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My first question for the site

Sterling.GTx

New member
I recently picked up a Sterling GT. The body is in my mind repairable so that is something to look forward to.

To get there, first I'll need a chassis (floor pan). I've seen posts that say I need something between 1970 and 1977 but no Super Beetles. I also find some generic VW sites that make me believe that the Floor pan for almost the whole spectrum has the same mounting holes.

I've searched and can see where this may have been previously answered.

Any advice and support are appreciated.

Thank you,
Richard
Sterling GT #419
 

sector

Member
You are correct, any Type I VW chassis with the exception of Super Beetles would work. I would stay with IRS chassis as opposed to swing axle.
There are also some reasonably priced aftermarket chassis options available.
Share some photos to see what you are working with.
 

Sterling.GTx

New member
Thank you for the support; I appreciate you verifying what I thought. So I need to be looking for the 70 to 77 for the IRS. Can you suggest any of the aftermarket options?

Here are some photos. They will make you sad. I have a body sitting on a sheet of rust. No motor, no transmission, no interior. But, I have a big dream and time.

Thank you,
Richard
Sterling GT #419
 

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sector

Member
This is the one I was looking at when I was considering this option.

 

farfegnubbin

Site Owner
Staff member
Hi Richard. Welcome to the site! Congratulations on your new acquisition. You’re going to sincerely have fun.

No need to apologize for the condition of that body. That’s about average as a staring point, and many of the builders have done wonderful restorations from starting points like that.

You’ve already been given some good general thoughts on the chassis. As for aftermarket stuff I’d say definitely treat yourself to disk brakes at all four corners. And if you can scare up money for a nicely redone engine and transaxle, you’d be well on your way to a solid car.

You had asked about a chart you once saw that showed where the body came from. I bet it was one done by Letterman and that it was on his site, National Sterling Owners Association, while he was still running it. I don’t think the new site owner kept it.

Based on your body #, yours is likely from the California facility. Bodies from the Midwest facility usually have a letter before the number.

Also, just splitting hairs here for the sake of historical accuracy, your car is a nice, normal “Classic” Sterling and isn’t a “GT.” The Sterling is a very sporty car, and I know that a lot of people like to add the letters GT to anything that looks sporty, so the classic Sterling has sometimes been lazily referred to as a Sterling GT. But in the history of the Sterling, there was actually a slightly modified model called the GT that came after all the other classic bodies had been built. It is a tiny bit taller and a tiny bit longer and has different scoops and headlights. We think only about seven of them were made and they are quite difficult to find. That’s not bad news for you though. Most people like the design of the original just as much or better.

We’ll be eager to see your progress. 👍
 

nbb350

Member
Another option would be to consider what you bought a "donor kit body" and find an actual Beetle in good condition with a soild chassis and engine that you could actually test drive. then restore your Sterling body and drop it onto the donor chassis - just like the original builder did back in the day.
 

Sterling.GTx

New member
Thank you for the input; it is appreciated.

Yes, I plan to strip things down and build from the pan upwards. I do plan to have discs all around. I also want to find the front and rear suspension modifications I spotted some time ago. It was a double a-arm bolt-on for the front and rear. I didn't bookmark it, drats. I found the set out of Brasil by imohr, but those would be nearly $4500 for the front and rear. The set I found before was in the $900 range for each front and rear. The attached photo is the closest I've found to what I saw previously, but this doesn't say who the company is. A rust-free pan, front, and rear suspension improvements, and discs all around will give me the foundation to build upward. Again, thanks for all the advice and feedback.
 

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farfegnubbin

Site Owner
Staff member
There are quite a variety of products designed to add some triangulation between the rear shock towers and the “frame horns” that support the bulk of the engine and transaxle. One of the famous ones was by an engineer/company named Kafer and so people have lazily come to refer to almost all of these as “Kafer bars” (even though most aren’t, technically.) But those are the magic words. Google “Kafer bars vw” or something that effect and you’ll find hours good discussion and browsing. One of the best air cooled VW forums is theSamba.com. You’ll not only find some good hard-core Bug advice but also classified ads for people selling a lot of upgrades for the Bug. Several famous race shops like Jegs.com and known Bug companies like cip1.com or Jbugs.com have real Kafer bars and/or their own versions. I don’t have any direct experience with any of those braces and can’t endorse anything in particular. I know they do stiffen the rear (in good ways) and don’t have many downsides except the cost.
 

letterman7

Honorary Admin
Late to the discussion here; those 'bars' are only part of a Kafer system. Alone, they do little to reinforce or support the transmission. You're missing the cross bar that goes from strut top to strut top. Fairly easy to find, even easier to make.
 

Brett Proctor

Well-known member
I could be wrong, but those are fairly stock suspensions, front and rear.
Those rear trailing arms look like aluminum 944 turbo arms and if they are I would imagine the rear brakes are from the same car.

Have to agree with Rick, Only part of the Kafer setup is installed. Maybe later in the build it was installed.
 
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