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1966 Beetle Rallye Car

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  • Member since
    February 2022
1966 Beetle Rallye Car
Posted by TechEd29 on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 6:13 PM
Most of my builds of late have been personal in nature. This one is no exception. I wanted to build my first car; a Sea Blue 1964 Beetle that was a trade-in at the Canadian VW dealer where my father worked (and where years later I would start as an apprentice). I was sixteen at the time, and it got me to school and work later on. I loved it.
 
So, about fifteen years ago I picked up the Tamiya 1966 Beetle kit and started an enhanced stock build that progressed through a completed engine and chassis... about halfway done. In the meantime, increased work travel and other issues meant that the whole shebang and other kits I had started got boxed up put away. familar story, I'm sure.
 
Here’s where the fate takes its usual wacky turn. As things at work settled down, and retirement loomed on the horizon, I reopened the box with the half-built Beetle and kinda stared at the bits for a while. That morning I had talked with my brother on the phone about the “good ‘ole days”. In particular how, instead of selling my Beetle after a few years to turn a profit, we had planned to prepare it as a Rally Car to do local CASC Ontario Region events. My father strictly forbade us to do it, and, well, it’s that car that I’m building now.
 
Here's the inspiration:
 
The bits as they came out of the box:
 
More to come.
 
Cheers,
 
Juergen

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 2:04 PM

I had already finished the engine and transmission module before I put everything away. All it needed was to add the reinforcement tabs for the heat exchangers, enhance the weathering and beef up the swing axle tubes to scale:

As this is a 60's VW Rally Car, I fabricated a rear suspension "camber compensator". This was a popular VW aftermarket device that controled swing axle tuck-in to improve handling back in the day:

More to come.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 2:23 PM

I filed-down the riduculously thick bumper brackets as much as I could without resorting to cutting and replacing with styrene stock. I also added the upper bumper overrider brackets that Tamiya elected not to render in order to keep build complexity reasonable:

More to come.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Friday, February 11, 2022 12:32 PM

While Tamiya is one of the best when it comes to technical accuracy, I wonder why they goofed on the Beetle's front axle.

When the axle beams on 1966 models changed from king/link pins to ball joints, the tower for the upper shock absorber mounting bolt/nut changed from horizontal to vertical. The axle from the kit represents the earlier design (pre 66). Whats also strange is that Tamiya added two additional frame head braces between the torsion tubes (the heavy vertical braces), with the center pair being too close together; note where they are supposed to bolt onto the tabs at the frame head. As the axle was essentially correct for my 64 model, I decided to overlook the goofs.

During body to frame mockups, I saw that the wheel gap in the front fenders was too high. I raised the beam by opening up the slot in the frame head and adding some locating pins (note the fabbed brake lines with frame bracket):

I'm guilty of going overboard sometimes, but as Tamiya did a great job with the headlights, I thought they deserved enhancing. I whittled down bits of clear sprue for the small running lights at the bottom of the headlight enclosures:

More to come.

 

  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by MR TOM SCHRY on Friday, February 11, 2022 1:04 PM

Great idea for your build!  Love the old VW Beetles so I'll be following closely.

TJS

TJS

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Friday, February 11, 2022 1:11 PM

As we're on the subject of lights, A Rally Car needs a good pair of high power auxiliary lights. In the 60s, this usually meant one 100W spotlight and one 100W driving light (with a spread beam pattern). I decided to make my own from a set of Beetle headlights that I was not using (my Drag Beetle project has a tilt front end that does not include lights):

Messy workspace showing test fitment of the auxiliary light bracket on the front bumper, and the rear interior tub where I had started on the roll bar and interior detailing:

The rear interior module is modified to eventually accept the spare tire; rear seat removed with lateral brace added. The roll bar is made from soft aluminum tube that I shaped with one of those craft store pin benders for jewellry etc. I created the unique VW headliner by arranging as series of dots in a grid in a Word document. After many tries at rearranging size of the grid and dots and downscaling, I think I nailed it. It's printed on white decal paper:

Ready to move on to body paint.

