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Canoeyawl
04-04-2011, 06:40 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3D2wATounM

The Bigfella
04-04-2011, 06:51 PM
Bloody brilliant. Now we drive cars where people scratch their head and say "where's the alternator"?

... and yeah... still got two VW Beetles.

purri
04-04-2011, 07:10 PM
I have a VW Country Buggy. goes anywhere.

BrianW
04-04-2011, 07:16 PM
No.

But, every now and then, I'd ditch high school in Hawaii, and drive around with 2 hippy-like chicks in a VW van.

Nice belt change.

boatbuddha
04-04-2011, 07:17 PM
Several and a Type 3.

WX
04-04-2011, 07:17 PM
Some trick.

Breakaway
04-04-2011, 07:21 PM
Had a '73 Super Beetle. Yellow. Eight-track tape deck. Great in snow, heat was on all year long. Loved that car.

Kevin

genglandoh
04-04-2011, 07:23 PM
My roommate in college had one and one day he told me we needed to fix the windshield wiper fluid pump.

He said open the hood and disconnect the power while he went in to get the replacement.
After a few mins he can out laughing.

For those who do not know the windshield wiper fluid uses the air pressure in the spare tire, it has no pump.

leikec
04-04-2011, 07:29 PM
I had a '62 bug. It was my daily transportation for about 10 years--and I still wish I hadn't sold it.

Jeff C

John B
04-04-2011, 07:31 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3D2wATounM

Thats funny.
I never did that.... I got my sister to hold onto an HT lead to check for spark but that only ever worked once. For some reason.

The Bigfella
04-04-2011, 07:33 PM
Thats funny.
I never did that.... I got my sister to hold onto an HT lead to check for spark but that only ever worked once. For some reason.

Your sister a wimp? I grabbed the plug lead on a postie bike the other day to test for spark. None, unfortunately.

Garret
04-04-2011, 07:35 PM
Seen that done. Impressive, but always seemed like a good way to lose some fingers. If only the things had had heat (without resorting to the cantankerous gas heaters of the day).

leaotis
04-04-2011, 07:38 PM
I had a slightly modified '68 with that did an indicated 90mph on the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I found driving on the high banked curves very disorienting.

StevenBauer
04-04-2011, 07:45 PM
I had a '69 convertible. Awesome car! I ran a piece of flexible duct from one of the heater boxes through the base of the back seat. Point the duct at the floor for heat and at the window for defrost. Fantastic!


Steven

skuthorp
04-04-2011, 07:47 PM
Had two, last one a Super bug, probably 80's but cannot remember what year the first was, but it was 12 volt so not too early.
I replaced clutch and accellerator cables every 18 months as preventative maintenance,

Michael D. Storey
04-04-2011, 07:55 PM
I got up early one day, used a bottle jack and a skate board to remove the engine from one, then put in new heads, cylinders and bearings, put it back together, got cleaned up had lunch, and then drove to the little musical dust-up in Woodstock.
Simple does have its upside.

wharf rat
04-04-2011, 07:56 PM
I'm impressed--and I'm an ex VW mechanic and independent VW repair shop owner.

I had a friend that was a service manager at a VW dealer. He went out to check a customer's engine noise--opened the deck, reached down and grabbed the belt with both hands to see if maybe the generator or fan was loose (you'd grab the belt and give it a good yank and push). Only problem was that the engine was running. Talk about a brain fart. Dislocated both thumbs--it's fortunate he didn't lose them. He said it hurt like hell. Can't imagine why.

No hard count. but I've owned at least several dozen Bugs, Ghias, busses, Type 3's over the years. My dad bought the family's first VW in 1960 and I think I owned my last in the late 80's. I wish I still had a couple of them, too.

Shang
04-04-2011, 07:59 PM
Yep, owned two bugs and a Karman Giah. Met my present wife in a VW, and still love her very much (the wife I mean). Someday I'll tell you our story.
I'd sell my soul or parts thereof to have the Giah back again.(three hundred pounds more than a VW bug but a lot of fun and the best rag-top in the world.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f93/shangboat/71KARMANNGHIAresize.jpg

My Giah looked like this one--"sunset orange." It outlasted the Upstate NY winters, but when I gave it to a YL who, with her father, restored FW vehicles, the Giah broke in half while being towed.

