When car enthusiast Brook James spotted a mini model of his 1969 Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback on display in a café, he convinced the owner to sell it to him.

“I got home and thought it would be neat to replicate my real car,” he says. And he did ‒ every intricate detail in fact ‒ right down to the burnt side panel from a fire in its previous ownership. Beforeshot BrookJames INP2

“The rusty, burnt look was recreated using various brush and sponge techniques. Once I had the desired effect I actually ended up burning it with a lighter. It was super fun,” Brook says.

“I loved the challenge of finding things that replicated small-scale details, like a sewing pin for the aerial and the end of a Q-Tip for the fox tail that sits off the car.”

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Brook soon had his next project: his partner Brittany Hart’s 1984 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet Rabbit. Though he had to make some modifications ‒ cutting off the tin top from the GTI Golf model to mirror Brittany’s convertible. 

Brook, who works as a photographer in Melbourne, already has his sights set on another DIY duplication: the couple’s VW t3 Kombi campervan.  

Reported by Monica Tischler for our AA Directions Autumn 2021 issue

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