Father & son Ernie Flores and Ernie Jr. are in the beginning stages of their new project VW. Attending shows and swaps, this dynamic duo are on the lookout to accomplish their vision of a VW restoration, bringing this 1970 bug back to shining condition. This project began as a true diamond in the rough. To start, they rescued the little bug from the harder side of Fresno CA. Within the last four months and well into 2016, they have logged in over 314 man hours and counting into this resurrection, which is Ernie Jr.’s first car. Dad recalls that they cleaned up over 40 years of “What were they thinking?” type things, like household wiring held together with twist connectors… The previous owners even cut 6×9 speaker holes out from under the dash!
This build has come along very well with the help of 81 year old VW living legend Bruce Bewarder, or as Ernie calls him “My German Mr. Miyagi”. Also helping out are his other son Isaiah and friends Bobby and Zito. Thanks to them, Ernie Jr. is learning how to work on these German treasures. First thing for the rebuild was the initial cleaning, and that’s when a master plan came about–along with a never ending checklist of what they needed in order to finish his car by the end of summer.
From the oatmeal-colored tweed headliner and carpet kit from Sewfine, to all the body and door parts that will replace the purple spray-painted and ill-fitting chrome aftermarket stuff, a serious transformation is underway. And don’t forget the original old-school Empi Sprintstar wheels Bruce gave them! The beetle was called Oatmeal once as a joke, and the name just stuck. The plan is to drop Oatmeal really low–a funky clean attitude is what they are going for. A cool college commuter for Little Ernie.
The previous owner had installed a cheap and wobbly roller ball pedal and his foot would constantly slip off or below. Ernie planned to replace it but procrastinated, and then he found out the hard and dangerous way just how bad that plastic roller ball pedal really was. The throttle cable broke as he was entering the freeway in rush hour. The pedal hit the metal and never came back up! He lost all power and found himself cussing and praying at the same time, hoping that he would have enough momentum to reach the side of the crazy rush hour freeway. He pulled over as much as he could, and it still didn’t feel far enough. He felt like the giant trucks were going to blow him away! Or worse just plow right into him! Ernie then stopped panicking and made a quick fix.
An extra wire he found in the trunk and a thousand knots later, and he was on his way. All he could think about on that ride home was, what if his son Ernie Jr. would’ve been stuck out there in the same situation? Lacking the experience, what would he have done, or not done? He knew then what his next fix would be!
ClassicBugParts has an upgrade kit called The X-Celerator Speed Wheel, and this, along with the Clutch Pedal Upgrade kit, was a no brainier. Ernie is now confident that by taking care of Oatmeal with these upgrades, it will most certainly take care of Little Ernie and whoever else may be with him in the years to come. Peace of mind is a really good thing. Ernie Flores totally recommends Classic Bug Parts and our products to all his V-Dub friends. (Thank you, Ernie!)
What an amazing story to learn from… Sad to say, those of us at Classic Bug Parts hear so many stories of similar dangers faced by bug owners. This is one of the main reasons why the designers at Classic Bug Parts came up with these wonderful upgrades, precisely because of the great need for safety and smoother rides in these VW treasures.
Ron, Jane, and the team at ClassicBugParts.com look forward to hearing about great successes from Ernie, Ernie Jr., and company!