Ian McColgin
04-04-2011, 08:01 PM
My first car was a 54 bug I bought in 66 from my Dad.

And what's so wrong with changing a belt with the engin on? Runs fine off the battery for a short while. What?

Shang
04-04-2011, 08:08 PM
My first car was a 54 bug I bought in 66 from my Dad.

And what's so wrong with changing a belt with the engin on? Runs fine off the battery for a short while. What?

Changed a drive belt on the NY Thruway at night, but didn't know that the pulley wheel was removable. The job can be done, but it aint easy and requires blood.

Garret
04-04-2011, 08:23 PM
My first car was a 54 bug I bought in 66 from my Dad.

And what's so wrong with changing a belt with the engin on? Runs fine off the battery for a short while. What?

But it also powers the cooling fan. Run it too long & the engine will be toast.

StevenBauer
04-04-2011, 08:25 PM
I replaced clutch and accellerator cables every 18 months as preventative maintenance,

My clutch cable used to detach itself regularly. I'd drive around for a few days with no clutch until I could get out to Moonachie and have my mechanic(Chip?) reconnect it. Which he did at no charge.

C. Ross
04-04-2011, 08:27 PM
No.

But, every now and then, I'd ditch high school in Hawaii, and drive around with 2 hippy-like chicks in a VW van.

Nice belt change.

Oh, I've changed a belt in a VW, too. What, don't we mean the same thing? ;)

Paul Pless
04-04-2011, 08:28 PM
. . .did an indicated 90mph on the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I found driving on the high banked curves very disorienting.Because you weren't going fast enough. . . seriously.

wizbang 13
04-04-2011, 08:33 PM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5254/5519215697_41ca0927ac_z_d.jpg Picking up a load of AYC in Tacoma last month with my daily driver.
74 Super with 1776, My bride got this car in 75. 222,000 miles

Joe Dupere
04-04-2011, 08:38 PM
My mom had a VW bug with an automatic transmission. No clutch, but it still had the stickshift and you had to manually shift through the gears. She let me take it to school one semester. I took it from NC to Vermont one Thanksgiving, it was a fun little car to drive.

Within the week, I'll be the proud owner of an 81 VW diesel pickup truck.

Joe, FFPoP

Breakaway
04-04-2011, 09:06 PM
I'd sell my soul to have the Giah back again.(three hundred pounds less than a VW bugbut a lot of fun and the best rag-top in the world)

One of my high-shcool buddies had a Karmann Ghia (sp?). Was way cool. Way.

Kevin

George Jung
04-04-2011, 09:46 PM
I briefly co-owned a VW van in 1988, while on an adventure in Soldotna, Alaska. We arrived in Anchorage only to discover there were no cars available to rent - saw an ad for this van (school teacher, took part of the tail off of his Cub while landing, needed some money), bought it (never registered, kept the title in the glove box), drove all over the peninsula up to Denali for three weeks, camping in the country, then sold it back to this same guy when we left. Only in Alaska.

Had a 1.8 liter Porsche 914 (sis, actually) that was a blast. Setup not too different from a VW, though considerably more fun. Wish I had it now.

B_B
04-04-2011, 10:11 PM
Had a '73 Super Beetle. Yellow. Eight-track tape deck. Great in snow, heat was on all year long. Loved that car.
Kevin
SWMBO owned a '76 SuperBeetle (with moonroof!) Gold, when we met. Great AM/FM radio. Decent in snow, wouldn't start when dew formed on the electronics package installed to make 'em legal one more year, heat never worked. Loved that car.

yzer
04-04-2011, 10:16 PM
I never owned owned a VW during the 60's-70's but drove quite a few. You could die during the time it took these cars to get up to freeway speed. These air-cooled vehicles could not stand up to California climates. The CA radio traffic reporters had a joke: VW Flambé, they were that common.The VW's burned burned up on highway shoulders at an alarming rate.

