Loyal followers of Power Wheels Magazine will notice that we changed the nomenclature of our 1973 Volkswagen Beetle from “1600” to “1300 S“. That’s because we finally found out what Beetle model our Project Car was after we found its original “VW 1300 S” emblem that goes on the rear engine cover. This is also significant because we now can put to rest all our speculations and get to answer the questions from our knowledgeable friends like Norbie Sison and Capt. Miguel Ben “Mike” Gomez, a certified Bug enthusiast. When we first came out with this series of Project Car stories for our Beetle, Norbie was one of those who asked us if we are sure that it has a 1600cc flat-four motor. Then, when we posted that our Beetle may be a rare “13/16” model after the car’s owner, Ildefonso “Fons” Caluag, narrated that it was one of those “special models” from the DMG factory with a Beetle 1300 body and a 1600cc engine, it was Capt. Mike who asked us to verify our facts. As an original 1300 S, it is verified that the engine is indeed a 1600cc. Now that’s settled, we can move on with the restoration process. Whew…
When we last reported about the progress of its paintwork, we wrote that it got its initial coating of cream paint that was chosen by the owner. We also learned from Fons that this Beetle was originally yellow when he bought it sometime in 1982, but he had the color changed to cream when the Beetle underwent a frame-off restoration work. The painter assigned by Johnson Tan, the proprietor of JSK Custom Paint and Auto Works, to work on our Beetle was impressed with its straight and solid body, and the great metal work done by those who worked on it in the past. However, the assigned painter and most of the JSK technicians and artisans were tasked to work on the workshop’s custom car entries for the 2019 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) so work on our Project Car stopped for about two weeks.
Getting the Paint to Shine
After the car show, the JSK painter went back to work on our Beetle. He wiped it down, wet-sanded it, sprayed the final coat of cream, left the paint to dry for a while, wet-sanded it again, and then sprayed the clear coat. Unfortunately, we weren’t there to document the actual painting process. We only got to see our Project Car when the paint was being buffed after it was applied. But we were happy with what we saw even if the paint hasn’t been polished to its glossy luster yet!
The JSK technician was busy buffing the fresh cream paint of our Beetle one panel at a time. We watched him for a few minutes and observed that he was very thorough with his work. He would work his magic with the buffing wheel, stop, inspect his work by eyeing it and “feeling” the paint with the palm of his hand, add some buffing compound, and then work with the buffing wheel again until he’s satisfied with the results. Some people might find the process too tedious but we can see that the JSK technician was quite meticulous with buffing the paint finish. We realized that it takes a lot of work to come up with a show-quality, award-winning paint job that JSK is known for.
More Work To Be Done
We were mesmerized with watching the JSK technician work with the buffing wheel and admired not only his talent and eye for details but for his patience and dedication to his craft. We watched him buff the right front fender panel and then move on to the left front portion of the roof, presumably to change the articulation of his arms and balance the movement of his muscles so he won’t tire out easily.
We then decided to go around our Beetle and inspect it to see what additional work needs to be done or what other parts are needed to complete it. We found that the insides of the front hood and the rear trunk lid or engine cover are still being prepped for paint. We also noticed that there some paint over-spray on the wheels and other engine parts. The JSK workshop foreman, Erene, assured us that all of these over-spray will be cleaned after the paint work and polishing was done. He added that the paint over-spray will be easy to remove since it won’t really adhere to the surfaces that weren’t prepped.
After we went around the workshop and around our Beetle, the JSK technician working on it asked us where the running boards are and we found that they’re hidden at the shop storage room for safekeeping. Meanwhile, foreman Erene asked us if we have new set of fender liners (to be more technically-correct fender beadings) or those rubber things that will be mounted between the fenders and the body. We checked our previous photos and found that the old fender beadings came with our Beetle when we dropped it off at JSK. However, since the paint is so nice, it would be a sin to mount the fenders using the old beadings so… we’re going to ask the owner, Fons if he has new original ones in his collection of rare VW parts or if he’s willing to spring for new beadings if he doesn’t have them in stock. We’re hoping that he would once he sees the nice paint job of his Beetle 1300 S.