Restoring a 1954 Volkswagen Convertible

The owner of this beautiful '54 Volkswagen Convertible, purchased it from the original owner more than a decade ago. This serious project VW was mostly complete, but had been sitting in a mud bog for years, so the floor pans and lower portions of the body and heater channels were heavily damaged by rust. The rare convertible-specific engine lid was still there, but somone had carelessly folded and mangled it years earlier. Amazingly, even though this classic had slumbered outside for years, it had not been stripped and in fact most of the rare 1954 pieces were still there, even though the chrome bits had turned from shiny to rusty a long time ago. The original 1200 motor and drivetrain were still intact, and this was afterall a 1954 VW CONVERTIBLE, so the new owner took the plunge and hauled home the mother of all restoration projects. Career and family duties intervened, so the new owner stored his prize and began collecting the NOS and original parts he'd one day need (never found a good engine lid, so he was forced to straighten the original one!), to complete this massive project. Doing almost all of the restoration work himself (including the engine rebuild, extensive welding and bodywork and the beautiful 2-stage paint job), after almost 8 long years of work, this classic 1954 Volkswagen Convertible was finally completed in the summer of 2009. The restoration is done and the final result is truly stunning, and now all that's left, is to drive this head-turner and enjoy the pleasures of top-down motoring in a vintage Volkswagen Convertible!

