Contest Winner - Model Of The Month, Cars Class, October 1999.

The starting point was to make a custom car. The old beetle is very well known for its versatility in the sense of customizing, and I believe that the new beetle is cute enough to be put from shape to shape.

Started: 04 July 1999

Finished: 14 September 1999

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This is the one that I liked most among a couple of sketches. The elliptic profiles of the side cutout and the fenders seemed to be in good harmony with the softly curved contours of the beetle. It would look like a new generation of the famous dune buggies.

04 July 1999:
So the tailoring began...The kit I chose was Revell-Monogram's  snap-tite kit no.1910. 

It was the rounded shape of the '63 Corvette dashboard that urged me to see how it would look like inside. Well, it seemed that it would go well with some minor modifications. A popular item for customizing...

10 July 1999:
The internal side panels would not be used, so  transition pieces were added to the rear quarters, and polyester putty applied.

Then, the gap between the tub and the bodyshell sides were filled with polyester putty and sanded smooth to the cutout profile.

The fenders were added styrene strips to define the oval contours and polyester putty filled in...

....and then sanded smooth, of course.

22 July 1999:
The modification to the dashboard was to add a sheet styrene to the top and widening of the sides. The transition part was filled with polyester putty and sanded.

It was a hard decision to cut the hood open. The kit had no engine (Tamiya does not have one either). I took the risk of finding a suitable engine and cut the hood. The car was applied grey primer.

06 August 1999:
But I did not like the grey, so I applied cellulosic automotive yellow primer.

A test-fitting of the bodyshell, internal tub and the dashboard.

26 August 1999:
Until now, it was all a puzzle: What engine should be put in, how would the drivetrain be modified or reconstructed, how would the floorpan be affected, etc. It then occured to me that this buggy-intended vehicle could perfectly be a 4x4 off-roader. A bit of search ended in combining the mechanics of the Jeep CJ-7 with the body of the beetle. And thus, the "Jeetle" was defined. The Jeep chassis had to be elongated by 6 mm to fit the wheelbase of the beetle. 

05 September 1999:
The position of the engine was too back, it would go in the passenger area. So the engine support brackets were cut and moved to the front by 15 mm. The front of the chassis was reshaped to accommodate the fan and pulleys.