- MetalMorphosis Customs rebuilds and completely customizes classic Volkswagen vehicles.
- The restoration process for a Beetle named Paisley took 1,200 hours.
- Cate and Rodney Culp design, install and customize every detail of the interior and exterior.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Cate Culp: So today, we’re going to be looking at Paisley, it’s a 1960 Euro beetle and this car was built for our charity beetle promotion. And this car was probably one of the worst that we’ve ever tried to restore. We’d call it more of a resurrection than a restoration because we very rarely put anything back to stock.
This particular build was 1200 hours in total. And that was done over 105 days.
The first step really is the design phase and that’s all for me, I usually sit down and decide exactly how I want the car to look, what size engine is going in, and all that sort of thing. And then I work with an artist to create a rendering, so we have a visual of exactly what the car’s going to look like once it’s done.
Once we have a clear idea of what we’re going to do with the car, first it goes to blast so we can get a really good idea of how much metal work needs to be done.
Rodney Culp: We normally strip the car down to just a bare shell of a car, no wiring harness, no glass, no anything like that. And then we have a person come in and media blast it. Usually it’s walnut shell, or some kind of plastic media to take all the paint and body filler out of the car and get back down to bare metal. And then from that point, we put it in a sealer, which seals the metal and keeps it from rusting.
Cate: Once it comes back from blast, we make a sort of a full list of the amount of metal work that needs to be done so any replacement panels that we need to purchase to go into metal work.
Rodney: We’re cutting out the old rusted sheet metal. And then we’re welding in either replacement panels or panels that we’ve made ourselves here that you can’t get sometimes.
What we’re trying to do is make it as flat as possible, make the curves as smooth as possible. We’ll use sanding blocks, we use a couple different ones, we use the dura block, which is a brand that we use and bunnings blocks, we use some of those and they’re perfectly flat, perfectly straight and that gives you all the nice curve lines.
The paint process can be pretty lengthy, depending on how many colors you have. We mix it according to what the manufacturer uses. Normally, it’s four parts paint to one part of a hardener, and then one part of a reducer to kind of thin it out so you can spray it and we used to spray two to three coats of the base color on that and let it dry between coats. Normally it’s 15 to 30 minutes between coats. And then once you do that, then you start applying your clear coat.
Cate: The exterior color is Volkswagen blue, which is actually an original Volkswagen color. But it didn’t come in until like 66-67. And we’ve just put it over a black base. So it looks a little bit darker than most people would recognize the color.
After it’s painted, we usually do all of our wiring and that sort of stuff. And then we’ll go into assembly, putting in all of the lights, and you know, fenders, running boards, everything else goes on.
Cate: The interior process is more of an evolving process as I do it. I have a basic idea of what I want to achieve. There’s a lot of time that’s spent, like finding the correct materials so that everything is cohesive. Everything in our builds, interior-wise, is full custom. So I will patent everything out and construct everything from scratch. So no two cars that I do interior-wise are the same.
Door panels are actually my favorite part of the interior, because they’re very easy. There’s not a whole lot of sewing involved in them, it’s basically just cutting a panel to fit the door and then covering it. The ones that went into Paisley had a very cool little pocket design on them, which I hadn’t done before. So there was a bit of a bit of a process trying to work out how to engineer that.
The steering wheel was actually really basic, it was a half rep steering wheel. The front part just comes off and we can just wrap the front in leather. The Center for this steering wheel, we actually set out to have engraved. We sent that off to a man in Washington state and he hand engraved all of those details for us.
Headliner is probably, I always say it’s my least favorite part but when I’m actually doing it, I find it quite enjoyable… It’s really just a matter of getting in there and starting to glue the leather into place and then you know, meticulously wrapping and undoing it when it’s not right, stretching it to make sure that there are no wrinkles in it.
The embossed leather was done at the tannery. And then we just wanted to carry that through. So it seemed like a good idea to get the engraving done, which is done in the same sort of style of pattern as the embossing on the leather. And then we also have the Paisley design on the side of the car, which is like a vinyl wrap in the trim line. So that sort of flows through from the exterior to the interior and also into the engine bay.
I think I bring a lot of that into the design work of the cars that we build. So that’s probably the one thing that most people will sort of say stands out most about what we do is the amount of attention to detail that we put into them.
So with the charity builds, all of the money that we raise helps to keep kids in school, we have an orphanage in Indonesia, we sent 182 kids to school this year, and all of the funds that we raise from our charity builds goes to that education fund.
Rodney: It went to a gentleman in North Georgia. He’s already drove it, you know a bunch and taking it to its first show and it won three different trophies and promoters’ choice, so he’s pretty excited about it.
When it’s all done, I like driving them. So that’s the best part for me. I mean, we don’t definitely don’t do it for the money, but I enjoy taking something that somebody would have crushed or thrown away. And then we built it into something that’s back on the road again and everybody can enjoy it and appreciate it.
Cate: There’s a kindness to the cars that appeals to me. There’s a gentleness to them that appeals to me. I think they don’t pretend to be anything that they’re not. There’s so many ways that you can build a Volkswagen, so that they look alike, or they look different. But at the end of the day, they’re still a beetle, and they still have that same energy. And I think the energy of those cars is what really appeals to me.
Read the original article on Business Insider