Meticulous restoration for 1955 VW

Dick and Shirley Jefferay are the owners of this beautifully restored 1955 Volkswagen Beetle.

They’ve recently moved back to Parkes from Queensland and Dick has just joined the Central West Car Club.

The attention to detail in Dick’s restoration is meticulous, so it’s ironic that his first foray into Volkswagens was cutting them up to build shooting buggies when he and his young family lived in Bourke.

In fact he remembers destroying an oval window Beetle similar to this one just to build a buggy to go pig hunting in.

In the late 1980’s, Dick rebuilt his first VW, a 1965 Beetle for his daughter Kate.

It was about 10 years later that Dick came across this Beetle bogged to the sills in a paddock near Wirrinya.

It was in a seriously bad state with rust through the sills and floor and the engine pulled apart on the back seat where it had sat idle for many years.

What made this Beetle so appealing to Dick to restore were four distinguishing features of the early Beetles – the oval rear window, the semaphore indicators in the side pillar, the single exhaust pipe and the unique early style VW dash.

He dragged it home to Parkes and was immediately told the VW was unrestorable.

Well if anybody knows Dick and his son Richard, that was like waving a red flag to a bull.

It sat for many years with Dick collecting bits and pieces for the restoration over the time.

He bought another car as a donor vehicle and he even came across a brand new crankshaft for the 1100cc engine from the former VW dealer in Forbes.

All the interior trim was bought brand new long before the build even started.

The restoration happened over about a seven year period in the mid to late nineties.

It was halted for a stage while Dick underwent chemotherapy but the restoration was mostly undertaken by his son Richard, who like a dog with a bone, never let go until it was all done.

At one stage he was told to get the Beetle off the workshop floor to make way for some paying jobs in the panel shop he was using for the repairs.

The boss came in on Monday and Richard had built a frame and hoisted the Beetle up into the rafters to make way.

With the body work complete the Beetle was trailered to Bargo for fitting of the interior.

The car came back with stone chips and paintwork lashings from the car trailer and dents in the roof from the fitting of the hood lining.

There was nothing else for it – young Richard arrived home at midnight on the Sunday and on Monday morning he was re-stripping the car for its second respray.

It was done before the week was out!

To say that anybody would be proud of the end result is an understatement.

The car looks great in its original colour with matching interior.

The Beetle has been on the road now for 14 years.

While not chasing trophies, Dick has been justified with second place in the Type 1 category at the VW Nationals in Sydney in 2005 and has had his fair share of first place trophies in various categories including paint, interior and best original Beetle.

Dick uses his Beetle for car club runs and recently joined the CWCC run to Carcoar a few weekends ago where he managed a top speed of 97 km/h.

The plan is to use it for regular club outings like this when he can. If you’d like a closer look, Dick hopes to have his Beetle on display at the CWCC Charity Show and Shine at Pioneer Oval on Saturday, October 15.

So save the date and come along for a great day and over 100 cars and bikes on display.

If you’d like to find out more about the club you can check us out on www.centralwestcarclub.com.

Dick came across the Beetle bogged to the sills in a paddock near Wirrinya. He dragged it home to Parkes and was immediately told the VW was unrestorable.

Dick came across the Beetle bogged to the sills in a paddock near Wirrinya. He dragged it home to Parkes and was immediately told the VW was unrestorable.

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