More to come.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Monday, February 14, 2022 3:46 PM

I decided to use automotive lacquer from Paint Scratch again. I ordered Volkswagen Sea Blue L360; the colour of my first Beetle. Instead of using their 2-stage base & clear as on the Type 2 Pinball Van, I got their single stage in hopes for less spray booth time. As before, the instructions stated that wet sanding and polishing would be necessary for a gloss finish.

As usual, getting my Michigan winter garage up to temperature for airbrushing was problematic, and the final coat settled with the same level of orange peel as on the van. Under interior lighting, the shade is also a bit darker than I remember. Apparently, VW Sea Blue is notorious for having a myriad of different supplier formulas for 1:1, but does look a lot closer to what I remember as a 16-year old when it's under sunlight.

Following are WIP shots as of today's date.

Chassis/Interior module with detail enhancements. Camber compensator installed along with fabbed Bursch 60's Porsche style exhaust:

Chassis/Interior module showing fabbed co-driver's footrest and race harness mounting plates. The floor mats are band-aid fabric painted semi-gloss black... a great hack becasue they're self adhesive.  

Fabbed and added a diesel locomotive horn as well as the cardboard luggage compartment and interior instrument panel wiring covers:

Auxiliary lights mounted, wheels detailed:

Mockup. Body ready for wet sanding and polishing adventures... lot's of curved surfaces and raised details to preserve:

More to come.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Monday, February 14, 2022 7:04 PM

Practice spoon & front hood - Wet 4000 > 6000 > 8000 > 12000 > 2x Novus 2:

So far so good... Geeked

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Monday, February 14, 2022 7:09 PM

Here's my next challenge:

...tomorrow, maybe.Sleep

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: UK
Posted by PatW on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 4:30 PM

Super Job! our family had five Beetles over about 15 years.

Remember , common sense is not common.

  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by MR TOM SCHRY on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 4:53 PM

Great progress and beautiful color choice!

TJS

TJS

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 8:43 PM

Ditto on the color.  Coming along nicely.  Curious to see how your sanding/polishing comes out with all those curves and raised surfaces like you mentioned.

Thanks,

John

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 8:48 PM

Great build! Toast Toast

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 7:35 AM

Hi;

      I remember those! I had to result to some arm twisting from the V.W. dealer in my town. Seven Bugs and three Vans striped and decorated and only part of what was owed. So he let me pick a car from the used car lineup as final payment.

      I picked a red one and promptly Bobbed the fenders, Removed the running boards and so on. My missus and I had the perfect fishing car.The poles stuck out the sunroof as we cruised the Levees and Bayous in Arkansas!

      Did my share of Embaraassing 4x4 owners in trouble!

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 9:57 AM

Really pro work. i don't remember ever building a Beetle kit, although I've built a window van and a 356 or two.

My father bought a new 1963, with a fabric sun roof. It was an awful light olive green with darker green rim centers. The original engine cover had a T-handle but the lid got replaced after a rear end tap at one point and the latch was replaced with a hook and button type.

About the only mod I ever did to it was to instal a pair of 6V terminals in the glove box to connect my cassette player to for long drives, and a tractor light on the rear fender controled by a toggle under the dash.

Nice car and I drove it into the late 70's. Then I bought a used BMW 1602 and finally thought "what on earth have I been doing all these years?".

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Friday, February 18, 2022 2:29 PM

Thanks everyone for following along and commenting. I really appreciate the kind words and stories... it seems everyone has a small piece of VW history in their lives.

Here's an interim update:

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but if there's a single thing that tests one's patience and attention span in this hobby, it's wet sanding orange peel and sweating the final finish.

Here's a closeup of the engine compartment lid after the second pass with 3000 wet. Still a long way to go:

Here's the lid after two passes with 8000 wet (I purposely avoided the license plate light dome becasue of edge sand through risks); an acceptable flat outcome. Besides, by this point my patience had ran out:

I friend suggested I try Molotow Liquid Chrome for the Beetle's front hood and side trim. As I've found that testing goes a long way to prevent first-use catastrophies, I used my test spoon to check masking tape effectiveness and drying time of the Molotow.

