Blood, Sweat & Vintage Steel Gives Classic VW and Porsche Enthusiasts a Restoration Roadmap

Jan 19, 2017

Classic car enthusiasts are a peculiar breed. So great is their affection for their favorite vintage steel vehicles that they’ll spend years and a small fortune restoring them. Either working in their own garages or entrusting their babies to the pros, the hoped-for result is a brand new, very old car. In “Blood, Sweat & Vintage Steel” readers get a close-up look at several restorations completed by Airkooled Kustoms in Hazel Green, Alabama.

Classic Volkswagen enthusiast, Susan "Princess Patina" Anderson, is launching her book, “Blood, Sweat, & Vintage Steel”. The Kindle version of the book will be free from January 20-24, 2017 on Amazon and is expected to become a big hit with fans of the classic car world.

More information on the book can be found here:

The book was written with the aim in mind to take classic Volkswagen and Porsche enthusiasts through the restoration process at Airkooled Kustoms. Advance reviewers praise the book as it not only unveils the step-by-step process that takes rusty, dented heaps of steel and transforms them into jaw-dropping automotive art - but also gives readers an insider view of the workings of a business born of OCD-levels of metalwork, paint and polish, and the drive to recreate iconic automotive masterpieces.

Blood, Sweat & Vintage Steel sets its main focus on a handful of restoration projects at the shop and the stories behind them. Fans of the shop and its work will also enjoy getting to know the eccentric characters behind the builds.

The author's brother had their grandfather's 1971 VW Super Beetle restored at the shop, sparking her fascination with the world of classic air-cooled autos. In watching that initial restoration project's progress, she not only came to love the iconic vintage rides, but also the shop founder. Their blossoming romance lead to a restoration project that gained nationwide attention at the Ultimate VW Build-Off in Las Vegas - Miss Mabel, a 1959 Beetle Ragtop, whose story is featured in the book, in an upcoming issue of the VolksAmerica magazine, and also in local news coverage.

Vintage VWs and Porsches are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, as evidenced by shows including Counting Cars, Chip Foose Overhaulin', Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Caffeine and Octane, and American Pickers. The new obsession with classic air-cooled vehicles shows further in their skyrocketing sales prices; it's now common to see shockingly high sales prices on Volkswagens and Porsches sold through Barrett-Jackson.

Through years of research and getting to know the classic car community, the author noted a disturbingly common thread in discussions with the owners of restored vehicles. Fueled by childhood memories and dreams of a custom-built fully restored ride, it's not uncommon to hear of classic Volkswagen and Porsche enthusiasts venturing into a restoration project without doing their homework first. In some cases, they end up paying a small fortune for restoration projects that turn out to have been done poorly, ultimately needing a second restoration to address issues that should have been resolved the first time around. Anderson has written a book that takes the mystery out of how to recognize a restoration shop that will do the job right. Readers exploring the possibility of engaging a shop's restoration services will have a better grip on the decisions that lie ahead while also getting valuable insight as they choose a classic car restoration shop to handle their project.

In a recent interview, the author made a point of thanking Eric "Spook" LeClair and Roger "00Dub" Moore for their part in the creation of the book, saying: “These guys were tireless in helping me understand why and how they do what they do, but even more, serving as a live demonstration of what it means to "do it right". The way the artists in the shop pour themselves into each project is truly remarkable to watch. They know that each project represents a client's fondest dreams and memories. The goal is to hand over the keys to a brand new, very old vehicle that a whole new generation of classic car enthusiasts can enjoy."

Those interested in learning more about the shop can visit

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