The Volkswagen Beetle: An Icon and Paintless Dent Repair in Pittsburgh, PA

Hello!  Welcome to our second installment of The Volkswagen Beetle.  If you missed the first article, you can check it out here:  The Volkswagen Beetle: An Icon of Automotive History

In that article, we began with the history of the Volkswagen Beetle.  It originated in Germany in the early 1930s.  Volkswagen in German means “The Peoples Car”.  Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned by the German government to design a car that could accommodate a family of five, be fuel-efficient, and priced at a reasonable cost.  While the actual roll out of the vehicle was pushed back because of World War II, its release in 1945 was considered a hopeful sign of post war recovery by many.  Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951) was a renowned automotive engineer and entrepreneur who played a crucial role in the development of the modern automobile industry. His engineering genius and innovative designs not only revolutionized automotive technology but also led to the establishment of the iconic Porsche brand. Ferdinand Porsche was born in Austria-Hungary.  From a young age, he displayed a keen interest in mechanical engineering and automobiles.

FUN FACT!!  In 1900, Porsche joined the Lohner Company in Vienna as its technical director. It was during this time that he designed and developed the world’s first hybrid vehicle, the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid. This innovative vehicle featured a gasoline engine that powered an electric generator, which, in turn, powered electric wheel hub motors. The Lohner-Porsche hybrid exhibited exceptional efficiency and received significant attention at various exhibitions. 

One of Ferdinand Porsche’s most significant achievements was his involvement in the design and development of the Volkswagen Beetle. In the 1930s, Porsche received a commission from the German government to design a “people’s car” (Volkswagen). He created a simple, reliable, and affordable vehicle that ultimately became the iconic Volkswagen Beetle. Porsche’s design principles for the Beetle, including a rear-mounted engine and a streamlined body, became influential in the automotive industry.

Ferdinand Porsche’s engineering contributions and innovative designs have had a lasting impact on the automotive industry. From his early inventions in electric vehicles to the groundbreaking designs of the Volkswagen Beetle and the subsequent establishment of the Porsche brand, Porsche’s contributions have shaped the course of automotive history. His designs showcased groundbreaking engineering techniques and influenced the development of numerous vehicles in the years to come.

Let’s jump forward just a little.  Although Volkswagen is no longer producing Beetles, you can still see them driving up the road in any town, USA.  Ask anyone over the age of 40 what comes to mind when you see one and the universal answer is PUNCH BUGGY!  For those of you who have never had the opportunity to ride in the back of your parent’s car, windows down, no AC….oldies on the radio…. (REAL oldies, like the 50’s and 60’s.  Not today’s suggestion that the 80’s are now oldies) Sorry, I digress.  Punch buggy was a game played mostly while riding in the car.  If you were first to spot a Volkswagen Beetle you yell, “Punch Buggy” and immediately punch your brother or sister (or if you’re really brave, your mom) in the bicep!!!  Or if you were caught unaware and heard those two loud words, it was complete instinct to brace yourself for the hit to your arm.  No other vehicle that I am aware of has had a complete game made around it that has lasted for generations.

In addition to Volkswagen Beetles style being recognized by anyone, (no one has ever described a “get away” car as, “it might have been a beetle, or maybe a ford tempo…I just couldn’t tell”)  Ok, maybe that was funnier in my head.  But seriously folks, this car has no other that looks like it.  With that being said, the body style, design and construction that make it the wonderful automobile that it is, also creates some tricky issues when trying to repair cosmetic damage using the paintless dent repair method.  What is paintless dent repair?  I’m glad you asked.  Let’s switch gears.

Paintless Dent Repair is a method of removing dents from automobile panels.  Paintless dent repair (PDR) is a process where dents are removed from a vehicle without damaging the paint. Instead of using traditional auto body techniques that require sanding, filling, and repainting, PDR involves manipulating the metal back to its original shape using specialized tools. One of the biggest benefits of paintless dent repair is that it maintains the original factory paint job, which is crucial for preserving the value of your car or truck. Since there is no need to sand, fill, or paint, a paintless dent repair can be completed quickly and is often the better option. We have a fantastic article that goes even further in depth if you would like to read it.  Will I Be Able To See Where The Dent Was After A Paintless Dent Repair?  So, now we circle back to our vehicle focus, the Volkswagen Beetle.  Quite a few years ago, when our owner Gene Fetty was just beginning to make educational videos, he did a series of “walk around” videos, and I happened to find this one, which led me to write both articles!  I learned quite a few things just from this one video.  You can watch here:

In this video, Gene Fetty (owner and operator of Dent Repair Now) is using a 2015 Volkswagen Beetle as the example.  When providing paintless dent repair services, our goal is to access the underside of the damaged panel, so as to massage and maneuver the metal back to its original position.  We start with the hood.  Beetle hoods are still made of steel (as opposed to aluminum) however, the front, and around the back of the hood is double paneled making access extremely tricky.  Depending on where the dent is on the hood, repairing it may require taking the hood off the vehicle.  Moving on to the fender….the older body style had the bumper and fender made of a composite material.  The newer style has the bumper and fender separated and the fender is made of steel which can be dented, and repaired with paintless dent repair.  The doors are pretty straight forward.  Flat panels not prone to door dings because of the broad molding at the bottom of the door. Next, we come to the quarter panel.  Most vehicles have a quarter panel made from one piece of material. This particular Beetle has both a quarter panel, and what we would call a rear fender.  The access behind the rear fender is really open allowing for large gnarly dents to be repaired.  But as much as that area has access, the quarter panel is a whole other scenario.  The lower part of the quarter panel, the sail panel, and the rail are all double and even triple paneled.  The is zero chance of access behind these areas.  The only option is a glue pull repair.  We have two great articles on Glue Pull Repair you can read them here:

 Glue Pulling Paintless Dent Repair in Pittsburgh, Pa

Gene Fetty, Pittsburgh, Pa’s Expert on all Things Paintless Dent Repair, KECO Master Glue Pull Trainer and the                     History of Glue Pull Repairs

Lastly, we make our way to the hatch of the car.  It’s similar to most other hatches, as the top part is inaccessible and would require glue to repair, and the bottom part is completely accessible for paintless dent repair.

If you have a ding or dent on your vehicle, please reach out to us for a free assessment.  You can call or text us at 724-554-1756.  Texting pictures is always helpful in providing an estimate, or great starting point to the cost of your repair.  Our shop is located at 4699 Campbells Run Road, Pittsburgh PA 15205. That’s right next to I376 (The Parkway) just off of the Campbells Run Road exit if you’re coming from I79 or Downtown Pittsburgh. If you’re coming from the airport area you have to use the Ridge Road exit and then turn right.  You do not need an appointment to stop for an in-person estimate. (We’re open Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5pm)  You can learn more on our YouTube Channel, or Like us on Facebook!  You can see and read more on our website and even fill out a form for an estimate and attach pictures of your damage there.  We’re waiting on you!  What are YOU waiting for??

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