At some point during the summer of 2004, I sent Eric a message saying that I thought we should build a pair of Volkswagen hot rod's similar to the one in the magazine that I had become obsessed with. I had done a bit of looking around and at similar customs and had fallen in love with the Fred Hidalgo "Stinkbug" shown at the top of this post. The stance and attitude of that car really resonated with me. Eric had agreed to give me his old '67 yellow Baja and he was planning on using an old beetle that had been sitting in a barn near a shop that he and one of his high school buddies had purchased in a small town near Eric's home town, outside of Rockford, IL. I'm sure VW purists would love the fact that he had decided on chopping an oval window. The barn Eric pulled his oval window out of also contained an early Beetle convertible and an extra oval window roof section. My yellow baja was the perfect candidate for a modified Beetle project. The rear and front had been chopped and fiberglass parts grafted on and there was enough rust in the heater channels that there was no way that someone would see much value in the car. My goal was to do this project on the cheap as I didn't have any money at the time to throw at the project. I always take the approach that my time is cheap though (this is probably why I always loose my head when I make things to sell).
Eric and I thought that it would be smart to build two cars if we were building. How much longer could it take to build two cars versus one? In hindsight, I'm not so sure how smart that was, but we were thinking it would be good to be able to learn from each other during the builds and we would both end up with a car in the end.
I had just landed a teaching job in Milwaukee which is about an hour and half north of Seward (where "the shop" was located). I figured that I would be able to make it down to Seward from time to time to work on the cars. Jill and I stopped by on our way up to Milwaukee and I dropped off some of my tools at the shop and I checked out the cars that we were going to be working on. What you see above is what we started with.