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Kevin's VW Love Affair: Classic Restos - Series 50

By Shannons - Published on 01 June 2022

In this week's episode of Classic Restos, Fletch slightly deviates from the classics when he catches up with Michelle, a long-serving courier to the automotive industry in Sydney's West and the Southern Highlands. Who's unbreakable 1997 Hi-Lux Tray has clocked up over 1.7 million kms - now that's some record. 

Michelle says, "it can't be faulted". Of course, she knows where to get parts whenever needed, and there's plenty available. Michelle's tip for keeping a vehicle running well is to check the fundamentals like oils, changing filters and listening to your car if it doesn't sound right, to get it checked out because, like in Michelle's case, she's earning money while it's on the road. 

The Hi-Lux has had an engine rebuild, and while Michelle discovered it wasn't essential, they did it anyway, and it is back clocking up the kms.

Next, Fletch talks to retired motor mechanic Kevin, who has had a long-term interest in Volkswagen Beetles. Kevin's two VW Beetles include a fully restored 1965 model that he has owned for more than 20-years and a new project, a 1958 VW Beetle that is in the very early stages of a complete restoration.

Kevin recalls his early cars, his first an FJ Holden that he purchased while an apprentice motor mechanic for 650 pounds, then a succession of vehicles, including a Mini 850, a 1965 Volvo 122S and an XB Falcon Fairmont V8. 

But he always preferred smaller cars, and the 1965 VW Beetle became his passion and project that is now complete and in immaculate condition inside and out. Kevin made some modifications to improve the car's drivability along the journey, including front wheel disk brakes, upgraded engine capacity to 1500cc (originally 1200cc), and camber levelling springs in the rear. Today it drives beautifully, very smooth, and it looks the goods.

Kevin's new project is a fully imported 1958 VW Beetle model. He has already rebuilt the engine and is preparing to sandblast the body. This restoration will follow the same level of quality workmanship as his previous project. Fletch promises to return to see it once completed - it will be one to watch out for.