim is a fan of all things classic car, his real true love is for the good old VW Beetle. Jim always liked the look, lines and shape of beetles and once he owned his own he was hooked! His VW Beetle is often seen around the area – previously lovingly decorated in sweet wrappers… now his pride and joy is reborn in its original orange colour, and it still turns heads for all the right reasons!
The Restoration Process
As Jim explains, “The beetle has been fully striped down to the last nut and bolt. The chassis has been repaired where needed and strengthened, and it also has been fully seam welded along with the suspension components for added strength and durability off-road. All of the parts have been restored or replaced with genuine VW parts for quality and longevity, ungraded shockers add to the stronger chassis build, and larger wheels and tyres both add to the look but also make it more capable on rough ground. The engine and gearbox are standard units just stripped cleaned and fresh gaskets fitted.”
“Body wise it`s had the usual lower 6” of metal work replaced, and there was lots of bracing and measuring to do to make this job correct. The front and rear bodywork have been cut shorter to fit the Baja kit again for better approach and departure angles off road.”
“Lighter glass fibre panels have been used, the tube front and rear bumpers have been modified to suit the body mods and the rear will be altered further to accommodate a tow bar. The body was refitted to standard VW spec.”
“With new trim and rubbers throughout a full headliner was installed, along with the original basket weave seats and rubber mats, original or stainless steel nuts and bolts where used in the rebuild.”
Not only Jim, but his entire family enjoy cruising around north Yorkshire in the orange glory – which is not only used for shows but also most days of the week. Look out for him at local shows this year!
This project was a real labour of love for Jim – “It`s all been done after work and weekends, and is the car I`ve wanted to build for years. I’m very happy with how its turned out, hopefully as time goes on I`ll upgrade the engine and gearbox for stronger more powerful units.”
Jim was so besotted with restoring his beloved Beetle, that he is now looking for his next project -probably a Stag which will allow him to tow his collection of vintage caravans!
Jim has now spent over half of his life working in garages, firstly training on ‘modern’ cars and now fast becoming an expert in all sorts of makes and models of classics. Jim spent a few years in his past as an MOT tester, so he knows and understands what is needed for safety on the modern roads as well as appreciates the aesthetic beauty of a loving restored classic car.
This perfect marriage of technical knowledge, skill, expertise and passion is what makes Jim a valuable part of the RBW team.