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EMPI

Before goin' any further, I have to explain exactly what I mean by the words "Custom VW"... Striclty speaking, virtually all modified VW (and Cal-Look is no exception) are eligible to be Customs VW... But for me, a custom VW is one that has been modified in a true early 70's style : big rims, flared fenders, excentric paintjob...

Of course, customs VWs are not everyone cup of tea, but a mild treatment can go to good and tasteful results...

Just follow some rules underlined in this section, and you'll be the hero of the next event...

striping

GLAMOURIZE YOUR VW...

Today, "custom" is often synonimous with a definitely no-no as far as VW style is concerned! Well, in most cases and especially here in Europe, early customized bugs couldn't qualify as a respectable style... But, in the US, some of them were very cool, especially those who undertook a mild treatment. A bit of history here. The Custom scene was subtle in the early 70's and really exploded in the mid-70's with the accesories

How to describe a true customized Volkswagon? Well, take an original Cal-Look bug and imagine the opposite ;) Simple as that... The more body accessorized bug the better... A cool drawing sure might help here, so here it is...




















This little drawing appeared on a way cool Revell Model back in the days and it displays what is involved in the Custom Look :

- First, big (understand very big...) wheels were de rigueur, as is the white lettering of the Good-Year tires.

- Second, aftermarket polyester body parts were generally added to help make that VW definitely yours : in this case with flared fenders, custom decklid and quarter windows scoops...Crazy!

- Third, remove those heavy stock bumpers and replace them with Buggy style T-bar, (or with nothing...)

Note that lowering the front end wasn't an in thing yet...

...FROM MILD...

As often, the treatment can be very mild and confine with excellent results. Period picture below (I love those old family pictures...) shows what can be done with an easy change of rims on an early 60s bug... Note also the lack of bumpers and the license plate's new location... Otherwise, the car is all original...
























Another example of a way cool mild customized VW... This one is (believe it or no...) a 51 split window... This family picture was taken in 1973. Note the updated flared fenders and the fiberglass front hood with gauges scoop!


























...TO WILD.

Expressing yourself through your bug is what customizing was all about in the 70's and it's definitely not a surprise to see some guys really stand out from the crowd with their pride and joy VW, understand with somewhat wild treatment...

Today, such way of customizin' sure would be accepted by the enthusiasts if you follow some rules... Below are some examples of what I mean! Now, back to your garage for the next show season... Hey guys, I want to see some ElDub's Looker next year *Laughing*!


Special paintworks sure played a big part in the Custom style back in the days... I have to admit that I'm not really a big fan of them... In fact, I HATE airbrush murals... This said, some period bugs looked the part with their psychedelic paintscheme...

I tried to find color pictures as what would be paintwork in B&W... So a special THANKS to Bob HOFFELD and Mark SCHMIDT for their priceless contributions. Don't forget that those are RARE bug-in period pictures...

Below is a perfect example... Picture at Bug-in event is by Bob HOFFELD and is dated October 1971... Note the Buggy style front bumper and the big tires.






























Let's detail another treasures from the very early Bug-in era. Is it a psychedelic paintjob or what? Note the T-Bars, chrome wheelies, rear scoop, lack of running boards and the SUE paintwork...





















This wild Top-chopped bug was the very first Hot VW's magazine top chop project car ever (January 1973)... Crazy car really! A mix beetwen flames and psycho design... This special oval window was lowered to the ground...























Another influencal custom bug (undestand pure pornography bug...)! All is there : Flared fenders, stock height, big rims, big tyres, chromed tombstone taillights, Nerf-bars, white tyres lettering...





















Actually, this is the same bug... This shot appeared on a '71 Volkswagen Greats cover along with an article entitled "Custom painting the bug". Awesome or what! EMPI front hood is definitely a must! Flared fenders are evident on this picture!

Note how this early bug was updated with later front turn signals and headlights. Such mix were very "In" in the 70's...







Above is a very cool (another bug-in era treasure picture from Bob HOFFELD) wild customized bug : very big Cragar V8 rims, big tyres, fiberglass everywhere... The quarter windows scoops are really cool and never seen today... A great add to steal the show... Seems this bug was not a genuine EMPI GTV though (stock steering wheel)...

Dan BROMLEY's customized in 1970 sedan stood out from the crowd, even back in the days... Easy to understand why... Paint was candy Golden Jade Green and limefire metalflake!

Please, do not copy the ugly Fiat taillights and the modern door handles...

Metalflake and stripings are definitely the way to go guys, trust me...

Copyright 2005 El Dub - All Rights reserved.

E-mail : eldub@cal-look.com
El_Dub_design
A FRENCH TRIBUTE
TO THE PIONNEERS OF VW DRAG RACING
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