What was your first car?
For many millennials a modern super-mini is the only way to get behind the wheel these days, with sky high insurance quotes keeping anything fun a mere figment of their imagination…
Unless, you strike it lucky, and like Alex Tooth, VW Heritage Events Organiser you bag a Beetle as your first set of wheels. Eva and Phil catch up with her to find out more her Beetle, and to make the most of the local scenery too.
Change of direction
It wasn’t always going to be a Beetle, Alex explains. “I originally wanted a classic Mini, but after I met my boyfriend Callum, I changed my mind”.
You may well have seen Callum’s satin black early looker at various events; it currently sports KDF Headlight covers, , spaced-out rear wings and a truck style stinger exhaust!
It’s fair to say it had the desired effect on Alex, and steered her away from a lifetime of Scandinavian flicks and A-Series engines, however Alex isn’t just keen on VWs; she secretly likes Land Rovers too!
Alex and her Beetle
After waltzing through her driving test, Alex got searching for her holy grail; a Beetle, that was old, cool, in-budget and not located at the other end of the country.
She succeeded on a number of counts, and so Callum, Alex and Alex’s Grandad (himself a handy engineer) took a road trip to Devon to check out this car. “Truth be told, I should have left it there” Alex tells us, but with excitement rushing through her veins at the thought of owning her very own Bug, Alex scribbled a signature on the V5, and brought it back to Brighton.
EVA the professional
Whilst it was road legal, it was clear that a restoration would soon be required to preserve her newest purchase. This job fell to friend and scene hero Max from EVA restoration; his Apple liveried Beetle on BBS Fan rims could be seen in every magazine and blog article throughout the show season last year, and he’s created quite a reputation for his great work.
Alex was keen to keep the bodywork as it was, a colour scheme she affectionately refers to as ’50 shades of white’ so Max worked his magic replacing the floor pans, and the typical lower 6”….There was a deadline too; Alex had dropped the keys off just 3 weeks before Bug Jam!
Slammin’ and Jammin.
With things now solid underneath, Alex and Callum could bolt up the LimeBug Air-ride kit to sort the stance, and increase practicality at the same time. Not scared of getting her hands dirty, Alex got down with the spanners and tackled the rear on her own, something she’s quite rightly proud of.
Externally some DIY Aussie trim has been added, to give the flanks a little more attitude, and lead your eye towards the stainless steel wooden slat rack that adorns the decklid. “It’s hugely practical when we go camping at shows, especially when I’ve got mates riding in the back too” she tells us.
The decklid stand off’s don’t just serve to keep the engine cool. They accommodate the 2” transmission tuck, which helps achieve maximum drop and adequate ground clearance when driving so low.
With the car supplied running the original 1200cc, Alex’s Grandad was kind enough to build her up a 1641cc power plant. Now a little older and wiser, the extra ponies have been a welcome addition; however with a Mk2 GTI now also in her possession, speed is not what this car is about. “ I love the fact it’s rough, ready and raw.. if the paint gets scraped, who cares…every time I drive it I get a big smile on my face”.
Some sound proofing and carpet would be a welcome addition along with restoring the original spec red interior; and as Eva will testify, the lack of heating leaves it somewhat chilly in the winter. As for luxuries, a Retrosound subwoofer to compliment the Retrosound head unit for Alex’s road trip tunes is also on the list.
One day perhaps it’ll get repainted too.
Alex’s Dad handily runs Fox Wood Campsite, and let us mess about in the woods with her car.
The Black Rabbit pub, we shot in their car park, then enjoyed a warm drink by the fire as we chatted over her car out of the cold.