Reverse Engineering: deconstructing the classic VW.

BBT Factory Tour
Jan 2, 2020


Bob at BBT gave us a guided tour of some of the Taiwanese factories where many of their sheet-metal panels originate. Come along with us as we visit several foundries, taking in all the stages involved in producing the sheet-metal parts and panels for our beloved VWs. We sure learned a lot on this impressive trip!

As Bob shows you proudly, there are male and female stamps needed. One single fender needs 8 strikes, meaning 16 forms of these steel mouldings!

Reverse engineering is a process where you reproduce vintage car parts - or any existing part - you would like to have copied or reproduced. A couple of steps are necessary to achieve this process, but it all starts with a NOS or a good, straight, as original as possible, (car) part. Because you’re aiming to produce an accurate facsimile of this part, you need the basic, pattern item to be 100% correct.

How to start this reverse engineering procedure:

Step 1: deciding which part you want to reproduce, and sourcing a perfect sample of this item.

Step 2: from this item, they produce a plaster cast, including the base on which the item sits. This is all done by hand, to make sure the radius and overall form for what will be a unique pressing doesn’t stretch the metal too much so it becomes too thin.

Step 3: once this plaster base is set, it has tiny measurement reference dots marked on it, so the computer can scan, read and measure precisely the dimensions and contours of the moulding. Once there is a digital file of the mould, they can easily recalculate it to make male and female stamping forms out of it.

Step 4: using these digital files, they produce full-size Styrofoam forms to 1:1 scale. These constitute the actual stamping forms of the sheet metal. But, of course, you can’t stamp on the brittle Styrofoam, so this first needs to be converted into a solid steel mould that can be used over and over again in the stamping process… so, how do we get to that?

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Musclecar GT is the manufacturer of automotive replacement parts.  Musclecar GT is not the manufacture of automotive vehicles.  The parts made and carried by Musclecar GT are aftermarket replacement parts for service purpose only.  The original manufacturers hold the right to all intellectual property if applicable.