The story behind Volkswagen’s inception will always be one of macabre, but there is no denying that Ferdinand Porsche and a certain tiny-mustached fellow created one of the most iconic automobiles of all time. With over 21.5 million units manufactured since 1937, the air-cooled Type 1, most commonly referred to as the Beetle, is the most-manufactured and longest-running platform of all time.
Fast forward a couple of decades and these quirky, little, rear engined econo-boxes began to catch the eyes of hippies and hot-rodders alike and it wasn’t long before most people were ‘Bug bitten’ world wide and started tinkering. Here we have Ronnie Ponce and his bagged 1961 model.
Ronnie’s backstory is similar to almost all of ours in regards to having a family member or close friend introduce us to the unbeknownst passion that we all end up falling in love with. His older brother used to pick him up from school in a mid-70’s Super Beetle and he always took a liking to the charm that the noisy little ‘punch buggy’ exhibited on a daily basis. It wasn’t long before he began tweaking and building his own cars and finally stumbled upon the gorgeous ’61 seen above.
Like many older air-cooled VW’s from the latter half of the 20th century; the floor pans and other structurally important components had to be addressed. Once Ronnie got the chassis taken care of and did some filling and shaving, the car began to take shape.
When the shell was sorted and the vinyl was installed the next course of action was bringing this car closer to Earth. The struts were custom fabricated by Air Lift and allows the car’s rocker panels to hang out with the pavement whenever Ronnie wants.
The widened OEM rollers look very natural under the arches and keep the theme very factory esque. Ronnie wanted to combine the OEM+ and restomod theme and we think he pulled it off very well. Aside from cosmetic additions the motor has it’s fair share of period bolt-ons that make for a fun Sunday cruiser. Ron says that there are a couple of odds and ends that he wants to tidy up, but for the most part the car is done. Ron seems to be content with the ‘end result’ pictured here and we couldn’t agree more. There is talk of him picking up an F-100 and body’ing it. We’ll be ready.