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1954 VW Convertible
Restoration Project
1954 VW Convertible
Restoration Project
1954 VW Convertible
Front Bumper
1954 VW Convertible
Interior
Photo shows the original dashboard in a 1954 Volkswagen Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Dashboard
Image of the original seats and interior in a 1954 Volkswagen Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Interior
Photo of the rusted through floor pans in a 1954 Volkswagen Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Rotten Floor Pan
Amazing original red interior door upholstery in a 1954 Volkswagen Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Door Panel
Images shows rotten wood convertible top bows on a 1954 Volkswagen Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Rotten Top Bows
Original rusty luggage shelf on a 1954 Volkswagen Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Luggage Shelf
Spare tire well on a 1954 Volkswagen Cabriolet is rusted away
1954 VW Convertible
Spare Tire Well
Brake fluid resevoir and id plate on the front of a 1954 Volkswagen Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
ID Plate Area
Very rusty heater channels on a 1954 VW Cabriolet Restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Severe Channel Rust
Photo shows the front end and suspension on a 1954 VW Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Front End
Original pedal assembly on a 1954 VW Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Pedal Assembly
1954 VW Cabriolet transfer case and rear axles
1954 VW Convertible
Transfer Case
1954 VW Cabriolet rusted out floor pans
1954 VW Convertible
Rusted Out Pans
Rust floor pans exposed on a 1954 VW Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Floor Pans Exposed
Underside rust on a 1954 VW Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Rust On The Underside
Very corroded original engine block on a 1954 VW Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Corroded Engine Block
Photo shows a 1954 VW Cabriolet on a rotisserie for restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Body On Rotisserie
Image of very rusty heater channels on a 1954 VW Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Rusty Channels
The underside of this 1954 VW Cabriolet is very rusty
1954 VW Convertible
Very Rusty Underside
Image of a 1954 VW Cabriolet mounted on a rotisserie during the restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Body On Rotisserie
The right side floor pan on this 1954 VW Cabriolet has been cut out
1954 VW Convertible
Right Floor Pan Cutout
Floor pan replacement on a 1954 VW Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Right Floor Pan Cutout
Floor pan restoration on a 1954 VW Cabriolet begins
1954 VW Convertible
Left Floor Pan Cutout
Floor pans on a 1954 VW Cabriolet have been cut away
1954 VW Convertible
Floor Pans Cutout
Test-fitting the new left side floor pan during the 1954 VW Cabriolet Restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Test-Fit New Pan
1954 VW Cabriolet new left side floor pan in place during the restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Test-Fit New Pan
Work continues on the 1954 VW Cabriolet mounted in the rotissorie to access the underside
1954 VW Convertible
Body On Rotissorie
Old rusted spare tire well on the 1954 VW Cabriolet has been cut away
1954 VW Convertible
Spare Tire Well Gone
1954 VW Cabriolet spare tire well has been cut out
1954 VW Convertible
Spare Tire Well Cut out
1954 VW Cabriolet new spare tire well sheet metal welded in place
1954 VW Convertible
New Spare Tire Well
1954 VW Cabriolet is mounted on a rolling dolly so the bodywork can continue
1954 VW Convertible
Bodywork Continues
Test fitting the re-worked hood during the restoration of the 1954 VW Cabriolet
1954 VW Convertible
Test Fit Front Hood
Pound out and heat-shrinnk the 1954 VW convertible front hood
1954 VW Convertible
Front Hood Bodywork
Restored w engine lid on a 1954 VW convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Engine Lid Is Done
Next we test-fit the rear fenders as part of the 1954 VW convertible restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Test-Fit Rear Fenders
Begin priming the body as part of the 1954 VW convertible restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Start Priming
Continue spraying the prime coats on the 1954 VW convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Priming Continues
The primer coats on the 1954 VW convertible are done
1954 VW Convertible
Prime Coats Done
Spray the finish paint coats on the 1954 VW convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Finish Coats Done
The finish paint coats on the 1954 VW convertible are done
1954 VW Convertible
Finish Coats Done
Spray the 2-tone green paint coats on the 1954 VW convertible
1954 VW Convertible
2-Tone Finish Coat
Paint the new spare tire well on the 1954 VW convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Painted Spare Tire Well
Photo shows the new paint on the 1954 VW convertible inner fender
1954 VW Convertible
Inner Fenders Painted
Picture showing the newly painted interior and dash on the 1954 VW convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Painted Dash
Photo of the newly painted 1954 VW convertible rear fenders during the restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Painted Rear Fenders
Newly painted fron fenders on the 1954 VW convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Painted Front Fenders
Spray painted the restored 1954 VW convertible chassis gloss black
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Chassis
Fully restored front suspension on the 1954 VW convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Suspension
The transaxle and rear axles on the 1954 Volkswagen convertible have been fully restored
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Rear End
Photo of the fully restored chassic and suspension on the 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Chassis
All of the engine tin on the 1954 Volkswagen convertible has been powder coated gloss black
1954 VW Convertible
Powder Coated Tin
Photo of the fully restored and detailed 1200cc engine on the 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Engine
Image shows the restored engine mounted on the 1954 Volkswagen convertible transaxle
1954 VW Convertible
Engine & Trans
Close-up view of the beautifully restored transaxle as part of the 1954 Volkswagen convertible restoration
1954 VW Convertible
Engine & Trans
Picture of the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible engine installed
1954 VW Convertible
Engine Installed
New radial tires mounted on the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible chassis
1954 VW Convertible
Tires Mounted
Fully restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible chassis is ready for the restored body to be mounted
1954 VW Convertible
Chassis Looking Good!
Lower the painted 1954 Volkswagen convertible body down onto the restored chassis
1954 VW Convertible
Lower Body on Chassis
Photo shows the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible body installed on the chassis and ready to roll
1954 VW Convertible
Body On Chassis
Front shot of the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible body mounted on the chassis
1954 VW Convertible
Body Installed
Hub caps mounted on restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Hub Caps On
Restored steering box and linkage on 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Pan Front
Photo of restored front trunk area on 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Trunk Area
Restored tire well area on 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Tire Well
Install re-chromed front bumper on restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Front Bumper Installed
Image shows restored front trunk and new wiring in 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Wiring In Trunk Area
1954 Volkswagen convertible gas tank has been restored and painted gloss black
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Gas Tank
Photo shows new wiring behind the 1954 Volkswagen convertible dashboard
1954 VW Convertible
New Dash Wiring
Installing the rebuilt engine in the 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Installing The Engine
Photo shows the restored and detailed engine in the 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Engine is in
Fully restored engine compartment in the 1954 Volkswagen convertible
1954 VW Convertible
Engine Compartment
Close-up shot of the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible engine
1954 VW Convertible
Engine Close-up
Photo of restored engine in 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Engine
1954 Volkswagen convertible bug, restored engine
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Engine
Restored 1200cc engine installed in 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Engine
Restoring the dashboard in the 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Dash
Beautifully restored glove box with st. christopher and vintage clock in 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Glove Box
Rare batwing steering wheeel in 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug has been restored and painted
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Batwing Wheel
Emergency brake handle and transmission shifter in 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug have been restored and painted
1954 VW Convertible
Transmission Tunnel
Close-up shot of the restored batwing steering wheel in the 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Steering Wheel Closeup
Pedal assembly in 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug has been fully restored
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Pedals
Original rotten wood top bows and frame from 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Original Top Bows
Close-up shot of the restored frame and new wood header beam on a 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Door Detail
Photo shows the new wood header beam installed on the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Top Header
New convertible top side wood on the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
New Wood
Close-up photo of the convertible-only dome light switch on a 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Dome Light Switch
Image shows the convertible top frame hinge on a 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Top Frame Hinge
Side view of the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug before the top canvas was installed
1954 VW Convertible
Side View
Beautifully finished new wood convertible top frame on a 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Top Frame
Restored convertible top frame on a 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Top Wood Frame
Front view of the convertible top frame on a restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Front End View
Photo of the new convertible top front wood header on a 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Top Wood Header
Restored side semaphore turn signals on a 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Restored Semaphores
Photo shows the original VW logo headlight lense on the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Orig Logo lamp Lense
Beatifully restored w engine lid on the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Rear End View
1954 Volkswagen convertible bug at car show in edmonds, washington
1954 VW Convertible
First Car Show
1954 Volkswagen convertible bug entered in first car show since full restoration
1954 VW Convertible
First Car Show
Spare tire and restored rim installed in a 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Spare & Trunk Area
Photo shows the newly completed interior upholstery in the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Completed Upholstery
New upholstered door panels in the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Door Panels Look Great
New upholstered seats in the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Seat Upholstery
Side view of restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
With The New Top Up
New top upholstery installed on the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
New Convertible Top
Photo shows very rare convertible-only dome lighted installed on the 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug top
1954 VW Convertible
Rare Vert Dome Light
Photo shows vintage yellow front fog lights installed on the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Fog Lights
Front view of the restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Front View
Beautifully restored interior and dashboard on the 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Bat Wing Steering Wheel
Rare Mannheim accessory badge insta1led on the restored Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Mannheim Emblem
Completely restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug
1954 VW Convertible
Car Show Beauty
Photo of beautifully restored 1954 Volkswagen convertible bug at a summer car show
1954 VW Convertible
Summer Car Show

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