Rays 1973 412 build thread (finally)

Discuss with fans and owners of the most luxurious aircooled sedan/wagon that VW ever made, the VW 411/412. Official forum of Tom's Type 4 Corner.
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Rays 1973 412 build thread (finally)

Post by raygreenwood » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:45 am

Its been about a decade coming.....but at 8:35am this morning my 1973 VW412.....whose engine self destructed in and around march 2003.....arrived from long term storage...to its new garage in Des Moines Iowa.

I should have initial pictures up by afternoon. For the most part I will post links to my photobucket account because I will document all of the processes. I will also put this thread up on the 411/412 forum on STF.

Basics/background/story of the car:

Sorry this will be long...

I got this car in 1993. From about 1987 forward I was driving a gold 1972 412 four-door which came with an automatic as a daily driver.

At one point living in Atlanta, I T-boned a van due a failed traffic light. Needed a new chassis. Found a 1972 411 wagon up on blocks. Took two days to strip the gold four door and swap engines and drivetrain.
I drove for about 2 years.It ran like a top...put a zillion miles on it...but it It had lots of problems that were unrepairable (previously poorly welded front end change).

All of my driving life I looked for a two door with 4-speed. I had installed the 4-speed from a 411- two door wreck I had found in Oklahoma City....in the gold 412....then in the grey 411 wagon.....then when a 1973 412 wagon presented itself....I stripped and scrapped the 411 (dont cry both the gold 412 and the grey 411 were unrepairable)....the engine, driveline and new suspension components went into the blue 412 variant.

I was a happy camper....great car! I drove this group of type 4's....roughly 300,000 miles collectively because I worked a job as a regional technical rep...and covered 13 states from Atlanta. All the while...looking for one particular car.

There was a very interesting VW shop on the east side of Atlanta, east of Decatur near Avondale estates. It was one of a zillion places I used to prowl for parts. I always told the old man and his son every time I came in...what I was looking for and asked if they had seen any cars like this. Nada.

One day...we hear the garage is closing. the old man is retiring. Im buying some trinkets and I ask my usual...."seen any type 4 two doors"?
The old man thinks for a minute and he says...."you know...I think I remember that about 10 years ago.....this guy brought one in with a blown engine....he lived out near stone mountain in XXX area. The owners son didnt want to pay the tab for a new engine so he took it home".

I had heard this same story a zillion times....but I went out exploring anyway. When I got to the street/house described.....I looked out back....and under a old car port...I see the rear end of a 1973 412. I get out and go look.

Its complete...not a scratch on it except for a small rust hole where the water from a leaky roof dripped for ages. It is a two door...with factory four-speed!

Behind the rear seat...is a cardboard box with plates from:
Germany (oval tourist plate), Norway, North Carolina, Georgia. In the glove box is this pack of documents:

End of assembly line printout
original insurance documents from Frankfurt Germany
original emmissions manual
original owners manual with stamp book complete
tag for a motorola saphire AM/FM radio (in the dash)
documents from a dealer in Frankfurt pertaining to purchase and installation of a Blaupunkt Wolfsburg III Am/shortwave radio (in the box with the plates complete!)
an original European dealer guide complete with foldout maps of all of Europe (still has the Berlin wall clearly marked)
the original shippings and customs documents in triplicate...showing that the car was purchased as a tourist vehicle by an American teacher in Frankfurt, driven for a year or two, sold to an American air force serviceman, shipped to Oslo Norway, tagged and driven for a while, then shipped to the US.

The last tag sticker was 1983.

I had to have this car.
I knock on the door...speak to the son....and he tells me a short story...and says..."yeah....I guess I could sell it but it aint going to be free just because its old and doesnt run"....""I need $300". :shock: . :roll: :D ... :lol: ... :wink: .....he says...."it will cost you a bundle to get running and since no one knows how to work on them...I'm betting it ends up in the scrap yard anyway."

I act like its pulling my own teeth....then I say...well....OK...I guess I could part with $300.
I go down and get $300 from the teller machine. Come back the next day and tow it to my girlfriends house. A week later....with my spare engine installed...I drive by and blow my horn at the guy out in his yard. I think he crapped himself...and looked not too happy.

I drove this car all over the south, then moved to Dallas...and drove it all over the central southwest. Built a new engine for it in 1995. It was my daily driver until 2003. At the time of its demise.....the entire front and rear suspension down to the last nut and bolt were new/rebuilt.

Its been sitting for a while, has minor rust and is covered with an inch of dust. But its complete and I am about 50% done with rebuilding the original engine case.

More to come. Ray

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Re: Rays 1973 412 build thread (finally)

Post by dawie » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:58 am

Looking forward to your rebuild thread!

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Re: Rays 1973 412 build thread (finally)

Post by bradey bunch » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:43 pm

Yes, looking forward to this for sure! Thanks for sharing with us Ray!


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Re: Rays 1973 412 build thread (finally)

Post by andersonj » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:18 am

looking forward to an update.

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