I drove a VW super beetle from LA to Sacramento on Interstate 5 a couple of times and had the front end lift due to headwinds on several occasions. You don't want to have that happen: you have NO STEERING when it does.

David G
04-04-2011, 10:27 PM
My sweetie has owned two. They were ok, and I can see the attraction, but they didn't lift my skirt. My neighbor has an old Ghia that he's lovingly restored. I think he values it even more than his beloved wife.

Jimmy W
04-04-2011, 10:30 PM
I still own a 1972 Superbeetle, but the engine has been out for a number of years. I've been meaning to get around to putting it back together.

yzer
04-04-2011, 10:40 PM
I don't know of any CA air-cooled VW owners that didn't need to have a short block done after five years. I drove some cute old ones, too: that had round porthole rear windows.

John B
04-04-2011, 11:01 PM
I never owned owned a VW during the 60's-70's but drove quite a few. You could die during the time it took these cars to get up to freeway speed. These air-cooled vehicles could not stand up to California climates. The CA radio traffic reporters had a joke: VW Flambé, they were that common.The VW's burned burned up on highway shoulders at an alarming rate.

I drove a VW super beetle from LA to Sacramento on Interstate 5 a couple of times and had the front end lift due to headwinds on several occasions. You don't want to have that happen: you have NO STEERING when it does.

Beetles had a habit of lighting up for another reason too. Over the years the cover for the battery under the rear seat would be lost. Then when someone sat on the seat the metal in the upholstery would arc the terminals and voila, roast beetle.

We had 2 Beetles over the years as my wifes drive car. Then we had a Combi with a poptop we drove through Europe and around the Med. I hate the stupid things.

leaotis
04-04-2011, 11:10 PM
Because you weren't going fast enough. . . seriously.

The steering was neutral, the car was balanced... but the visual was unnerving.

The Bigfella
04-04-2011, 11:16 PM
Don't underestimate how quick a VW Beetle can be. I've been around the outside of a Porsche on a corner.... and that same Beetle was consistently having people pull out in front of it on roundabouts because they couldn't believe it was moving fast.

You don't need to up the power much in an 800kg car to get to where it embarasses a lot of other vehicles.

Waddie
04-04-2011, 11:21 PM
I had a mid 60's vintage bug that we used to drive all over frozen ponds and even a frozen creek one time. That car was bulletproof; I know, 'cause I drove it like I stole it!! We dropped the engine out the bottom once to change the oil seal rubber rings on the pushrod tubes and replace one cylinder can that I had exploded--I think it revved about 11000 rpm. Those were the days; young and dumb!! :) Now I'm just old.........and probably still dumb.

regards,
Waddie

yzer
04-04-2011, 11:30 PM
I had an Austin Healey Sprite during the 60's and yes, the VW bugs could outrun them. Still, the AH proved to me much more reliable in CA with the water cooled engine. Still, the way you drove these cars against 6 and 8 cylinder cars of the time was simple: stomp the gas pedal 100% of the time and hit the brakes. Stomp and brake, nothing between.

yzer
04-04-2011, 11:47 PM
There was a famous Peter, Paul & Mary song about VWs v. Austin Healy Sprite. The VWs had better suspensions for cornering, but where the 60's VW would top out around 80 MPH the AHs would climb up to 120+ MPH. I had a lot of experience with this. Yikes, I could have died easily back then.

Phil Y
04-04-2011, 11:50 PM
Hasn't everyone?

The Bigfella
04-04-2011, 11:52 PM
I really must get this one going again. It's chassis (a '67 IRS with four wheel disk brakes) is under a '71 body at the moment... with a Subaru Turbo engine in it. This is a '54, Oval Window.

Notice the dashboard? Got a nice set of early 60's Porsche dials that slot in there.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/Third/bike1.jpg

Reynard38
04-05-2011, 12:06 AM
It's not a VW, but it's great grand daddy was...

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w16/Reynard38/a912cb47.png

The Bigfella
04-05-2011, 12:16 AM
Where's the roof racks for the boat?

yzer
04-05-2011, 12:33 AM
Peter, Paul and Mary: Take me for a ride in your car, car.

CHORUS:


Take me for a ride in your car, car.


