Teddy Bly ’20 fixes old cars as a study break

Hans Janovy Meyer, page editor

It doesn’t take much more than looking at the lower parking lot on a school day to realize that people in Edina really care about their cars. Whether it be a student’s Jeep Wrangler, their parent’s BMW, or a beat up old Honda Civic, plenty of students share very close relationships with their cars. But some students and their cars share a different kind of relationship, the sort that comes from tinkering with and rebuilding the vehicle.

Teddy Bly, a junior at Edina High School, is one of these people. A few years ago, Bly purchased a 1972 Yellow Volkswagen Bug that had previously been sitting knee-high in weeds. After purchasing the car, he let it sit in his garage for about a year prior to beginning any real work, and there was no shortage of work to be done. “[The condition of the car] was pretty bad, it had no seats, no interior, none of the fenders were on, and it was really rusty,” said Bly.

Since purchasing the car, Bly has done an immense amount of work on it. He’s done bodywork, which includes removing the rust that has built upon the exterior and in the wheel wells over the years, rebuilding the engine, and rewiring much of the car.

The tasks that Bly has taken upon himself seems daunting, especially given the fact that he had no formal education or experience working on cars prior to starting on the Volkswagen. “I have my father’s friend who comes and helps me and from time to time on the car on and that sort of stuff. But really, it’s the internet and every VW repair manual that I could get my hands on… And a lot of times I look on the internet and see, oh, here’s what that’s supposed to look like. How do I make it look like that?” said Bly.

After all the work Bly has been putting in, he thinks the end date is approaching. “I’m hoping I’m going to be wrapping up here before the beginning of summer…I have the engine completely rebuilt now. And it’s just about going in those last little bits and parts that you don’t think of.”