This VW Beetle has enjoyed two makeovers at the hands of Jay Townsend during it’s 31 year existence.
It first hit the VW scene back in 1990 when Jay turned a pre-MOT check for his Dad’s stock 1300 into a month long project, returning the car as a slammed to the ground lilac custom rolling on polished Peugeot 309 GTi wheels. Add to this it’s unique paint splatter effect engine bay and smoothed off dash and it wasn’t difficult to see why the trophies started collecting on his Dad’s shelves!
April 1992 saw the car change hands, when Mike Williams turned up at Thump Thump’s workshop to get a quote for a Targa conversion on his 1973 1300. It was soon obvious that the Bug was too rotten to be converted and as Mike didn’t have a bottomless pit of money, a trip round to Jay’s Dad’s house brought forward an alternative. Lemon Bavoir was also for sale at the time but priced just out of reach so Dad’s Daily found itself driving down to the West Country. By late ’92 Mike was ready to give the Bug a revamp. Jay was also keen to try out a new colour seen on a local Hot Rod.
So off the Lilac Lady (as she’d been nicknamed) went, back to the Hoddesdon workshop from where she came to undergo a complete transformation. Early front wings and bonnet were fitted, the rear wings smoothed with the lights now located in the bumper and a detailed 1641 engine bolted in. But the biggest change was the paint, wild lilac to grey, Rover Hurricane grey to be precise. Mike recalls “I had no idea what the car was going to look like in it’s new colour, I remember thinking grey! well I guess I’ll have to trust Jay’s judgment. But when I first saw her after the respray I was gob smacked, Jay had got it right, again!”
The car made it’s debut at the inaugural Sandown VolksWorld Show but that’s when the problems set in. First it was a bad re-chroming job that caused the bumpers to rust. Run To The Sun saw the car cruising around bumper less whilst the re-chromers tried again. Bumpers returned, the same problem occurred so it was decided to give them a coat of the grey, problem solved. But the bad luck wasn’t over for Mike and the Tempest. Whilst driving up to Beetle Bash a freak accident occurred when, whilst driving at 70mph(ish), the bonnet flew up. Thankfully Mike was able to bring the Bug to a safe stop but the damage was done!
This was 1994 and by the December the bonnet had been reshaped and painted but the car never really saw much action again, due to new jobs taking Mike around the country. In 2000 and Mike decided it was time to part company with “TheTempest”.
A phone call to her creator saw the car return to Hoddesdon once again. Jay sold the car on and the last time she was seen she was looking very sorry for herself with a flat tyre and a nice layer of green plant life covering the paintwork. Not the way a Thump! Thump! creation should see out it’s life.
The car was found in a South London garden and bought by it’s new owner Andy. The beetle had survived well while slowly sinking in to the ground. Some fresh petrol and a bit of elbow grease saw The Tempest looking good once again which is testiment to the quality of the workmanship of the Thump! Thump! guys.
Another Thump! Thump! Beetle lives to see another day!

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