Buying my first car to rebuild: A 77 VW Bug

Benjamin Slaby Bug Car Beetle VW

Today was the first day of my adventurous journey of rebuilding a 1977 Volkswagen Beetle. I found the car-turned-truck on Craigslist. The description said that the car runs but the starter doesn’t work and the carburetor needs work. Sounded good to me!

The the back seat of the car had been cut out so the car would look like a truck. “The car needs a lot of work,” said the seller.I thought the car looked really cool. I love to repair things and work on engines. I’ve worked on lawn mowers, 4-wheelers, dirt bikes, golf carts and cars, but this Bug, in particular, seemed like a real challenge.

I just lost a bid on a jet ski, which really bummed me out, so when I found this and was able to buy it, I was really excited and happy! I earn my money buying and selling lawnmowers and mowing lawns.

My dad, brother and I got our flat bed trailer and all the necessary straps and headed to Paisley, FL. Paisley is out in the middle of no where, about 30 minuets from where we live.

When we got to the pick up point, the first thing we noticed was a Pirate flag hanging in the middle of the owner’s yard…

His yard was mostly sand, no grass in sight. There were car engines everywhere. There were junk cars, broken mowers and other motors and stuff everywhere. The guy, probably in his 20s, covered in tattoos, lead us to the car. Shortly after that, his dad came out, shirtless, with an antibiotic pouch and tubes running into his arm. He said he had pneumonia in both of his lungs from smoking. Right after he said that, his son lit up a cigarette for himself.

I negotiated the price down from $750 to $720. I asked if he’d take $700 and he countered with $725. Since I only had 20s we settled on $720.

We had a little trouble loading the car on to the trailer because the car was so low to the ground. We ended up having to lift the front of the car by hand and rolling it up onto the trailer.

We got the Bug home safely and took it over to one of our rental houses so I could work on it there.

The first I did was tear off the rotting truck bed. I also took out some of the carpeting that was really nasty. While tearing things apart, I noticed that the battery was missing. It was in there when we were at the guy’s house. They must’ve taken it out when our backs were turned setting up the trailer.

I looked over the car some more and I realized that the floor in the trunk was completely gone. I have my work cut out for me but I think I can get it done. I have big plans for this little Bug!

Tell me what you think!