BLAKE - Our Mark

Blake had an active childhood racing dirt bikes but a debilitating lung disease, cystic fibrosis, has slowed him down at the young age of 25.  Yet you could always find Blake working on his 1965 Volkswagen Beetle whenever he could.  However, lately the transformation had been moving at a slower pace, but Blake never gave up even though he is facing a serious health issue.  Blake needs a lung transplant and is currently breathing with the help of an oxygen tank.  We wanted to help Blake speed up the build process and construct the custom street racer he had been so diligently working on.

Since Blake had always dreamed of working with Chip and the A-team, Chris and Jessi surprised him at his home the day they picked up the VW.  After spending time on the Overhaulin’ set helping the A-team wrench, Chip still wanted to preserve an element of surprise, so he sent him home before the final look was finished.  Once the Bug was complete, Chip asked Blake to come have one last meeting about the final design at his shop, unaware that his vehicle was actually going to be revealed to him.  After taking a tour around Foose Design headquarters, Chip got the cue to lead Blake into the showroom.  He immediately became speechless and completely fixated on his new hot rod bug as if no one else was in the room.  We truly enjoyed working with Blake to make his dream VW come true.  To top off the special day, Joe Ferri from Mac Tools gave Blake a second set of keys but these were for a custom tool box equipped with a full set of tools.  Chip and the A-team signed the tool box as a nice reminder of the many hours they all worked together with Blake to turn his beetle into a screamin’ hot bug. We hope you enjoy cruising around in your VW as much as we enjoyed working with you on this overhaul!


OVERHAULED - What was done

A lot of work had been done previously on this 1965 VW and when we started deconstruction, the lack of certain structural pieces and the presence of too much rust were major issues.  It became apparent that this bug was beyond repair.  The A-Team had to search out a replacement beetle.  Since more VW beetles have been made than any other car in history, it was easy to locate one with a solid foundation.  A 1967 was chosen and was disassembled with Blake’s help.  It was in pretty good shape but the front end had some damage so we gave it an Overhaulin’ style nose job.  Once the new nose was grafted on, Chip was able to add his custom Foose touches.  He replaced the handle on the hood with the vintage VW emblem. He dropped the trim over the front of the emblem, cutting molding to make the trim longer to fit the full contour.  He also made radical modifications in the back by removing the rear apron and replacing it with a ‘57 rear apron with longer swoop, giving the car a lower look.  Part of Blake’s original VW still lives on as Chip took the original air vents, split them into 2 pieces, then welded, smoothed and finished them into the rear.  Before the build could go any further, it was time to say goodbye to Blake so we could maintain some element of surprise with this overhaul.
When Chip and Blake first met about the design, a specific color scheme had been chosen, but Chip decided to throw a curveball.  Since Blake had picked a common design, Chip wanted to do something different to personalize this car unlike anything else.  Settling on a two-tone paint scheme, they painted the roof, rear deck, interior, door jams and the hood black.  Butterscorch pearl was the elected BASF paint color for the lower half of the two-tone paint scheme.  Chip’s daughter, Katie, even got in on this overhaul, watching as Dad masked off the upper half section to be painted black. 

The new VW has a bigger and badder 200+ horsepower turbo charged engine, 4 times as powerful as the stock engine.  The team had to install a wider diameter fuel line, new transmission and insulation to minimize road, engine and vibration noise in the vehicle.  With the parents being concerned this hot rod would be too fast, we made sure to install a state of the art brake system so Blake could stop safely.  Blake received a Gene Berg shifter making it easy to change gears and Bill Dunn custom designed the tufted diamond patterned upholstery for the interior.  The original speedometer was salvaged and used and a brand new sound system was also installed.  Chip pulled the ashtray back and put the radio in while adding a final trim to the dash. 17” Foose Monterey wheels were wrapped in Pirelli P zeros and Dennis added a thick orange stripe on the inside of the rim for an extra special touch.  Dennis also added a final double pinstripe between the two colors, purple on green.  Having never customized a VW beetle before, we were pleased with the final result.