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HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) – The ‘bone yard’ at Airkooled Kustoms at 458 Guy Wilson Road in Hazel Green is less like a venue where VW Beetles and buses come to die, and more like where they come to be reborn.

Airkooled Kustoms has been invited to compete in the Ultimate VW Build-Off in Las Vegas the first weekend of October, 2015. This local custom classic Volkswagen shop has made a name for itself by restoring 50-60 year old vehicles, and turning them into very old, new cars.

The Build-Off features the top builders in the country, and has only three rules:

  1. A $20,000 cap on parts expenditures
  2. The vehicle had to roll off of the factory line with an air-cooled engine
  3. The project has to be complete – and hauled out to Las Vegas – within one year (the clock started ticking for AKK in October of 2014)

Their entry is a 1959 VW Beetle Ragtop named Miss Mabel, after Mrs. Mabel Powers — wife of the late Dr. Alvin Powers of Athens, AL. The ‘crew’ at Airkooled Kustoms has already logged more than 1,000 labor hours on Mabel, so thank goodness there’s not a contest cap on blood, sweat and vintage steel.

You can follow Miss Mabel’s resurrection through photo updates from the shop by clicking here.