Take me for a ride in your car, car.


Take me for a ride, take me for a ride,


Take me for a ride in your car, car.

[spoken] Go get ‘em, grandpa!
Take me for a ride in your Stanley Steamer?
‘Bout as bad as riding in the Locomobile with the eight wheels, isn't it?
I'd rather ride in the Model T pickup with the bronze hubcaps & the beaver tail. Twenty-three skidoo! Uh-huh!
[Someone make engine sounds of a model T-era car starting up & backfiring]

[spoken] College grad-u-ate!

CHORUS:
Take me for a ride in your Mack truck.
Take me fro a ride in your truck, mac.
Take me for a ride, take me for a ride,
Take me for a ride in your Mack truck...mac!

CHORUS: [repeat that verse two times and the regular chorus once. Someone make engine sounds over it of a more modern car trying to start.]

REPEAT REGULAR CHORUS ALL:

[spoken] Well, wait a minute! Here come one now, daughter. See if you can't get this here feller. [Someone make sound of a high-performance engine slowing down & screeching to a stop.]

[sung in a sultry fashion]
Take me for a ride in your car, car.
Take me for a ride in your car, car.
Take me for a ride, take me for a ride,
Take me for a ride in your 3.5-liter Ferrari with torsion bar suspension and those imported Venturi carburetors.

[spoken]
Hello, sports fans and welcome to Daytona Beach. You are about to hear the sound of an Austin-Healey Sprite, trying desperately to keep up with the other Volkswagens in the race. It will speed shift directly in front of the microphone and traveling approximately 1000 yards further down the track will crash into a brick retaining wall. This entire spectacle starring Steve Reeves as the handsome, wind-blown driver is being witnessed by a crowd of over 20,000 sadistic sports fans. We take you now to the track and the sound of the race.

[Someone makes the sounds of passing race cars, then after a pause, the sound of a two-cylinder engine trying desperately to keep up, engine dying, then being restarted, then shifting through the gears until it crashes.]

gilberj
04-05-2011, 01:15 AM
Didn't just about everyone have a beetle at some time o another??? Certainly I did. a 71 and a 73 Super-beetle and later a 411, a diesel Rabbit and a diesel Jetta, nothing newer than '84.

bobbys
04-05-2011, 03:05 AM
In 1974 i had a 64 bug, As I remember if i saw a hill i had to gas it first to get it up, Pretty good in snow but no heat at all, I froze in a jersey winter,.

Spun down a few hills with only a tiny peekhole through the windshield to see out of

When i went west my brudder had one we took hunting and beach combing, They are great hunting rigs and great in the sand.

Bought my wife a Karmen Ghia in 78 taught her how to use a stick shift but she never really learned and kept going through clutches.

A love hate relationship with bugs.

My renter has a 67 sitting waiting restoration , a lot of rust, Its obvious whatever he puts in it it will be cheaper to buy one already done but its sentimental to him ..

Im afraid i will get stuck with it if he moves.

If so will get rid of it.

I went through my VW phase, I will enjoy the memories They is better then the reality..

Call me Hoity toidy but i wanna push the heat switch or the defroster and have a reasonable expectation some heat will arise or the window will defrost before a hour or 2.

Zane Lewis
04-05-2011, 04:03 AM
Leant to drive in a 69 1500 bug. Leaned lots about Ht leads and other things (girls) over the next 5 years.
Make sure your passengers don't open the upstream door even if the water on the drivers side is lower.
And yes on a dry road that thing could go around bends fast enough to keep up with an RX7 mk 1 around coromandel roads.
Infact I would get left behind on the striaghts and rain him in with late braking and slides out the exits, except one corner
where the ass end let go under brakes as I was comming into the bend, got it back but probably drifted onto/across the
centre line on exit of that bend.
On damp roads it taught me to be very quick with the wheel when oversteer hit.
on a good day I could see 90 mph but did take it off the clock on a few occasions with gravity assistance.

Tow too heavy a trailer on long up hills and she would start to run out of power as the fuel pump over heated.

