Restoring 'The Mustard Machine' a 1979 Volkswagen Passat.

The Client

Fred Howat owns a 1979 Volkswagen Passat, affectionately named “The Mustard Machine,” which he believes to be one of the last of its kind in the United Kingdom. Due to its rarity, finding spare parts has become increasingly challenging. Fred is now in the process of restoring his cherished car to its former glory and has sought assistance from OR3D for this project.


Fred approached us when he was let down by Volkswagen for a replacement part. The part that needed replacing held down the gear lever gator, one of its 6 clips had snapped off and had been lost. With no way to repair the part or to source a new one from the manufacturer, Fred decided to contact us. Having already completed numerous similar projects, we were happy to help.

The Solution

Upon receiving the broken part, we digitised it with a Romer Arm, accurate to +/-0.06mm. The data this produced was highly detailed and included all of the imperfections of the part itself. Due to the manufacturing process and the age of the part, it was twisted and bent. The data from the arm was captured directly into Design X, the premier reverse engineering software from Geomagic. The part was then reverse engineered parametrically back to the part’s design intent. This meant that the missing clip was re-added and the part was redesigned square and straight.

With the CAD model now created, a new part could be manufactured using additive layer manufacture. The new part was reproduced in ABS. This strong material would ensure that the new clip would last for years to come. The part fitted the gaiter well and the assembly looked perfect.

Client Comments

“No more breaking, and gear changes feel much better than before. The cockpit finally looks finished!”



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