Man behind Beetlebank VW Restoration
When Carl was born his father had a 1955 Oval Beetle. In the holidays
Carl, his brother Paul and his mum and dad would take trips in it to
the Devon coast. Some years the family of four, plus all their luggage
would travel to Germany to visit his father's family in Ostfriesland.
In 1965, Carl's father bought a 1960, 1200 Beetle and through the years,
Carl would help his dad repair and maintain it. He resprayed it in 1974
and was carrying out paid bodywork on his older friends' vehicles from
the age of 14.
First VW Beetle
On passing his driving test, his father gave this Beetle to Carl. He
kept it for a year and then sold it for £180 to buy a 1971, 1200
Pastel White Beetle for £430. This was his daily driver, clocking
up around 20,000 miles a year for several years. During this time he
carried out various modifications such as fitting Corbeau high back
bucket seats, adding alloy wheels, and a killer (for that era) stereo.
to ill health, Carl didn't drive for just over 5 years and during this
time the 1200 Beetle was under a tarp in his garden. Unfortunately,
the Beetle suffered from lack of use and the interior went mouldy and
both the sill bottoms rusted through.
VW Beetle - The God Bug
When he started driving again, he bought the 'God Bug' (reg GDD) from
a vicar which he resprayed with German Flag graphics that wrapped around
the engine lid.
carried out his first 'full' restoration on the Beetle under the tarp.
The work took around 18 months, including the engine build, complete
re-upholstery and classic American style flame paint job. The resto
Beetle - Old Flame
Old Flame scooped Best Paint, Best Interior and Best
in Class at VW Action at Stoneleigh, and a whole raft of other 'Best
Paint', 'Best Interior' and 'Best in Show' awards up and down the country.
Old Flame was also a Feature Car in Volksword, the following
year. He sold it in 1992 to a man from Plymouth and then bought his
first VW Bay window, a 1974 double sliding door 8 seater Kombi for the
grand sum of £400 taxed and tested! Those were the days, eh?
Shows and Music Festivals
During the 90s, Carl tripped up and down the country to festivals and
VW shows in the 'Festi Bus' which he painted in Swedish camo pattern
outdoors using a roller! Many trips saw it packed to the headlining
with beer, tents and assorted festival dudes. The most memorable festival
was Cropredy '94 with Fairport Convention, Robert Plant and Roy Wood.
Carl met Roy Wood at the bar and it was like looking in the mirror!
2000 saw Carl moving to North Devon and starting his business, Beetlebank
VW Restoration. Initially in a workshop at his home in Frithelstock
Stone and more recently at a unit on Holsworthy Industrial Estate. Beetlebank
VW Restoration is now trading from a unit in Westward Ho! and the business
is going from strength to strength. His recently completed full restoration
of 'Mr Bojangles' for a customer in Braunton was billed on the cover
of Volksworld as the biggest show winner of 2010.
through and through
Carl, nicknamed 'The Dub Whisperer', has only ever owned aircooled
Volkswagens. His daily driver is a 1974 Bay panel van called 'Burn-e',
previously a German Fire Service van. I think you can safely say he
is Mr VW through and through.
VW Oval Beetle
Not so hairy
in those days
Beetle - 'The God Bug'
Beetle - Before
Bay 8 Seater Kombi
'The Festi Bus'
Splitscreen - Mr Bojangles
Bay Panel Van - 'Burn-e'