If a 4wd could get up that slope so could the bug. Shot a lot of rabbits from it as well with a spot light.
Zane

skuthorp
04-05-2011, 07:11 AM
Same experience with head winds as yzer, front wheels got very light. I remember driving more or less sideways once in a cross wind with a big Blue Hole canoe on the top, taking all the seats but the drivers out for a camping trip in central Aus. (it's amazing where you can get a bug with 10lb in the tyres and a small hand crank winch), carting a car load of kiln bricks with the same seating configuration required written notice to stop as you had to plan it well ahead.

Paul Pless
04-05-2011, 07:20 AM
The steering was neutral, the car was balanced... but the visual was unnerving.I guess I can understand, I got to ride around Atlanta Motor Speedway (similarly configured to Charlotte) and it didn't feel right until we above 130 or so. Think about this, stock cars enter turn one and turn three at Charlotte at over 200mph!

Paul Pless
04-05-2011, 07:30 AM
I really must get this one going again. It's chassis (a '67 IRS with four wheel disk brakes) is under a '71 body at the moment... with a Subaru Turbo engine in it. This is a '54, Oval Window.

Notice the dashboard? Got a nice set of early 60's Porsche dials that slot in there.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/Third/bike1.jpgThink what that would be like with with some tall and narrow Buckshots on the rear and skinny tires up front, no fenders, and about 4 inches of lift. It might be the ultimate 'point and shoot' mudbug in your neck of the woods, Ian.

Ian McColgin
04-05-2011, 07:35 AM
I was never troubled by feeling the front of my bug (or later Dad's '66 Karmen Ghia) was too light. I learned to drive on the bug and later did some light club racing in a bug eyed Sprite so I got to realize that any car with net weight about amidships will work nicely but that "net weight" is a shifty concept depending on the corner, general traction, and momentum distribution between the wheels. Anyway, I go to prize oversteer, liking two wheel drifts better than four.

In the early '70s I had a bus, stripped when bought but I insulated, added a wood stove and light weight modular interior, and had the perfect camp-ski mountaineering base vehicle. On a closed (just went around the barriors) highway during a blizzard we were doing fine until a good side gust blew us against the curb and we toppled over and down the bank. Sure glad we'd always had seatbelts, as back then most folk didn't use. Had enough climbing ropes to get it righted and to use as a sort of power parbuckle to get back to the highway and carry on with only some funny denting to the overhead. The whole deal was so gentle and well cushined by the fresh snow we didn't even pop a window. The bus was so loaded with new snow on the roof after I got home and we looked out the next morning that my (now ex) wife did not believe my tale till I brushed it off so she could see the roof.

But even that bus, though vulnerable to wind, was remarkably stabile (for a bus) since my modular interior was designed to stack low during travel. Always hated a high metacentric.

Garret
04-05-2011, 07:41 AM
OK, I'll admit to owning one - sorta. I say sorta 'cause it no longer had a bug body on it. No where near as nice as this, but the same style (GT 40 copy). It sure got odd looks from people - especially with the dune buggy style dual exhaust going straight out the back & cranking at some insane rpm... Speedo was down by my left foot (that's where the stock cable reached) & never did get a motor on the wipers.
http://image.kitcarmag.com/f/12074224/0809kc_11_z+ford_gt40+fiberfab_avenger.jpg

Shang
04-05-2011, 08:25 AM
But it also powers the cooling fan. Run it too long & the engine will be toast.

A mechanic cautioned me about roasting the engine if the fan belt broke, so for several years I kept one eye on the generator light knowing that the light would come on if the belt broke.
Then that night on the NY Thruway the belt did break--IT SOUNDS LIKE A BOMB EXPLODING IN THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT!

Fortunately there is usually a replacement belt to be found behind the spare tire in the front of the bug.

wizbang 13
04-05-2011, 08:41 AM
That's right, it is important to make sure the warning lights are working every time before starting.
I have in line blowers under the back seat to move the heat. It'll melt your sneakers!

S.V. Airlie
04-05-2011, 09:06 AM
We owned two: a 1953 red convertible that ran forever and my brother owned a '61. The firt was great, the'61 had many mechanical issues. My brother was hit by an 18 wheeler while going to visit his future wife at Vassar. Sold it for $10.00.

