Finally Found a Project Volkswagen

Volkswagen Cabriolet Humble Mechanic

If you have been following the blog, (of course you have 😉 ) you know that I have been searching for a project car. You might also know that the Cabrio and Cabriolet hold a little place in my heart. I think that a convertible plus a VW is a winning combination.

My first car was a convertible. It was a red 1995 Jeep Wrangler. It was so much fun to drive, top down jamming to some tunes! Driving my Jeep that way really made me fall in love with driving. There are only a few things I find more relaxing than a nice drive in a open top ride. Ah nostalgia!

Well, I finally found the car. She WAS a sweet little VW Cabriolet. To be honest, I totally forgot what year it is. (do’h). I say WAS because she got violated. From what I understand, it was donated to a charity. Then it got brought back to my work. It was in the show room for a while, and I finally talked the management into letting be buy it. I tried like hell to buy it before it this happened to it.

Volkswagen Cabriolet Humble MechanicYes friends, that is CHALK! Sidewalk chalk. It went from a red that needed some love, to this. I think that I will draw a teardrop on that eye while I fix the rest of the car.Interior VW Cabriolet auto mechanic

The inside did not fair much better. I hope that I will be able to restore the dash. The sad part is, the dash was PERFECT! That was one of the most valuable parts on the car. I don’t know exactly what they did, but it is sticky as can be. My guess is some sort of paper machete type thing. Be sure to notice the green on the floor, and around the shifter. If that looks familiar, it should. It is that outdoor “carpet”! WHY WHY WHY????


As you can see, there was no panel safe from chalk. Auto Mechanic Project CabrioletI have not really decided what I want the overall project to look like. My first mission is to get the car back to stock. I think that it as a small oil leak, but what VW doesn’t. The really awesome part for your guys is, I can demonstrate some really great cleaning and restoring techniques. While I hate washing cars, bringing a VW back to life is a whole other ball game.

Auto Mechanic Project Cabriolet

Here is the whole thing. They even got the rims! What do you guys think? I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. I am sure my wife thinks I am in way over my head, or maybe my wallet.

What do you guys think we should call this project? How about this, you guys post a project name in the comments. We can work together to pick a cool project name. Tell ya what, we pick your project name, I will send you a cool VW prize!

Help put more project names into the pot, click one of the buttons below!

23 replies
  1. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    Talk to Hopzilla about how to fix the dash. Since she knows how to do crafty things, maybe she knows how to uncraft them safely?

  2. Garrett Craven
    Garrett Craven says:

    If you got it at a fair price then id say its worth it! Id call it the “luv dub project” cuz its colors remind me of the 70’s haha. Or thinkin bigger it could be the start to “save a vw foundation” where all those poor vw out there have been so poorly treated! Hahaha. Either way…glad you found your project! Look forward to seeing the steps along the way! An for cryin out loud i wanna win some free cool vw stuff!! 😀

  3. Charles
    Charles says:

    @Garrett, I am working on a cool post for my 100th! That will be Tuesday or Wednesday. I want to give some stuff away!!

    I like the “Save-A-Dub” type idea.

    Oh, and in true VW fashion, the clutch cable went out. At
    least that is only $20..

    • Mathew Maher
      Mathew Maher says:

      The “Save-A-Dub” fund idea? A friend of mine started that last year for her 2002 Beetle TDI went everything went wrong on it.

      I have a ton of ideas for the final product of getting it ready for show status.

  4. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    Call it 0 to Hero or something, look at it this way, you could get your own custom paintjob done over this and some sick rims to replace these (colored) ones. On a side note, does anyone remember that VW comercial with the pinatta and they cant bust it open with the bat? Reminds me of this car, needs some TLC after being beaten with the ugly stick.

  5. Brett
    Brett says:

    Project Phoenix, because you’re bringing it back from the ashes.
    Project Simon, because of the chalk draw’rings.
    Rub-a-Dub, because of all the cleaning you have to do to start.
    Cabri-Oh-Lord!, because of the sad state it’s in.
    Chalk to Stock, to commemorate your first goal with it.
    Rags to Rag-top, since it’s beat up now but it’ll be a nice convertible at the end.
    Or, Small Mistake, since it’s too tiny to be a big mistake.

  6. Steve M.
    Steve M. says:

    Clear-coat over the chalk. Then drop in an engine and drive-train that would make “The Stig” wet himself. It could be the “Flowerchild Sleeper from Hell. 😀

    • Charles
      Charles says:

      @Steve, funny you say that. The more I look at it, the more I kinda like the chalk. The interior makes me mad, hummm. We will see 😉

      I have been talking to a guy at work about AEB swap… Just sayin’

  7. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    Wow….that is some project, I do love the quad grill though.
    How ’bout “the never ending humble mechanic project Cabrio”
    Just for giggles you should call/email some detailers for a quote. On another note I just bought a pc 7424 polisher it’s working wonders on the Audi

  8. Jeremy
    Jeremy says:

    I love this little cabby. Minus the chalk. Make videos and document step by step of the restoration. MAKE A BUILD THREAD on the forum!!

    Good luck

  9. Jeremy Bechtold
    Jeremy Bechtold says:

    I was trying to think of something that sounded good along the lines of “Humble’s Hair-Messer” since it’s a cabrio, but nothing good came to mind… then I read Brett’s “Cabri-Oh-Lord!” and now I can’t think of anything other than that. it’s too perfect.

  10. Mathew Maher
    Mathew Maher says:

    For the project name, I’d call her “Pelican” for the shade of red I’d paint her. Pelican Red (L259) – a OE air-cooled color from 1958-1971.

    I can see it paired up with either a black or tan top with a matching interior, black carpets in the typical VW fashion.

    Carbon Fiber Euro Bumpers (I know a guy, hit me up), A Porsche 356B, 356C Derrington Steering Wheel and matching shift knob. Shave off the Amber markers on the fenders, either Snowflake or Teardrop wheels. Coil-overs, and a tune up on the motor, and call it done.

  11. Martin de Oliveira
    Martin de Oliveira says:

    Operation Ragtop-rescue. Good luck man, I’m sure if anyone can save her its you. Looking forward to follow the build!

  12. Richard
    Richard says:

    Awesome project!!! Can you share how much you paid for the vehicle? I’m guessing you got a bit of a deal, but I’m curious as to how much this set you back (also, trying to justify some of my projects 🙂


    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Thanks Richard! I can’t let everyone know what I paid for this car just yet. There will be a time where I can share that info, but I need to give it some time. I got an okay deal, not great, but good.


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