View Full Version : Early oval ground up rebuild

October 5th 2011, 17:33
Hi everyone,

I thought I would start a thread documenting the build up of my fiancee's early oval window.

It's probably best to start with the salvage video :-D


We're a couple of months into the build now (which takes place on spare evenings between). Unfortunately I'm really lazy with taking photos, however will upload some progress shots as we go.

The plan is as follows:
*'54 shell (well, 1953-1955... Until I get the birth certificate from Wolfsburg we'll call it a 1954)
-Stitch welded
-Safety features: Collapsible steering column, late model latches & anti burst handles

*'54 chassis
- IRS/Balljoint conversion
- Early handbrake cable routing/adjuster (function following form, I know!)

We have some general guidelines surrounding things like drivetrain and interior, but the above list is the priority at the moment.

October 6th 2011, 15:15
that's a hell of a lot of work you have ahead of you!

October 6th 2011, 18:25
I know :shocked: believe me, I know...

I really like the early ovals – with certain little features carried over from the splits.
But I couldn’t bring myself to cut up a good one… I know it’s only metal, but still.
The two ovals we bought from this property had sat there for years! According to the owner, every VW enthusiast within striking distance (and some from beyond) had made proposals/offers/attempts to cut parts from the cars, with nothing eventuating. So, in a way we’re using something that no one else has had the motivation (or stubbornness) to do anything with and should end up with something cool in the end.
I was also able to source a really straight ’58 beetle. The car has the usual dents and knocks to all 4 corners, but nothing that has affected the overall structure of the car.
It has spent decades in a small shed… with insulation bats sitting on the roof of the car, as well as mattresses, cushions and cardboard stacked against the rest of the outside of the car. Sometime many years ago the tin roof of the shed sank in on the car and everything within the shed had been exposed to rain and moisture ever since. Needless to say, nearly every external panel… No, wait, every external panel on the car is pitted heavily with rust.
We gave it the nickname of ‘The Swamp Rat’. But the swamp rat is, funnily enough, the ideal donor car to use as a Jig for the Oval shell.
As it happens, this car had also been overlooked by hoards of people. So in a way, I’m kind of happy that we can put what others have considered unusable to good use.

I’ll post some more photos over the weekend, including some of the progress so far.

October 8th 2011, 08:25
We also started a blog, following the build: http://elderian-oval.blogspot.com
I'm really lazy with updates though ;) Forums like this are more interactive, with like minded tech heads!

I decided to split the oval shell/s into panels (or what was salvageable) at all the factory spot welds, enabling me to try Electrolysis to treat the rust. It worked a treat :D Slow :shocked: (3 days, to be thorough) but a treat!

Supa Ninja
October 9th 2011, 13:29
Wow, there isn't much to work with on all three of the cars. Much respect for you to even attempt such a undertaking. Pics, and keep us posted!

October 9th 2011, 17:15
Thanks mate. I know there is not much, but it works out well with what I want to do (eg: all the seam welding). Plus, at least these VW's get some form of regeneration not just left to waste (fully) away.
I'll be sure to keep you all up to speed.

October 11th 2011, 07:03
Well, I've been a bit distracted of late.
21st of September I had someone go through a stop sign in front of my '72 beetle:
After a lot of back & forth with his insurance company, I was finally able to start work on the 30th.
As this car has been rallied, driven (almost) daily, jumped, burnt (long story) and used as a tow car for our motorbikes over the last 3 years, we felt a freshen up was in order. As of Sunday night, it was in Harley Davidson (oakland) orange with smoke metallic flake in the clear:

October 11th 2011, 17:44
I have updated the blog with a brief post about electrolysis, if anyone is interested.
Attached is a photo of the tub we constructed specifically for the process. This is then lined with layers of heavy duty plastic before having cross pieces screwed to the uprights, enabling me to suspend parts in the centre of the tub.

November 8th 2011, 22:50
Sorry for not updating this thread more frequently.

As mentioned above, my daily driver 1302 has been back on the road for a while now and handling the frequent abuse with ease.
My fiancée & I are also in the process of moving into a house we purchased earlier in the year. However, this means building a garage, and I’ve come to realise I suck at hammering nails :-/ Apparently due to hammering metal for too many years (using wrist/forearm/elbow, not swinging from shoulder and allowing the weight of the hammer to drive the nail)
Not much else has happened with the oval though. I’ve been consolidating the remainder of the shells, so as I could get rid of a whole heap of scrap metal. The good thing is it forced me to prepare some rear ¼ panels (as these are coming from the red shell with the severe roof damage). The ¼’s are now cut from the shell, cleaned up, primed and stored awaiting further repairs when the time comes.

The oval windscreen (inner & outer skins) are all sorted (as I made 1 good section from 2 bad donors) and fixed into the shell.
The inner rear window skin is also sorted and in place. However, I won’t be putting the outer skin on until the roof skin & rear ¼’s are done… just in-case, as access to these areas are much easier without the outer skin in place. Plus, there is still a fair bit of cleaning up to do in this area.

November 9th 2011, 03:55
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s720x720/315601_10150504343904062_780954061_11617001_157219 132_n.jpg
http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/296716_10150450596864062_780954061_11280974_176764 7532_n.jpg

Unfortunately I was unable to attach in my previous reply. The above photos are direct linked from facebook, let me know if they're not showing up for anyone.