VW rally was good restoration incentive

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 07:10 10/04/2014
don martin
HOT WHEELS: Don Martin and his restored 1972 Volkswagen Beetle 1302 model.

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After 15 years of restoration work, Don Martin's 1972 Volkswagen Beetle is almost ready for it's debut.

The bug was stripped of every nut and bolt and completely revamped by Martin himself, finishing just in time for the Volkswagen Beetle rally happening in Timaru over Easter.

The car was bought in 1993 for his then girlfriend, now wife, to drive around in and came with a few rust holes.

In 2000 the beetle was repainted and by 2004 was 80 per cent restored.

Between then and now the car had been in storage for various amounts of time when the family moved from Timaru.

Martin said the three years were a struggle to finish the repairs, but when he saw the VW rally was being held in Timaru it gave him a goal to get it done.

The only thing left to do now is to get a warrant, "in the nick of time."

Martin grew up with VW beetles, as his parent's had a 1969 model, which he got his drivers licence in.

"I grew up with them in the early days, they're something a bit different, such a classic, loved them since then."

The beetle was originally a mustard colour but Martin chose the new yellow, in keeping with the more modern bugs. The brake light is a personal touch from Martin himself, who saw the idea on Top Gear and thought he could recreate it for his car.

Although Martin, a trained engineer, did the majority of the work himself, it was a family affair with each of his three daughters and his wife helping at some stage.

"They've all been involved, holding a spanner, sanding, and helping fit the windows, because I needed extra hands to do that."

Martin's beetle will be taking part in the 2014 Autoworld VW Nationals on April 18 to 21.

SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD

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- The Timaru Herald

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