Forum Friday: Patina’d Beetle and the Power of the Forums

Who doesn’t love a good aircooled Beetle restoration thread? Way back in 2011, VWvortex member 86vwgti8v brought home a pretty ratty 1965 Type 1 and over the years has transformed it into a patina’d beauty. If you’ve never worked on an early Volkswagen, here’s a thread to show what it takes to bring one to life.

To start off, I am a big fan of cars with genuine patina. Not that airbrushed faux patina that makes perfectly fine cars look aged. No, I love some paint wear and surface rust. It’s like an old pair of jeans or a worn-in pair of Chuck Taylors; it’s like an homage to the age of the car. Don’t hide the wear: honor it. Of course, I also love a ridiculously thorough restoration where someone takes a lousy car and returns it to like-new condition. That’s attention to detail and precision are skills I just don’t have. But if you read through all his posts, 86vwgti8v made active choices to build a well-worn Beetle. He definitely approached this with an artistic eye. And I tip my hat to him.

Now I will say, not everything in this build is the proper way to restore a classic car, so you perfectionists shouldn’t email complaining. But what’s great with this build is 86vwgti8v took this on with little in the way of specialized tools. It looks to us that all the work was done in his garage and yard. Very admirable.

One nice thing with this thread is that even though this thread started eight years ago, the pictures are all still active. So as you read through the pages, the photos are all there showing the progress on this little bug.

And the other thing to take notice of is the support and advice the other members give him along the way. On the last page of the 15-page thread, 86vwgti8v laments the decline of conversation in the thread. There’s power in our forums and how they capture a whole journey of a car or a member cannot be mimicked on social media sites.

So if you want to read a great thread on a great car, and you want to see why threaded discussions work so well, here’s the one for you.

Side note: If I ever make it back to Greenville, SC, hopefully for Fall for Greenville, I’d love to buy you a beer 86vwgti8v. You deserve it.