Family car


Michael Patterson of Roseville remembers driving around in the family’s ’66 Beetle when he was 8 years old.

“My dad was the original owner. I drove it in high school,” Patterson said. “When my parents moved to New Mexico,they took it with them. My dad would just go out and tinker with it.”

When is father passed, he inherited the Bug and his first thought was to put it up on eBay. Fortunately, he changed his mind.


The Bug arrived back in California in April 2012 and the work began. A little over a year later, it was ready to show.

“I wanted it to be original, but not custom, Patterson said. “We had all the mechanical improvements done first while my wife and I were deciding what to do with the cosmetics – doors and interior. I’d seen one Brian had done in a darker blue and we started playing with that idea.”


Patterson found a line diagram of a Beetle showing front, back and side views, printed out some copies and pulled out the coloring pens.

“I drew probably 30 variations. We wanted grey and orange and I liked the traditional European style,” he said. “We finally got it down to color scheme we hadn’t seen on the Internet. We ended up going with Dodge Charger orange and Porsche grey. The painter used a copper flake as well.”

With paint underway, Patterson turned to the interior and opted for grey as the primary color.


“I didn’t want traditional seats,” he said. “I talks with Brian and we found someone to do custom embroidery for the custom seats.”

With everything completed, it was ready for a test drive.

“I drive a big old Dodge 1500 truck. When I got in it, it was the first time in 30 years. It drives great. It handles great. I love it! People are definitely checking it out.”