Our first day together

Pushed, Poked and Prodded

Front Suspension Once the car was safely in the garage I could start trying to assess his condition in more detail. The Offside front wing was only held on temporarily by a couple of bolts, so that was removed to allow a quick look at the suspension. For the age of the car it looked to be in pretty good condition, no major rust that is immediately obvious on the suspension components, although the sills and door pillars look like they may be pretty poor..
The first major challenge was getting the bonnet to open. I pushed the button on the handle on the front of the bonnet but still the thing stayed shut. Working on the theory that it was probably just jammed and the bonnet was pretty shot anyway, I used the universal opening key otherwise known as a crowbar, which had absolutely no effect.
If I had known that the bonet release lever was in the glove box that would have made life a lot easier....DOH !!!!!
The other way to open the front
Shiny Bits The next step was to remove the petrol tank (it was only sitting in and had already been disconnected) to take a look at the steering gear. Again in spite of the age of the car all was well, in fact the chromed (?) steering rods were still shiny and free of rust.
Actually, they may be stainless steel, which may explain the lack of rust......
The engine was in similarly good cosmetic condition, there was some evidence of the typical VW oil leaks, but as I am planning on taking it out and rebuilding it these are not a problem. I resisted the temptation to crank it over as it may not have been run for over 10 years.
Motor The mystery for today, apart from how to open the bonnet, was the discovery of two levers, one on either side of the hand brake. Hopefully the impending arrival of my eBay Haynes manual will clear up that little mystery.

Unfortunately it wasn't all good news from a restoration point of view. Although there was nothing I found which messed up the original idea that I had to build a buggy. The bodywork was in pretty poor condition in a number of places :(
Looking round the rest of the car the driver side sills, heater rails and door pillars are totally shot, the bodyshell has rotted round the back window and side seals and the bonnet has, at some point, been repaired and this has started to rot through.

The floorpans don't seem to have any holes in them but they were quite rusty and flaky round the edges. As I am swaying towards the buggy idea this shouldn't be too much of a problem as I can have the floorpans replaced when the chasis is shortened.

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