From Junkyard to Showcar: Scrapyard Beetle Rescue!


If you haven’t checked out the Restored channel on YouTube, you can use this post as a reason to do so. The content creators are a Texas family that rescues and restores non-running projects, and not necessarily the kind destined for the next Barrett-Jackson auction. And that’s what’s so great about their work product: attainable classic cars and trucks that most of us could get to fire up again with a weekend’s worth of effort. This 1968 Volkswagen Beetle was headed for the proverbial shredder before the Restored family rescued it to create their first-ever movie car build. Find the full project build here on YouTube.

The shop wanted to create a replica of the original Herbie movie car, but with some tweaks that reflected both the team’s own preferences and the fact that this Beetle was a later design than what Disney originally used in the film. The Beetle came out of the junkyard with a dual port engine, which was a serious bonus. It started up again without too much heavy lifting, and seems like a car that wasn’t scrapped for mechanical reasons but more likely it was left at grandma’s house and the offspring didn’t have any interest in taking it on. The team also refreshed every major mechanical component, from the engine to the suspension, with the latter incorporating a very generous lowering kit via a drop spindle in the front. You can see the slick Empi “Raider” wheels mounted here.

The engine, as mentioned, was the preferred dual port setup, which indicates the prior owner was likely an enthusiast, and had the right idea for both making the Beetle easier to live with and livening up the performance. The Restored team found literature in the glove box indicating the previous owner was also considering a Love Bug conversion, making it sort of serendipitous that the shop decided to go in the same direction. The dual port basically got an expedited rebuild encompassing every serviceable engine part, along with cleaning and painting, making it look absolutely stunning and appropriate for a show car. And with an aftermarket exhaust, the dual port sounds absolutely killer.

The end result is an entirely awesome tribute to the movie car, with some nicely integrated custom touches. The bumper delete, fresh paint, blue and red stripes, and upsized Empi wheels – along with slamming it on its belly and letting the dual port engine sing – well, it’s a case of the best of both worlds. The Restored channel is one worth keeping your eye on, as they routinely snag projects most of us would find interesting and deserving of some love, and it’s always great to see a family come together behind a restoration project. What do you think about the Beetle’s new look?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    A Bug after my own heart. Great job on this one.

    Like 14
  2. sir_mike

    Nice build except the window tint is to dark.And would like a stinger exhaust.Thanks for the link Jeff.

    Like 2
  3. Miguelito Loveless

    A low rider bug.

    Like 6
  4. Dave

    Just like the General Lee clones, Love Bug clones are overdone. I’d like to see a Hot Wheels Custom Volkswagen tribute car.

    Like 4
  5. Jack Quantrill

    In the 90’s, California had a buyback program for old cars to get them off the street. You got $750 and a bus ticket good for a month of rides. It had to roll over a red line on its own power. I saw an old guy drop off a pristine ‘61 VW. He didn’t want it to go to anyone else. We watched as they squashed in the compactor. Such a sad sight!

    Like 5
  6. Lowell Peterson

    Kool rescue! I hate to see old stuff trashed! My wife thinks its a mentsl disorder!!!

  7. Chris

    Love it . Beauty in the eye of the beholder . No bug haters out here. Just jealous because they do not own it

    Like 2
    • JB

      What an awesome car and equally awesome build!! I love those WHEELS!

  8. Rj

    Oh this is just perfect except for the body color,, and the red, white, and blue stripe. The wheels aren’t factory, and why would anyone remove the bumpers. The tint is to dark, and what’s up with the meatballs and number 13 ?? The headlight are aftermarket, and the bumpers, hood, and deck have been changed. I heard they cut the vin tag off and put a different body around it without telling dw, Gary, and Will BowTie Vixen. Someone is going to jail for sure !!

    • Kman


      Like 4
  9. Ray

    Boo ! Hiss! Gag
    Enough with the LOVE BUG already.
    Too many poor beetles have been ruined.

    Like 2
  10. Keith Harden

    I don’t even like Bugs and think it’s cool.

    Like 1
  11. Matt G

    “Hey I have an idea- let’s slam it, put huge aftermarket rims on it and throw some tint on the windows- no one else is doing that! And get this- to top it off, a subwoofer!”

  12. Gary

    We took our kids to see all those Love Bug movies, great family entertainment. In my old age (now!), it would be fun to have a LB clone, I know it would make my wife smile, but should probably leave at least some money for the kiddos to inherit.

    Like 1
  13. Michael L Gregory

    I was thrown off by the fact that my ’68 convertible did not have back-up lights integrated into the taillights. They were on little stalks attached to the rear bumper. Did VW start using different taillights sometime during that model year?

  14. JB

    What an awesome car and equally awesome build!! I love those WHEELS!

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