Brian Schmidt - 1963 VW Beetle
Its personality makes the car unique just because Beetles are still out there but they are nowhere near as common, you see less and less of them, and more importantly there aren’t many perfect ones out there anymore either
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1963 VW Beetle
My name is Brian Schmidt and I’m from Nazareth Pennsylvania, I work for a carpet cleaning and home restoration company right in my own town, I also do a lot of other trades mainly including homes but the true passion is what I consider my hobby and that’s taking stock Volkswagens and modifying them to see my visions come to life, I’ve always been into the car scene the second I got my license and owning my first vw mk5. Since then I’ve owned 5 other Volkswagens spawning from an mk4 r32, vw caddy pickup, 2012 golf R, and last but not least my 63 beetles.
What or who got you into cars?
The people who got me into cars and mainly Volkswagens would happen to be my closest friends from high school and still is the reason why I love doing what I do. They are still my best friends to date and we all help work on each other’s cars whenever one of us needs a helping hand. It’s fun to watch your closest friends (and yourself) build the vision and it’s hard to see them sell but you almost can’t wait to help them on their next project. We started attending shows right out of the gate with our first cars and it’s funny how far along we’ve come
Why this car?
Why I chose this car was because growing up I’ve heard stories of my dad how he used to own a 64 beetle and how it came right off the boat from Germany, I thought that was the coolest thing and I always tell my friends and friends I’ve met along the way how the blinkers, horn, washer fluid button was all written in German and my dad always got a kick out of telling people the blinkers said “das glimmer blinken.” But owning a mk6 golf R for over 5 years and completing the vision I had for the car I thought it was finally time to say goodbye and get into something that always had “that look'' so I sold my R to one of my close friends and purchased the beetle bone stock original 6v the perfect candidate to start with a clean slate
Why did you build this car?
Building cars is just in my blood, I don’t think I could drive anything that’s not modified. The idea of modifying cars has always been with me and I got the bug at an early age even when we didn’t have a license we would modify our BMX bikes to the max. Buying and building a beetle has always been a bucket list of mine, to me, it’s one of the most beautiful cars to ever be made even if it’s not the fastest it just has that look to it and there isn’t anything else like it
What does it feel like owning this car?
Going from a 2012 golf R to a 1963 bug is a huge difference, nothing is the same besides the basic functions of a car itself. You have to know how to drive the car because there aren't any functional controls. You are the sole operator and that’s the best feeling in the world. Whenever I park it I can’t help but to always look back and admire what I’ve built and so do the people who swarm around it. Whenever I hit the road there’s always someone taking a picture of it. And the best feeling in the world is having an older person come up and tell me their stories they’ve had with the same car
What makes your car unique?
Its personality makes the car unique just because Beetles are still out there but they are nowhere near as common, you see less and less of them, and more importantly there aren’t many perfect ones out there anymore either. I love a good patina look but nothing beats paint and clean body lines in my own opinion
I swapped the original 1200cc motor out for a late 60’s early 70’s 1600cc motor
Exterior, Added pop-out rear windows,
A decklid riser,
A roof rack
Besides rear blinds in the rearview I haven’t changed much, I like the stock interior look of the beetle so that wasn’t changed too much
Widened powder coated white wheels from jbugs
Full airlift 3p all bought from limebug in the UK
Brakes and Suspension,
12v conversion from original 6v to run airlift suspension
Who did the work?
Everything done to the car from stock to its current look now has all been done by myself, I pride myself on doing it and learn as I go that’s the best form of education and really knowing how things work, just getting some jack stands and lifting the car up in some garage isn’t the nicest way to work but if that’s all your given make the best out of it and do it yourself so you can learn a thing or two so you know how to do or fix something in the future.
The list never stops, next modification would be to pull the front windscreen and add the safari pop out the front window, then following that would be to get some nicer looking three-piece wheels, and just kind of tinker around and find stuff to add to it in the future.
Do it, the car really is a blast to drive and the smile never leaves your face until it’s time to shut it down I can sit in my garage and stare at it for hours the passion never leaves.
What did the car scene bring you?
The car scene has brought me so many memories and friendships that will last a lifetime, meeting new people and forming a friendship because of the same hobby has brought me some of my closest friends today, and it’s always exciting meeting new people who share the same passion.
My dream car would probably have to be a 1980 Porsche 911 turbo, I can’t get over how beautiful that car looks, and one day I will have one to myself.
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