Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's a good time to be restoring a VW 1500

The past few years have seen a marked increase in the availablity of reproduction parts for VW 1500s and 1600s. ISP West has lead the way, reproducing a number of obsolete Type 3 parts over the last ten+ years, and they've been joined by the now-defunct PoP of Thailand (Simon Kelley has begun to pick up where PoP left off), Rudiger Huber, BerT3 and others, including my own self. But in the last year things have really picked up.

The latest news is that the original "salt & pepper" wool cloth used from 1961–63 is now available for purchase from Gizmo Bob Walton. The possibility of reproducing this cloth has been talked about for many years, and it's amazing that it's finally here. I dropped in on Bob yesterday and saw one of several giant rolls. It looks fantastic.

Equally exciting news: new right and left side floorpan halves for Type 3s are now available from KlassicFab. Almost all Type 3s need to have some part of the floor pan patched, most commonly the area under the battery, but many are in need of full pan replacement. The availability of quality pan stampings will make it possible to save many cars that would probably have otherwise been parted out or gone to the crusher. Gerson of KlassicFab says he'll be at the VW Classic next month with ten pairs, and I plan to buy a set there.

A long-requested accessory now available from Neil Mast is a high-quality VDO Type 3 tachometer reproduction. Repro Type 3 tachs have been available from Bill & Steve's and Tacho Thomas in the past (and Tim Dapper made a Type 34 version), but they have followed the Gossen tach style in which the needle is positioned under the center escutcheon. Neil's new tach is faithful to the original VDO design and matches the other Type gauges perfectly. ISP West is also finishing up their Type 3 tach repro, which follows the Gossen style and also looks great.

And with any luck, BerT3's repro wraparound dash pads will be available soon too.

No comments: