The Museum

One day in June of ‘06 I was passing by the living room on my way upstairs thinking that it was time for an update. We had been living in the house
for 12 years and the room looked old and tired.  This was a room we used maybe three times a year: we set the Christmas tree up in here and sat in
here to open our gifts on Christmas morning and we used it for car show meetings. I don’t know why, but the thought crossed my mind that maybe
we could put the ‘52 in here. It was currently living in the third stall of our garage (
The Original Shrine) and was quickly becoming crowded with
miscellaneous stuff.  I mentioned it to Frenchy later that evening and he couldn't’t believe it! I told him I would be willing to do it, but I wanted
some other things done around the house too. I told him that since we would be losing the living and dining room we would need to expand the
family room. This was the room that we spent the most time in and it was a bit crowded when family and friends were visiting. We would also
update the kitchen, remove the acoustic ceilings, install new carpet upstairs, and do some painting and redecorating of the upstairs bedrooms.  
Outside, we would extend the concrete area on the west side of the house to give Frenchy more room to park his cars and have an RV gate
installed. We had a lot to do and decided that the big reveal would be at our 2007 Bug O Rama party.

The first thing we needed to do was to find out if what we wanted to do was even feasible. Our good friend George Meyer works for a home
builder, and his wife, Sharon, is an interior designer. George has been building and restoring homes about as long as Frenchy has been into VW’s.
Our main concern was whether or not we would be able to expand the family room. George gave us the thumbs-up on that. He would help us with
the remodel and Frenchy would build the motor for George’s VW.

The first thing we did was to have the ugly popcorn ceilings removed. We lived in a plastic shrouded mess for four days, but it sure was worth it.
The ceilings look just beautiful. What a difference it makes!

After that, we turned our attention to upstairs. We had new carpeting installed and repainted the bedrooms. During this time, we found out we were
going to be grandparents, so we turned the room that our daughter Aimee had recently vacated into a guest/baby room. Our ebay office received a
new coat of paint and was decorated with our Diamondbacks memorabilia. Our daughter Michelle painted her room and decided to purchase new
bedroom furniture. The master bedroom had some redecorating done as well. During this time, we also had the west side of the concrete area
expanded and the block wall extended around it.

While all of this was going on, George, Frenchy, Sharon and I had many discussions about how the “museum” should look. We threw ideas back
and forth and tried to imagine what the final result would be.  In November George, Frenchy, Sharon and I went on a vacation to Florida. We had a
great time and the highlight of the trip was the Florida Bug Jam. Once we got back we were busy with our new granddaughter. With the holidays fast
approaching, we decided to put the remodel project  on hold until after the first of the year.

In order to bring the car into the house, we planned on having French doors installed in the front. We would also have a terrace installed in front
of the French doors so we could open them when we wanted to display the car. I also wanted sliders installed where the dining room window was.
Since we would be losing our patio once the family room was expanded, the area outside the dining room would eventually become our new patio.
George put the order in for the doors. While we were waiting for the doors to arrive, George and Frenchy tore up the old, ugly carpet. Soon after,
the doors arrived and they managed to get both doors installed in one weekend! What a difference the doors made. Now we could begin to
visualize what the room would look like.

Sharon had suggested that we install a lamp post to give the room an outdoor feel. We wanted the room to have an old world German feel to it.
After trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot, Frenchy and I finally found one we both liked. After much discussion on what would be the best way to
install the electrical for it, Frenchy and George came up with a great solution. They installed the electricity for the lamp as well as spotlights that
would go on the high shelves. Frenchy wanted to install his DVB banner and a Bug-In banner up there. This turned out to be a great area to display
some of his trophies. When the spotlights are turned on it is really impressive.

We wanted to install tile in the entry and dining room and that was easy enough to find. However, the area where the car was going to sit was
another matter. We liked travertine tile, but realized that it was a bit out of our price range. Sharon and I found some bricks at Lowe’s that we
thought would look great and give the room the feel we were going for. These bricks are half the depth of a normal sized brick, but still gives the
look of a cobblestone street. George recommended Artisan Stone & Tile LLC and Zac and his crew did a great job.

One of Sharon’s suggestions was to have a muralist paint a scene on one of the walls. She suggested Melody Salamo. Melody has been featured on
an Extreme Makeover Home Edition episode. She painted the wall murals in the Okvath children’s bedrooms. Frenchy found a picture of Dr.
Porsche’s house and showed it to Melody. She came on a Wednesday and finished on Friday afternoon. I think you will agree that the mural is

While all of this was going on, we were finally able to do some decorating. Frenchy moved a glass case in from the garage and filled it with his
Dean Lowry memorabilia. Above it he put pictures of racers. We made a trip to Ikea to purchase some display cases and a table and chairs. He
filled one of the cases with Bug-In memorabilia and the other one with general memorabilia.

While Melody was working on the mural, Sharper Edge came and installed the front terrace for us. They did a great job and it sure adds to the curb

The day had finally come to put the ’52 into it’s new home and April 7 was the day! George, Dalton, our son Marc were all there to help. I took
photos of the big day and Marc recorded it. Once it was finally in place, it looked even better that we had envisioned it. Of course we had to do a
photo shoot of our favorite model, granddaughter Jacqueline, and you can see that she loves Grandpa’s car.

After the car was in we just needed to fine tune everything, and this we did during the week prior to the party. Marc made Frenchy a nice engine
stand for the racing motor and Dan Lawson  made one for the vintage motor. The pictures were hung, the display cases were filled, and the last
thing to do was to set the guest book on the table.

The party was a huge success and everyone had a great time. We look forward to having many more of them. If you are ever in the Phoenix area,
we would love to have you stop by and see our museum!

Yuck! Time for a makeover!
View from top of the stairs.
I need a new home.
Front of house prior to renovations.
Goodbye ugly popcorn ceilings!
View from top of the stairs.
Dining room before.
Frenchy working hard.
Frenchy & George putting in the French doors.
They're in!
Some electrical work being done.
The floors are done.
The decorating begins.
Frenchy admiring the new terrace.
More decorating.
Here it comes.
The '52 is almost home.
It's in. Frenchy walks around it to see
if everything is okay.
George guiding it inside.
Dalton ready to guide it in.
Getting the ramps in place.
Making sure everything is okay.
Eric and Dan installing the engine
stand they built for Frenchy
European Bug-In banner and the
Bug-In I t-shirt.
Frenchy cleaning the top shelves.
The racer's corner is done.
A view from outside.
Ah! Home at last!
Jacqueline admires the Dean Lowry
What do you think Grandpa? Can I
take it for a spin?
Granddaughter Jacqueline likes the
view out the back window.
Here it is snug inside what used to be our living room.
View from top of the stairs.
We're making progress.
The mural is done.
The racer's corner in progress.
View from top of the stairs.