1963 Volkswagen beetle

Mel Cranwell Volkswagen (3)  TBW Newsgroup

THIS BRIGHT and bold 1963 Volkswagen beetle was believed to be manufactured during the same year as Herbie the Love Bug.

Owner Mel Cranwell said the car had held a special place in her heart for the past 19 years.

“My dad passed away around four years ago and he was the last to work on it,” Ms Cranwell said.

“It is my pride and joy and although I have worked on the engine myself, my dad would often help me out with most things.

“He was an an old-school engineer and even the Souht East Volkswagen experts would approach him for advice.”

Ms Cranwell said she paid only $1250 dollars for the beetle from a dealership in Lonsdale.

“The salesman did not know anything about Volkswagen and just wanted to sell it off,” she said.

“It was running on two and a half cylinders so it needed work but the interior and everything has already been done.

“It has ran beautifully ever since we pulled it back down to the crankshaft and the casing, replaced the bent connecting rod and balanced the pistons back up.”

With a 1200cc powered engine and GT40P heads Ms Cranwell said the vehicle is not the fastest on the road.

“80kph is the fastest it would probably do,” Ms Cranwell said.

“There is still work to be done but for a car which has mostly sat in the backyard it is in good condition.

“I want to keep it as stock standard as I could and I will be leaving it as original as possible.”

Ms Cranwell said the car has been painted in a specific anti rust paint to prolong its life.

“I think it will be worth more in the long run if I keep it the way it is,” she said.

“With Volkswagen no longer producing the beetle I think it will also increase in value during years to come.

“Anybody can convert and do different things to a car but you do not see vehicles kept original very often.”

Ms Cranwell said it certainly turns heads while cruising the South East streets.

“You could pull up to a service station and would see kids punching each other,” she said.

“My theory is, because I own the car people are not allowed to punch me, but I can punch you.

“You could offer me $4m and I still would only think about it.”

Not knowing the exact colour of the vehicle, Ms Cranwell said she reached out through social media to try and find the details.

“I have been told its colour certainly does not disgrace itself,” she said.

“It is also fitted with an air-scoop to help keep the motor cool as there is no radiator.”

Overall, Ms Cranwell is proud to own the vintage vehicle.