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Fellow BUGNUT Gary Keeping

I wouldn’t say that the “Aircooled Scene” really came very naturally to me. In fact, I grew up in a household that had VW’s of the watercooled variety only. My first VW was a 1985 Diesel Jetta that I purchased from my father.

My involvement with Beetles came only after meeting a co-worker (and later roommate) that owned a ’73 Super Beetle. I was enamoured with it almost immediately. Fun, inexpensive and surprisingly versatile. I was hooked and was now on a quest to acquire one. And there it sat, a 1971 Super Beetle, parked for several years beside “General Lee Chicken” in Haliburton Ontario. It was quite solid and ran well but wandered badly on the road.

Classic Air-Cooled VW Beetles waiting to be restored

The Beetle in this bio was not my first. In fact, it was one of many parts cars used in the build of my first Bug. It was stripped of many useful items and then put away in a shed at the family cottage. There it sat for many years, all but forgotten, on flattened tires and bursting at the seams with various spare parts.

Upon being informed that our beloved family cottage was being put up for sale I had to make a decision regarding the contents of my shed. I pumped up the tires and pushed her out into the daylight so I could assess what was still left of my poor little car. Still too solid to send to the crusher I loaded it on a car float and tugged it to my house.

My new project was underway. Although structurally solid it was still needing enough sheet metal and a treasure trove of other items to make a complete vehicle. I decided a custom build was on the table. I envisioned what a Super Beetle would have appeared like if it made its debut in the early to mid ‘60’s. This wasn’t quite as simple as bolting on early items since they were never meant to be fitted to the hulkier body of the Super. Lots of fitting and modifications were made so it would have to look of not being modded at all. Some of the modified items include widened fenders and running boards, early lights and trim, four wheel disk brakes, a 2.0L Type 4 motor pulled from a 914, genuine Hurst shifter and even a stock AM radio that has been rewired so I can listen to MP3’s. These are only to name a few.

Gary Keeping's 1971 Super Beetle

I’ve had a lot of fun building this car. Originally it was a 4 year project and for the most part it was. A rusted hulk in 2004 and winning trophies in 2008. But it is now almost 2019 and I still continue to upgrade her. I suppose maybe I always will.

Isn’t that what it’s really all about anyhow?

Gary Keeping's 1971 Super Beetle

Gary Keeping's 1971 Super Beetle

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