A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Beetle story is well known both historically and culturally but the history of being one of the most modified car types of all time is not as widely known. The Beetle became popular with car customizers throughout the world not only because it was cheap and easy to work on, but because its iconic looks can be endlessly personalised and the flat four motor is so tuneable. Its very ubiquity makes even subtle changes noticeable. The California Look ‘Cal Look' or ‘Resto-Cal' (a term used for lowered cars) is the most popular style of Beetle customising. The typical Cal Looker is stripped and refined, lowered and has a high-quality paint job and hides a hot engine. It all began in the late 1950s, when hot-rodders started tuning Beetles for the drag strip. Their successes gave birth to an automotive performance industry and their ‘race cars' look soon spread to street Beetles, becoming cooler, cleaner and more sophisticated. This phenomenon, completely unforeseen by the manufacturers of the humble VW, gathered pace in the 1960s, spread worldwide in the '70s, and now dominates the VW custom scene. This ‘Resto-Cal' look car offered here is truly astonishing, delivered new in August 1962 to Sweden in the iconic L456 Ruby Red colour and rescued from disrepair by our vendor in 2009 initially the plan was to have the chassis restored but with the body kept in its original patina. However after seeing the fantastic result of the chassis it was decided that a ‘no limit or boundaries' restoration would be undertaken to try and create the best Beetle in the world that would encapsulate the essence of the Beetle itself and the culture it created. The restoration was entrusted to two of the best UK VW specialists EvilBens and Trailerqueen restorations. The chassis was the first area to be restored; it was stripped down to every last nut and bolt and rebuilt with a fabricated air suspension beam with air bag mounts. This system allows the car to be run either at stock suspension height or lowered for the true Resto-Cal look. It was then painted in ‘base and clear' to extreme show quality, nothing was powder coated, it was all professionally painted. Once completed the rebuild commenced and every nut, bolt and washer was sourced and replaced with stainless steel replacements, with a view to being displayed at the 2011 VolksWorld show. Following the chassis debut at the VolksWorld show work began on the body and it was decided it would become a 63'-based version of a 1957 ‘fendered' car. The shell was sandblasted and found to be very solid with only one minor patch of rust at the back of the air intake. A further 6 weeks was spent preparing the underside and the top of the car. The L456 Ruby Red is a Glasurit 68 line paint with a uniform finish in every area on top, underneath and even in every little hidden nook and cranny. In total 9 weeks of solid work was spent on the body and paint, excluding the prep and painting of the Silver Beige parts such as the steering column and seat frames! Next up was the engine and in true vintage VW hotrod style the 1192cc engine was rebuilt by Vintage Speed and taken out to 1384cc along with being fitted with a twin 36 Riechert Solex Carburettor kit sourced from Germany, a lightened flywheel, an OT Pulley and a period four tip Abarth exhaust were all fitted. The attention to detail yet again is fantastic right down to small details like the fitment of a Porsche 912 generator which is 6 volt sized but 12 volts. On the inside the interior trim was looking tired so new Derby Grey cloth was sourced from Germany and fitted along with Oatmeal coloured wool. The car was almost finished and was shown at the 2012 Volksworld Show which, despite being an incomplete car, still won a top 20 award. Following the show the car went back for final completion, where, believe it or not every single stainless nut and bolt was removed and replaced with smooth polished bolts, void of numbers or letters on the heads. Proving yet again that the attention to detail really is second to none. So much so there is far too much attention to detail on the car to write about it all, from the hand formed fender skirts to the Fuchs wheels sourced from a Genuine Porsche 911S then sent to California to be refurbished and triple chromed! All this hard work was paid off and in 2012 it was invited to be shown in the acclaimed Meguiar's NEC Classic Motorshow concours where it easily beat the likes of a restored Ferrari 250 SWB to take home top honours and it was also the highest scored car in the seven year history of the concours. Continuing this trend it also won the Sandown Volksworld Show becoming the highest scored car in the shows history since 1992. In a seven page feature in the April Volkswold Magazine the editor of 21 years also boldly stated that it is "one of the best Resto Cal Beetles the world has seen" Our vendor has owned and built many show winning and magazine featured cars in the past and having costing over £55,000 to build, which is supported in the comprehensive history file, the time has come for a new project to be undertaken. Silverstone Auctions are pleased to offer the car having, we are told, only just been 100% completed. We have been privileged to handle the successful sales of many exceptional best of breed cars in the past and we believe this car is the possibly the best yet... *Please note the number plate is not included in the sale, an age related plate will be issued at time of sale.