Dom Chinea has been working on his mum’s 1955 Beetle, after it spent 15 years hibernating in a garage.
You’ll likely recognise Dom from BBC One’s The Repair Shop and his own popular YouTube channel, so it’s great to be able to write about how he’s been getting on with his own VW Beetle project. It’s a story we know a fair bit about, as Just Kampers have been helping him get the Oval back on the road in time for the 2023 VolksWorld Show!
The project to get the Oval roadworthy has been a bit of a race against time, and the whole thing has been documented on Dom’s YouTube channel – click here to see how they got on.
About the 1955 Oval
Dom’s mum purchased the Oval from the original owner, so it’s two owners from new, which is amazing for a car of that age. It’s a right-hand drive, UK specification Beetle with the iconic Oval rear window, which was built in 1954, and registered in March 1955.
What’s even more impressive is just how well preserved the interior and exterior of the Beetle are – very little has been done to the Oval, other than standard maintenance work while it was being driven around.
It was parked up about 15 years ago, and hadn’t been touched until Dom and Honest John unearthed it earlier this year, wanting to get it ready for the VolksWorld Show and put it up for sale at the event.
While we agree with a lot of the commenters on Dom’s YouTube channel who say it’s a shame to sell such a well-loved Beetle, especially as it’s been in the family for such a long time, we also understand that it’s not a decision that the family would have taken lightly.
Dom and Honest John take on a new project
This is actually the third air-cooled classic project that Dom and John are working on, alongside a VW T2 Splitscreen and a Porsche 356, which have joined Dom’s mum’s Oval in the workshop.
Dom’s keen to ensure that the Oval stays as original as possible, so it’s definitely not getting a full restoration, but is having a thorough check-through to ensure that everything is solid and road-worthy. Nothing which doesn’t need replacing is being removed, and as much of the original components as possible will be staying.
The dedication to keeping the Beetle as honest as they can has extended as far as Dom keeping the dent in one of the wings, from where a Transit van bumped into the Oval while his mum was driving it through Southend!
The 100,000 Mile Club
The Oval will be joining the Just Kampers stand at the VolksWorld Show, but this isn’t the first time the Beetle has been in the limelight. The Beetle was featured in the July 1995 edition of VW Motoring magazine, with the previous owner having racked up over 100,000 accident-free miles!
Dom has a copy of the magazine feature with the huge pile of paperwork and other documents attached to the Beetle, which will be shown with the car at the VolksWorld Show.
This documentation also includes all the original instruction manuals from Volkswagen, as well as a map of all of the German VW dealerships from the 1950s!
Caught on camera
To recap, Dom and his mate John are working to get a 1955 Oval Beetle back on the road, after it’s spent 15 years parked up in a garage. They’re doing all of this to a time limit, as it needs to be ready for the VolksWorld Show in March, where it’ll be seen by thousands of people. They’ve also got two other air-cooled projects on the go in their workshop.
As if this wasn’t enough pressure, they’ve also decided to film their progress for Dom’s YouTube channel, which will not only slow things down (fixing up a car is one thing, but explaining the whats, hows, and whys as you do it is something else entirely), but also mean that if they don’t manage it their audience of tens of thousands will know!
Dom has created a playlist of all the videos he’s filmed while working on the Oval, and you can click here to watch them all.
Dom, John, and Just Kampers
We’ve been assisting Dom and John as they work to get Dom’s mum’s Beetle back on the road in time for the VolksWorld Show – we trailered it from Essex to Kent for them, and we’ve been able to supply all the parts and accessories they’ve needed to bring the Oval back to life after it’s long hibernation.
It’s been great to be involved with helping Dom get his mum’s beloved Oval back on the road, and we’re looking forward to having them join us on the Just Kampers stand at the VolksWorld Show later this month.
Need help with your project?
If you’re working on a project you need a hand with, then get in touch with the JK Team and we’ll see how we can help! We won’t be able to trailer your car around for you, but we can absolutely help you find the right parts, offer you helpful advice and information, point you to our tech sheets and guides, and even let you know of any garages in your area who might be able to get things fixed up for you if it’s all getting a bit much!
Send us an email at email@example.com, or give us a call on 01252 86 22 88 - we’re always here to help!