The VW Thing Restoration
The 1974 Volkswagon Thing was one of the more unique vehicles we’ve had in the shop. It’s a bright yellow convertible Thing that needed new floor pans welded in, some body work, and a fresh paint job. Here is what it looked like when it first came in…
The first thing we do with our restorations and paint jobs is remove the doors and other parts. Then, we get right to sanding. The VW Thing had rust on the floor, so we replaced the entire floor pan. Depending on the amount of rust, we may choose to repair just the one area, or weld in all new floor pans.
In the following picture, you can see the difference welding in a new floor makes. There’s no rust to be found and this will hold up for a good while.
There’s so much sanding involved in body work. So much. We sand down the entire vehicle, looking for imperfections along the way. Any little wave or scratch will get filled in and smoothed out. And then sanded some more until the body is perfectly straight.
Once all, or most of, the metal work and body work has been done, we’ll prime it. After primer, we can sometimes see or feel more flaws, so more sanding gets done.
Everything gets primed, and then sanded again with water to make it smooth.
The first part of any of our paint jobs is the inner door jambs and under sides of doors, hood, trunk lid. In this case with the Thing, there is a lot of visible inner space that is getting painted. It’s our first chance to see the color!
The yellow is a factory-original paint color. It was the Thing’s original color, it just needed a little attention and a fresh spray. We also restored the wheels, put in new glass, and worked on the windows.
It’s so fulfilling to see a project go from looking maybe a little drab and old to fully restored with a bright new paint job. This was our first VW Thing paint job, and we got a lot of comments on it!
I’m sure the owners will have fun this summer riding around in this Thing!
If you’ve got a paint job you need done or a project we can help with, please let us know. Call Tim at 828-505-6603 to discuss, or schedule a time to come by the shop for a free estimate.
For more pictures of our finished work, check out our Photo Gallery