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What’s in Max’s Barn?

Max's Beetle in the barn

Reader Max S recently sent in his most recent barn find and while it is in very rough shape, we think he got a great deal on it! Given how rusty his find is we don’t know if this VW Beetle would be our first choice of projects, but if we could have gotten it for what he did, we would probably have taken it too. We will let Max tell you more about his find and what it cost him in his own words. Read his story right after the break.

1979 VW Beetle Convertible

Here is my true barn find.  It is a 1979 Supper Beetle Convertible. The folks that I got it from bought it 14 years ago to restore and never got to it. For the first year they drove her around the yard, as she wasn’t road worthy. She was then put in a barn and sat for next 13 years. The raccoons feasted on the interior and were nice enough to fill the old girl with feces (the smell was horrible).

Max's VW Beetle

The lady that owned the old girl has lupus and so do I. She also had just lost a sister to lupus, so she GAVE me the car. The old girl now has a home with me. She is getting some much needed love. I work slowly and only when I am able but I will get her back on road.

Beetle seeing sunlight

It looks like Max has taken on a massive project, but you can’t do much better than free. If someone wanted to just give us a project car, we would probably take it too! And at the end of the day, he can always part it out or scrap it if he decided it is just too much for him to tackle. We hope he is able to keep at it though and that he does get it back on the road! Reading stories like this reminds us that we never have an excuse to not get our projects back on the road. We want to thank Max for sharing his find with us and we wish him the best!



    I found a much better 70 Convertible Beetle than that for $1400 or so? Bum engine but car was much nicer.

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  2. Jim-Bob

    Having done a lot of metal work on a rusty Beetle sedan, I wish him the best of luck. It looks like it needs heater channels so the best advice I can give is to brace the body well before removing it from the pan. As it also needs sections of the quarters cut out and replaced, make reference marks on the shell marked with a total height from the bottom before cutting anything. This way, you don’t wind up with a car that is taller or shorter than it should be. Measure thrice, cut and weld once! Oh, and try to brace it in a way that does not interfere with trial fitting the doors. This way, you can be certain that you have not done something to alter the door opening in such a way that the door can’t be properly fit to the car.

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  3. Clay B

    With the hood up…No engine!!!!!!!! Thank God it was free. (Happy Father’s Day,everyone).

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  4. Clay B

    Before the “unbelievable people” come out of the woods,I guess I had better explain,I’ve had around 15 VWs in life but really wish I had back the Thing.

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  5. MikeG

    Wow, I think it’s time for the glue factory.

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  6. Sam

    This one looks rough, but when I was a kid, my buddy bought a beetle cut up to be a dune buggy (looked like a horrible nightmare). We scavenged parts and kept at it until we had a pretty nice driver. This is a super beetle, and looks like the structure is sound. Have fun with this, Max, and I hope to see pictures of the finished project posted somewhere.

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  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    You’re never too sick or too old to work on your old car. A late member of our club said that when he finished his project, a ’29 Whippet that he began when he was in his late 80s, and was 89 when he was able to enjoy it for the first time. For the next 5 years he was constantly receiving the Oldest Driver Award at our annual International Antique Auto Meets. He’s no longer with us (3 weeks shy of 99–we actually thought he’d make it to the 100 mark) but his legacy remains.

    I wish Max all the best with his restoration and, like Sam, hope to see pictures of the car when its done. Even during the resto would be OK too.

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  8. DT

    I like it and see potential,but I was thinking the same thing. That would make a nice Baja bug,with some modifications almost as good as a “thing”. But would be nice restored also. I was thinking maybe he should be looking for a parts car for this one.Good luck Max,keep us updated

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  9. jim s

    i like the price and i do see some good parts. i never worked on Super beetles so i do not know if the front end on this can be repaired or not. thanks for sharing, have fun, and keep us updated.

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  10. Rancho Bella

    It’s tough to beat free……..but a beating is coming your way.

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    Well considering I have had 12 Beetles with 2 being Super’s. One 1974 with AC that I still have the front lowered struts from for sale and a ’73 Convertible Super that was quite rusty on the underside. So I wound up selling it for $400 back in the late 80’s. Miss my Ghia the most out of em all. My brother has had in the neighborhood of 55 or more Beetles and still has his favorite Acapulco Thing with low miles. Although I think the one he misses the most is the Notchback that he had but was forced to get rid of :( All in all I don’t think I could bring myself to drive a Beetle again after driving a Mark VIII for the last decade.

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  12. Mike

    I recently sold my 1971 & 1972 Super Beetles because of my Multiple Sclerosis. I was not able to work on them anymore. I was planning to combine the 2 cars to make 1 car. The 1972 was rustier than this one but it had an autostick transmission. I am selling my 1992 VW Cabriolet tomorrow night because again I can not work on it like I want to.

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  13. Dolphin Member

    I’m glad you’re happy with your Beetle but what I wish most for you is a long life despite the illness you mentioned you have. My sister has lived with lupus for a long while and my wife’s father was disgnosed more than 25 years ago with lupus and he is still going strong at age 92, so it can be done.

    I wish you the best for your health so you can get to your convertible and any other projects you have in mind.

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  14. Rene

    isn’t it possible to buy almost every part, new?

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  15. rapple

    Maybe there’s a silk purse in there somewhere, but Max better be one heckuva welder/fabricator AND have a substantial budget if this one is going to be restored even to driver status. Unfortunately even when whole, it will be just a Super Beetle convertible. If you value “cute” above all other automotive qualities, it may be worthwhile.

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  16. Chuck Foster CHuck (55chevy)

    It’s hard to tell from the pics just how rusty it is, but as Rene said, you can get a lot of Beetle parts, due to how many they made over the years. I think they are the cheapest car parts wise to restore. My son still has his 72 that I welded a quarter panel on, (door jamb was made with 1-1/2 inch of bondo) and he did the brakes, turned out nice. The 71 Ghia I had also had rusty heater channels, I had to scrape the windshield from the inside driving in NE Indiana winters in the late 70s.

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  17. James

    Not in the best of shape, but ithas all the parts available in reproduction from several different companies. So if he really wants to he could restore it for shockingly little.

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