Saving the "Critter Caddy"

Posted: June 28, 2010 By: imported_MattM

Home Forums Projects Saving the "Critter Caddy"

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    I have this thread going on a VW website I frequent, but I thought some members here might enjoy reading it. 99% of the products used on this thing have been Eastwood brand or Eastwood-sold products (kind of a no-brainer). But, I think it is interesting to some, as I am a “novice” when it comes to finished autobody work.. I can weld and do mechanical things quite well, but I am still learning the art of autobody. So this might be a inspiration to some people out there that are thinking of doing a resto from start to finish in their garage.. will my truck be a insane show vehicle? no.. but it will be a fun driver I can take to the hardware store and the junkyard to pick up some odds and ends. Feel free to comment, heckle, or even ask questions about anything you see!

    -Matt

    Background on how this truck got in my possession is pretty cool. I’ll give the short of it… Probably about 7 or 8 years ago I went to a friend’s parents house and turns out his step-dad kinda like to collect all sorts of stuff.. from cars to tools to tractors, etc.. he had this caddy for a number of years and never really done anything with it, last time it had driven/run was around 95/96 when they moved it to their new house. At the time, I was 21-ish, lived in a tiny apt. with street parking and could barely pay rent.. so I never did anything with it.. years a later a mutual friend struck up a deal with the old man, bought it (with grand plans of fixing it and making it live again), and let it sit in front of his garage for a year or more.. I then help him rewire it for electronic ignition, free up the sticky fuel dizzy, and get it running again… I tell him “DO NOT drive this thing anywhere without at least changing the oil, filter, and clean the pan/oil pump screen”. The truck had a low mileage crate engine from VW in it.. but he was impatient and tried driving it home, fuel pump clogged, engine seized, blah blah,blah. I was disgusted abandoned helping him, and he put another bum engine in and gave up. Later he trades it to another local for painting his 78 rabbit (also grand schemes of restoring and is still sitting).. it then sits in a field at my buddy Koty’s house for a couple years… one day he offers out of the blue to trade it to me for a set of “cool” alloys… Luckily I have a set or two laying around.. we strike a deal.. and he tows the mess to me..

    Fast forward to early April, and he tows the mess into me, since I had seen the truck, the interior had been gutted, along with some of the engine bay parts.. I’ll let some of the pics do the talking..

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    Immediately with little-to-no poking around. I found a number of area of concern, the previous friends that owned this thing weren’t nearly as experienced in Mk1’s as I, and were under the impression it needed some floor repair and it would be just fine… as many know.. that is not the case on a mk1.. especially a caddy..

    I straight away removed the old “unknown” engine and went to town removing the fenders and digging for rust.
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