We’ve all heard of James Bonsell, but have you ever heard of Naomi Bonsell AKA “Mimi?” Most likely not, but if you know about her father you’ll understand the amazing model building talents that were handed down to his 16-year-old daughter. Mimi, who lives in Huntington Park, California, with her parents, amazingly built this ’98 Volkswagen Bug in less than a month. The story behind the car is that Mimi was given a challenge by all of the “guys” at the Drag-N-Shop in Santa Fe Springs, California, who regularly teased her by saying that she couldn’t build a model. Finally, Mimi had enough and decided to answer the challenge.
The first thing that she did was remove the top of the car, and chop the front windshield. She next decided to add some skirts to the cute Bug, and messed with the front end. Front end? Yeah, Mimi added a cool insert allowing a custom grille to be placed in the front of her VW with the help of her big friend Joseph Garcia.
With all of the major body work done, it was time to spray the car, but what color? Mimi decided to paint her Bug with cobalt blue topped off with a touch of grape juice purple to give the car a different shade of purple. With the paint drying, Mimi decided to start on the interior, adding a cool case of Coca-Cola on the front passenger seat and placing a speaker box where the back seat would be. The interior looked good, but the Bug was still missing something, but what? Finally, it hit her. Her Bug needed some striping.
For this, she asked her dad for a ride to the Drag-N-Shop, where no less a talented artist than David Anthony Garcia added some fine-line pinstriping to the trunk of the VW. Now the Bug was ready to hit the streets, all she had to do was add custom front and rear bumpers, cool side moldings, “phat” grille, thick whitewalls and 14-inch Flipper-style hubcaps and her Bug was truly complete.
This whole project started as a challenge issued from the boys, and Mimi basically showed them up, proving to them that she had the skill and talent to build cool model cars too.
It was a triumph for Mimi and she is very proud of her “So Fine” VW Bug. Mimi is quite a shy girl, but what lies beneath that quiet exterior is pretty cool. She obviously inherited the ability to build models and her talent will get better as the years go by, should she choose to keep on building. So when you see Mimi at the model shows displaying her car by her father’s side, give her props because she earned it in our book.