The first attempt was with normal Tamiya tape, the applicatior with 1mm tip and about a half hour dry time... not so good. On the second attempt I trimmed cut the tape into two strips with a new X-Acto blade to ensure straight edges, and let the Molotow dry overnight. This ended up being the best, so today I went ahead and processed the front hood that way. Fingers crossed for tomorrow:

If anyone here has used Molotow before, I'd like to know of your experience with it. It seems to take a long time to dry before safe handling. I'm considering decanting some into an airbrush and seing how that goes on a larger surface.

More to come.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Sunday, February 20, 2022 12:18 PM

Front hood outcome was not perfect, but not altogether terrible, either.

Comparison shots of interior versus natural light. The colour in sunlight is exactly what I remember from my first car as a 16-year old:

Here's the only colour photograph I have of my old Beetle:

Interestingly, the best thing about the whole process was a reminder/learning  moment that has made me change my plan for the final finish.

Specifically, I noted that the Novus 2, and even the Meguiars automotive polish I tried are very prone to fingerprints... and even the texture marks from my white cotton gloves if it was held too long! As the body will need to handled quite a bit after colour sanding (to do the chrome trim, install the headliner, headlights/taillights extra bumper brackets etc.) I've elected to apply Future/Pledge prior to final assembly instead of polishing. Past experience has show this finish to be durable, seals the decals well and is almost impervious to final assembly fingerprints and the like.

I also learned from test spoons that the Molotow chrome effect is extremely sensitive to any subsequent contact... dulls the brightness; I had to be careful when polishing the hood to not touch the strip too much, which was okay in this case becsue the trim on old VWs was never super bright chrome anyway. It will be safer when the Future clear coat is applied.

More to come.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Sunday, February 20, 2022 3:20 PM

I opted for a lazy no-building-or-painting Sunday... sort of.

I needed to organize and decide on the assortment of period correct decals to be applied. I had a few sheets of 1/24 - 1/25 HotRod decals from GOFER Racing that had the usual domestic brand name stuff (Champion spark plugs, STP etc.). They're missing most of the period correct European brands I need for performance and rally equipment, so I'll render and print them myself.

The above prompts a short background story:

My older brother and I were active in the Deutscher Automobil Club in Toronto at the time we wanted to build our Rally Beetle (1970 - 1975). He drove the course (opening) car at various CASC Rally events in Ontario, and I assisted with pre-event scrutineering. Castrol Canada sponsored the Canadian Championship events for a time, so in order for the model to be period correct, I created the door number placard that we would have used. I'll downscale it and print it on thin white sticker paper. They'll go on the clear-coated doors as they would be on 1:1.

Reference photo:

More to come.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 3:44 PM

I stopped procrastinatting and decided to tackle the orange peel in ernest; a labour of love if there ever was one:

Kinda makes me yearn for the old days when we would shoot a rattle can of Testors gloss onto raw plastic, straight out of the box and get decent "display shelf" results. Wink

Coming along better than I expected. Finsished the roof with 12000 wet. I stopped at 8000 wet for the large areas on the doors and quarters. I still have to chase the tight bits on the fenders and the top of the doors above the trim.

Turns out that I can use some of the decals from the GOFER Racing sheet. I Hope I can find the period correct S.E.V Marchal (auxiliary lights) and Continental Tire decals fom another decal firm. I've already got the art files to make the EMPI decals I need. (FYI, EMPI was the top Volkswagen performance aftermarket supplier in the 60s and 70s... they supplied the famous camber compensator I added.)

Been a long time since I airbrushed Future/Pledge, so I practiced on a test spoon to confirm the psi.

More to come.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 4:59 PM

Castrol Canadian Rally Championship door placards printed:

 

More to come.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 5:44 PM

Looks great.  What is you mix/psi with future?