Syed
04-05-2011, 09:08 AM
A mechanic told me that the fuel lines around distributor had some issues.
http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/2/4630/3561/24074280009_large.jpg

Garret
04-05-2011, 09:14 AM
re: melt your sneakers:

As long as the heater boxes aren't rusted out. Here in VT they lasted about a year & then could be stretched for about 1/2 of the next winter with asbestos tape & the like.

Canoeyawl
04-05-2011, 11:05 AM
A mechanic told me that the fuel lines around distributor had some issues.
http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/2/4630/3561/24074280009_large.jpg

They did if you put a plastic fuel filter right there...
And there was the glass take-apart version that was popular in the seventies.
Both of those should be outlawed.

wizbang 13
04-05-2011, 11:09 AM
Thats right too, they all had severe rust where I grew up in Conn.
When I moved here, it was ANOTHER COOL THING http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5028/5592602296_2dded23dc5_z_d.jpg about the PNW that cars did not rust. I couldn't understand why everyone did not drive cool old cars. ( sadly, everyone is not cool).
What is my truck doing in a VW thread? VW wipers!

Paul Pless
04-05-2011, 11:11 AM
The prevalence of rusty old cars , hell. . . rusty new cars is one of the main difference I notice daily between Michigan and Alabama. Another is that convertibles, sports cars and motorcycles all get stored here for the winter, but that is among the best time to have them out and driving them in the deep south.

wizbang 13
04-05-2011, 11:13 AM
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5221/5592602280_8b65cd1ce0_z_d.jpg My plastic fuel filter is in the same place!!!
This Beetle does 55 in 2nd gear! ( Y' a wanna keep her pointed in a straight line however!)

Tar Devil
04-05-2011, 11:59 AM
Owned 2... first one lost an argument with a train...
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff298/TarDevil/wreckedVW.jpg

davebrown
04-05-2011, 01:34 PM
CANOEYAWL: I tried to PM but my box rejected your address. Sent you a note and a little check. Hope the address was right: "Kennedy" drive. I have owned two bugs. They were cantankerous, tough, never ever ran right once, and you couldn't kill them. We used them like jeeps for offroading. My brother had a Ghia that he restored and made quite a bit of money on. Humorously, a farmer near Boulder had it, rolling frame and body, using it as a cow gate. He would wheel it forward five feet or so, then let the cows pass, then wheel it back. To see thirty or forty cows standing there by that ghia, waiting to be let through for feed, was like something out of the old Far Side cartoons.

ishmael
04-05-2011, 02:21 PM
I learned to drive on a '68 with one of those ridiculous auto stick shifts. I don't know what VW was thinking when they came up with that. Fun little buggy my father had bought new.

I also had a Porsche 914 for about two weeks. It was pretty well used, and when the window cranks both broke, and the windshield wiper motor died, I'd had enough. You had to pull the fuel tank to change out the wiper motor! I used to tinker a bit, but that was too much, for a young chap who needed a car to drive thirty miles each day to work. And the parts! Even though it was a glorified VW, the parts were expensive.

Both fun cars, but after the 914 I bought a used Toyota Corolla for $600 US, and drove it all over without a cough. Funny how quickly my priorities changed, even at 23. Fun is fun, but I needed this buggy to go without constant fooling.

P.S. A Karman Ghia, 1967 with a convertible top, is one of my all time favorites in the realm of beautiful with questionable practicality. The styling of a lot of cars from that era has become dated, but like the Healy and MG roadsters that one's timeless.

Garret
04-05-2011, 02:33 PM
At one time (late 60's - early 70's) VW offered a payment (small scholarship maybe? "If you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there";-) for all babies born in a bug. I remember Car & Driver commenting that even better would be one for conceiving a baby in a bug, as that was actually a greater feat.....

Breakaway
04-05-2011, 02:42 PM
Car & Driver commenting that even better would be one for conceiving a baby in a bug, as that was actually a greater feat.....

