Girls Do Cars Too, Eleanors Beetle

This is the first of many to come, showcasing some girls who deserve a serious thumbs up for their pride and joy – make way fellas because girls do cars too! I have personally seen Eleanor and her beetle a few times through a European enthusiast group which I’m associated with, I must say, this is a beautifully built car and definitely something unique on the road, particularly for someone so young. I wanted to know more about her passion behind the Beetle build, so I asked her some questions and got some answers, have a read!

Out of all the cars you could purchase as a young P Plater, why the classic Beetle?

I chose the Beetle as my first car mostly because of my family. I grew up surrounded by air cooled Volkswagens, Dad had a ‘67 Beetle, Mum had a ‘73 Beetle and we had the ‘73 Bay Window Kombi. Every year we would also camp out at Volksfest, a huge VW show with a spectacular variety and some insane custom Dubs. So I guess when it came time to find my first car I immediately knew what I wanted! I’ve owned it since June 3rd, 2013. Can’t forget the date, one of the best days of my life!

Is it all original?

Definitely not original, when I first purchased the Beetle it was already far from it. The previous owner had fibreglass guards put on, aftermarket seat rails and seats, the dashboard was changed, roof lining and carpet changed. It was hard to find any original parts, but surprisingly there was hardly any rust at all. It still has a standard 1600 motor in it, for now!

Have there been many classic cars in the family?

There have been quite a few, mainly old Volkswagens. Dad’s had a ‘67 Beetle, 1973 Type 3 Squareback, 1973 Bay Window Kombi and a 1963 Ford Zephyr. Mum’s just had the 1973 Beetle. My eldest brother has also gone old school and has a 1968 Jaguar 420G.

What have you done since purchasing?

Once I had purchased the Beetle, the first year and a half I was only able to do minor modifications like changing the engine lid, new rear lights, new radio/speakers, window tint and a few other bits and bobs. July I decided I wanted to rebuild it, I was over the cracked paint, paint chips and dents, I wanted to fix it up and make it more personal to me. It started off as being just a paint job, but I really wanted that earlier look so I bought all the panels needed to change my Beetle completely. We stripped it back to bare metal, fixed up dents, changed all the panels over and prepared it for paint.

Has it been an expensive and timely build?

I tried to make it a short rebuild as it’s my daily driver, so it took about 2 and a half months to finish which involved a lot of early wake ups and weekends working 24/7. It wasn’t as costly as I thought it’d be, definitely a lot cheaper than just sending it off to a shop to do all the work. Overall, I would say I didn’t even go over $3000.

Any more big modifications on the horizon?

At the moment there’s nothing huge planned, next year I’ll be focusing more on performance modifications and interior work but for now it’s just small changes here and there.

What’s your favourite feature about your car and why?

Would have to say the door cards. Basically, what I’ve done is bought a bulk box of Marvel comics and cut out all of my favourite pages from each comic and made a collage over the door cards. I wanted to add something more personal to my car and something unique.

Are you planning to keep it or have you got your eyes on something else?

I plan on keeping it as long as I can. Being my first car it does mean a lot to me, so I can’t see myself selling it any time soon. I did just buy another Beetle as a side project, this one I’ll be keeping ratty and rusty to eventually make as a daily because I’m constantly worrying about the paint on my main Beetle.

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