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 6:22 PM

keavdog
Looks great.  What is you mix/psi with future?

Straight from the bottle (no thinning). Important NOT to shake bottle before dispensing into cup.

0.5 needle at 15 - 18 psi.

I'll plan to shoot entire body with light > meduim > heavy build up coats in one session. Dries fast.

Cheers,

Juergen

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 6:40 PM

I admit to having a very bad habit of getting ahead of myself or being distracted by stuff I'f rather be doing. After getting my fingers all wrinkly and waterloged from wet sanding, I decided to work on the decals; namely organize what I want to apply and where.

The jury is still out on this line drawing mockup. I'll be adding self-printed decals for Koni, Continental tires and S.E.V Marchal on the horizontal surfaces:

I decided to fabricate covers for the Marchal auxiliary lights. I found a decent hig-res picture of a cover and stuck it in Photoshop to sharpen and brighten it:

Here's the downscaled image test-printed on photo paper. It'll go either on decals or sticker paper:

The motivation for the above is becasue I used Marchal lights on both my Datsun 510 Rally Car as well the 68 Beetle "winterbeater" car I drove when my Datsun 280Z was in winter storage:

More to come.

  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by MR TOM SCHRY on Thursday, February 24, 2022 8:54 AM

Can't wait to see it with all of the decals on it!  When I was a teen, I worked in a truck stop, refueling the semis when they came in.  During the winter, when nobody was moving because of the massive snow drifts, there was a gentleman who drove an old VW Beetle to deliver the mail to the rural folks and he praised the ability of his little Bug to get through drifts that would stop the other cars.

TJS

TJS

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by LonCray on Friday, February 25, 2022 7:26 AM

When I was a kid growing up in Wyoming, my mom had a 65 Beatle while my dad had a Jeep Cherokee Chief.  I recall one time we all piled in the Jeep during a Wyoming snowstorm to get my mom's car from the mechanic.  My sisters rode back in the Jeep and I rode with my mom in the Beatle - and we beat them home.  Those narrow tires and engine weight over the drive wheels were perfect for winter driving.  

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Friday, February 25, 2022 7:57 PM

Great build!

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Friday, February 25, 2022 8:23 PM

MR TOM SCHRY
Can't wait to see it with all of the decals on it!  When I was a teen, I worked in a truck stop, refueling the semis when they came in.  During the winter, when nobody was moving because of the massive snow drifts, there was a gentleman who drove an old VW Beetle to deliver the mail to the rural folks and he praised the ability of his little Bug to get through drifts that would stop the other cars.

TJS

Hi Tom, Lon... reminds me of this classic Beetle advert from the 60s:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfirnP08FP0

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Friday, February 25, 2022 8:41 PM

Update on a few detail odds and ends, and one fairly big one.

Finished the running boards. Prototyped a process to make gaskets to fit under the turn signal housings (they'll be painted semi-gloss black to simulate rubber. I also sized the yellow 'max psi" decal to place on the washer bottle, as well as simulated vents for the rear lid. Back in the day, a popular upgrade on performance Beetle sedans was to fit the vented rear lid from a Beetle convertible:

I might have bit off more than I could chew by installing the ubiqutous VW headliner. It's cut out from a self-made decal to simulate the white perforated vinyl:

More to come.

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, February 26, 2022 8:19 AM

Super cool. Love the headliner!

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list, we're down to a Monogram 1/72 SR-71 and that Tamiya P-38F/G to use the other nose art Exito Decal (in-flight for this one), & in keeping with MC's hydra theory I bought another F-5E to do in FROG camo! And I just got a Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18F!

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by TechEd29 on Saturday, February 26, 2022 5:27 PM

Had some fun working on the auxiliary light subassembly today. The Marchal logos are printed on sticker paper. I'll let the pictures tell the story:

WIP mockup. The wiring for the lights was "murder". 

I'll build another set of covers to comapare how the Marachal logos appear when applied with white decal paper.

More to come.

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