I was 20 when I owned mine and I can assure you that all possibilities were proved doable. ;)

Kevin

Canoeyawl
04-05-2011, 02:59 PM
CANOEYAWL: I tried to PM but my box rejected your address. .
I think your mailbox is full...

skuthorp
04-05-2011, 04:48 PM
I was 20 when I owned mine and I can assure you that all possibilities were proved doable. ;)

Kevin

Absolutely!

skuthorp
04-05-2011, 04:57 PM
On an early trip to europe I worked in London on building sites. Two brothers from NZ had a Combi camper and lived in it right outside the site. When I got to work they were just packing up from breakfast and shutting the doors. After a while they were alowed to live on site. In an area known as Kangaroo Valley there were always basic camper vans for sale in the street.

Lew Barrett
04-05-2011, 08:35 PM
I never owned one and have only owned liquid cooled VWs, but I had more than my share of experiences with them, as everyone I knew had one, including my sophomore (college) roomie. We lived off campus and I only had a motorcycle, so I frequently rode with him to classes and we did shopping chores using his car. It was a '61 and I thought it was pretty slick, actually. We drove it to Wisconsin in the winter of '64 and I had plenty of opportunity to see how it did, which in the event was about 75 MPH flat out. I do remember that you could pretty much hold it in any gear apart from first with your foot on the floor.

I also remember being impressed by the motor castings, fins and general appearance of the mechanicals and although the gear shift was indistinct and sort of rubbery, it was fun to drive something with the vaunted four on the floor. At the end of that year, we finished finals and decided to drive into the city (NYC) to...uh....pick up some vegetables to celebrate.....and we got what we were looking for. Coming home, listening to the Stones on the AM radio I dozed off. I was rudely awakened by a horrible "snap" and the car turned turtle at highway speeds and flipped onto it's roof. Upside down, looking out the passenger window, an unbelievable shower of sparks flew from the car. Eventually.....and I do mean eventually....we ground to a halt more or less on the shoulder of the LIE and I looked over at Johnny. Neither of us had suffered the least bit of injury. Johnny said, "I must have fallen asleep." Uh huh!

Anyway, I don't remember them being terribly fast. Of course, none of my friends owned "fast" equipment at the time, myself included, so a Bug qualified as mighty fine wheels. but I did think they were pretty well made
in that simple German fashion of the era. I don't know much about their odder mechanical foibles but I have never thought they were all that good handling either. I guess my impressions are colored by all those sparks coming from that shredded roof that the top of my skull was pressed against for the seconds between the time we rolled over and when we came to a stop. All I know is that I was never moved to own one.

I might like one now though, because time has treated them kindly in retrospect. Overall though, I'd probably prefer the Sprite.

Keith Wilson
04-05-2011, 08:44 PM
Yep - '72 Super Beetle, 60 HP (the most they ever had stock in the US), the good front suspension, no rust, and a working heater. I probably should have kept it.

The Bigfella
04-05-2011, 09:06 PM
That gearshift was easily improved for a xouple of bucks with a slickshift, I think they were called. It changed the pivot point. I've got a somewhat dearer setup now, cost me about the same as my first Beetle did. A Gene Berg shifter.

Canoeyawl
04-05-2011, 10:55 PM
I might like one now though, because time has treated them kindly in retrospect. Overall though, I'd probably prefer the Sprite.

You two probably could have rolled that car back right side up and kept right on going.
I don't think you would have faired so well in a Sprite.

Chip-skiff
04-06-2011, 12:29 AM
Fell in love with a girl who lived 50 miles away, so I had to get a car. Found a dull orange '63 beetle for $275, that barely ran. Rebuilt the engine with the help of a friend who was a racing mechanic: he weighed all the reciprocating parts (pistons, rods, etc.) and balanced them. The engine purred. Great little car.

Worked a forest road and fire crew in central Utah, staying at a spot on the Wasatch Plateau called Baseball Spring, very remote. The shortest route to the nearest town (where I had a different girlfriend) involved a steep roller-coaster clay road and the ford of a mountain creek.

One night, coming back late, I was driving fast as I approached the ford. A cloudburst had swelled the creek, and I was going too rapidamente to stop, so I punched it and planed across. Crazy, but it worked. Had to chain up to make it up the clay to the top.

What a car! What a night!