As with any restoration project, the first order of business is assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the car as it sits. Rather than dismantling everything in haste, this is the stage where it pays to be methodical and observant. The first time I saw the Scarab, back in 2008, it was being stored in the backyard of a home where the owner ran a small shop specializing in customizing and repairing older cars. It appeared the car had been outdoors beside a garage for many years. The paint was completely oxidized and the interior baked out, none of which is uncommon for an S30 in the southwest.
Fortunately, the Sonoran Desert climate is kind to sheet metal, and rust is rarely a huge concern unless the car is allowed to accrue rainwater (or, in the case of a fellow local Z car enthusiast, parked next to a sprinkler for a decade).
Up next, we’ll really dig in – Check out Part 8 and and see what lies beneath the skin.