How to fix a Mk1?

Our friend and client Azgad Camarena, tells us a little about the history of his famous Mk1,
“The Mint”.

My story:

After having some other cars, there was a bad streak at home as happens in every average home, and inevitably I ran out of my car for such circumstances.

I had to start from scratch and that meant having little money to buy a car and be able to move to school. That’s when the opportunity to buy a cheap car was born, which I knew I would have to repair.

Undoubtedly I wanted a VW Mk1 with round headlights, and I took on the task of searching on the internet. And there it was, a 1978 Alpine white VW Mk1, with white mascot dresses with black, a board quartered by the years and the sun, damaged plastics, smell of humidity and rust, smell of gasoline, oil and accumulated dust; it was perfect.

My emotion, when seeing the car was evident, I was nervous and already making plans in my head to fix it. The owner gave me the keys to try it, when I turned it on I knew I wanted it, even though it creaked, every part trembled. I never lost the thrill of acquiring it. We made a deal for $ 26,000 pesos, never reclaim the price and took it home, I arrived without problems and was ready to start the project.

I was infront of my first mistake, because fixing an old car is not cheap at alla, but of course, everything depends on where you want to be.


Inspired by all those photos on the internet where european cars come with an impeccable paint, BBS wheels, immaculate interiors and incredible engines, I decided how far I wanted to go with my project, so I created a “car restoration program”, to save time and money.

And so I was starting its restauration by stages: tin and paint, engine, interior, exterior, fine finishes, etc. In this process it took me 3 years for the car to stop working over the sheet metal and I started to deal with the irresponsibility of the tinsmith, a week turned into a month, changes in the process of sheet metal and so on.

A long way was still left, the search for all the pieces and accessories that would make it look like those cars that I dreamed. Nothing easy to find those vintage accessories and also nothing cheap. So there had to be sacrifices to buy all those pieces. At the same time, it is important to document the car, where each screw goes, staple, rubber etc.

Everything has its function and the details make the difference, so I got more and more into the VW Mk1 world. The fun began when the car left the painting, the assembly is simply satisfactory and wonderful, leaving everything as when it left the agency or even better, is when you really connect with your project and know from head to toe the state of your car.

All those loose pieces begin to make sense and shape the Mk1. The materialization of an idea and a dream is one of the most satisfying things I have felt.

The effort begins to show and you see it in the comments of others both positive and negative. But in the end self-satisfaction is invaluable.

Many people ask me how much I have invested in the car, I just respond; “The necessary”, although to be honest I have invested more than $ 280,000.00 pesos, which many people find absurd and I do not blame them. Well before starting the project I thought that $ 20,000 would be enough, but as I said before, that’s the first mistake when you buy an old car.

But everything depends on where you want to be. With my experience in this platform, I can tell to all those people who are starting a project or who are thinking of doing it, have three things in mind; patience, perseverance and determination.

Do not get carried away by criticism, do things to your liking and individually fill your expectations.