Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Update and I sold my GTI

After coming back from American Stripping in February I had thought things would start to move at a somewhat faster pace. Ultimately though things never came together with the guy I had expected to do the paint and with life, work, and other things requiring money getting in the way the project has stalled yet again for the moment. I taught a number of after school classes along with summer school this year and will continue to do so for the near future. It provides great extra money but it also severely eats into my free time.

I sold my 2004 GTI 1.8T last week. It was a tough decision but with the constant climbing cost of gas (the required use of premium fuel didn't help) and the possibility of a growing family I needed to get something a little larger and more fuel efficient. (Especially with my forty mile round trip each day to work.) I sold her to a couple from Charlottesville, Virginia and I'm confident that she will be taken care of very well.

I debated long and hard about what to replace it with. Brand loyalty is a powerful thing especially given that I've owned and driven nothing but Volkswagens since getting my license fifteen years ago. It came down between a new 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE and a 2012 Toyota Corolla S with the latter ultimately winning out. The engine is not quite as powerful as the Jetta but feature and space wise I was able to get on the Corolla pretty much the same as what I could get on the Jetta for several grand less. I also know from experience with my wife's 2003 Corolla S and various Toyota's that my in-laws have owned that they're very reliable, low on maintenance, and easy to work on. Still, it was a very tough decision to make. (Knowing I'd never hear the end of it from the wife if I went with the more expensive Jetta also factored into my decision. :) )

It's given me renewed motivation though to make progress on the Bug so I can have a Volkswagen to drive. Hopefully by next spring I'll have additional money available to make another round of progress. Stay tuned for updates.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Paint and Body Update

The Bug came home from American Stripping last Friday. It ended up costing me a little more than I had planned on but with three layers of paint and two of primer it ended up taking longer to strip all of it off. I've added a page with photos and descriptions - Body and Paint Part II. I've also gone back and added a bunch of pictures to Body and Paint Part I covering the welding and undercoating work that was done last summer.

Earlier in the week I spoke with the guy that did the welding for me and will also be doing the painting. He's backed up with insurance work right now but he's supposed to come by my house some time soon to take a look in person now that the Bug's been stripped and figure out exactly what will need to be done to get her painted. I'm hopeful that will be done sometime in the next month or two. I've got spring break from work coming up in mid-April and I'd really like to be able to spend that week starting to put her back together.

Monday, January 30, 2012

At the stripper!

The Bug is now sitting in the blasting bay at American Stripping on Cary Street in Richmond. With my father-in-law's help we trailered her up there this evening and dropped her off. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about her being away from home as this is only the second time in six years that she's been out of my garage. I doubt my stress level and blood pressure will return to normal until she's back home. But I'm also excited about getting this step of the project done. For now here's a photo from tonight of her sitting in the blasting bay on her cart.

Pasted Graphic

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Body and Paint Update

Time for an update. Last week I spoke with a local company that does glass bead stripping and tentatively scheduled the Bug to go in for stripping and a basic coat of primer at the end of January depending on their work load. I also spoke with the auto painter that did the welding work for me last spring. He's more booked up but hopefully be the end of February or early March he can get the Bug in for painting. He'll be doing a Cherry Red single stage polyurethane. I asked him about doing a clear coat as well but he said since I plan to keep the car in the garage except for when it's driven that he wouldn't spend the extra money on it.

The big unknown at this point is what will be found under three layers of paint. I don't believe there's any major body damage save for a hit years ago (before I got it in 1997 at least) to the driver side front fender well that appears to have been fixed correctly. I'm sure there will be some small dents and dings that will be uncovered that will need to be filled in but hopefully that's it.

I'm really excited about this. The body and paint work are the last major step that needs to be addressed on the Bug before reassembly can start. It's also the last major thing I can't do myself. Getting it done will mark a major turning point on this project and once it's done the end will finally be in sight.