As a newcomer to the hobby, I've noticed while reading the forum ,several comments about Volkswagens, (air cooled) in general. Model T's and VW's were a lot alike in many ways, cheap, rugged, reliable basic transportation. To me, they both have that "beauty in simplicity factor". The person I bought my T from had a 59' Beetle. I've had, in the past, 3 Beetles and a bus. How many of you Model T guys have or have had VW's? Just curious.
1950 VW with Devin body
1954 Porsche 356
1951 VW Deluxe . . (in Germany)
1950 VW Standard . . "
1953 VW Transporter . "
1966 VW Transporter (very short time)
1973 Porsche 914: two
1976 Porsche 914: two
Various VW Beetle rentals in Mexico, 1979-2001.
Maybe others; all history now.
In the past:
1956 Bus -- rear seats removed and used as a mobile work shop/garage (it was much better than just a shade tree -- it kept the work dry when it rained).
1970 Bug -- and sometimes I question why do I keep this thing -- but it is so much more powerful, has two wiper blades, and stays dry on the inside when it rains. I think everyone can use a modern car for those days when it is too harsh to take your good car out in the weather.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
'61 Beetle, first car, bought new.
'66 Variant S, bootlegged in from Germany when they weren't being sold in the U.S.; this is the car that was later sold here as the squareback.
Many later VWs, but no more air-cooled ones. I now haul my antique car trailer behind a Touareg.
Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ
1956 Bug loved that small rear window, like driving a sub as the side windows and windshield were small too!
1966 Bug convertable For a low priced car had a great top
1962 23 window with sunroof bus
I am thinking that I would like to get another bug down the road
one of my earliest visions was to make off road dune buggies. This was when 4 wheeling was still something strange. Was going to cut the body contours, give them a suspension mod to flex like a kubelwagon [this before we saw or knew the 'Thing'].
Woke up one day and reminded myself I had accumlated some 25 'bugs', had played around and lined them up by years and the outback looked like a used car lot! Still had not built the first one. Decided bad move and a yard queen section in the making, put them in the paper for sale and was surprised. A guy came out and made a very fair offer on all 25!
But before this had a girlfriend who needed to learn how to drive and she was not going to touch my Impala SS so dusted off a '62', blew some compressed air in the sparkplug sockets, fired it up, and think she drove it for over a year. Both are now long forgotten
I had a 65 and a 70 Bug. By putting on snow tires in the winter these cars would go places that only a 4x4 would goÖif you didnít freeze to death first. If the streets flooded during a heavy rain you could hydroplane for a half a block. The harder I drove them the better they ran. I was getting 50, 55 and then 60 miles to the gallon until I caught my fellow workers adding gas to my tank! I wish I still had one.
1961 bug- My grandmother won it in a raffle (remember?... no gas gauge, lever under seat to turn to get last gallon of gas when you ran out. Always forgot to turn it back after filling up so when you ran out the next time it was already turned and you were REALLY out!). She didn't drive, I got it! I sold it in 1970 to buy a
1970 bug- brand new. Drove it for 36 years and sold it when we moved to a high-rise condo in downtown San Diego 2 years ago. Had 2 T's, an enclosed trailer, 1 VW bug, and my wife's car. Limited parking, something had to go. Biggest mistake I ever made to get rid of that bug (like new--$1600 to my son's friend)
My first car was a 71 VW fastback. My father paid $50 for it and said I could have it. Only problem was the big hole in the top of the engine. Found a 69 fastback that ran, did an engine swap, painted it and drove it for a few years.
My friend had a 67 deluxe bus which I fell in love with. He found me a 65 bus that had been painted red, white and blue with spray cans. Paid $100 for it, put a new clutch and generator and drove it for two years until the tranny ate itself.
Looked in the paper and found a 67 Camper. This one had a pop up top, fold out bed, ice box and sink. Perfect for a college guy. I had to pay $500 for this one. After about a year I pulled out of a gas station and got hit just behind the drivers door. It looked like a banana after that - popped the doors open on the other side. Bondo was everywhere! I ended up stripping that one and putting everything in the 65 and got that one running again.
These buses were unique to drive. When it rained you had to keep your left foot over the hole in the floor otherwise you would get splashed when you hit a puddle. You also had to park it facing down hill so that the rain that leaked in under the windshields would run out the holes in the front of the floor instead of pooling in the back where there were no holes. No heat at all. By the time any hot air from the engine in back made it up that long pipe under the floor, then up the front panel it was cold. I always had a squeegee and ice scraper under the dashboard to clear the inside of the windshield. I also had to watch as sometimes driving down the highway (at a whopping 50 mph) the body would flex enough so that the passengers door would pop open. A cross breeze could easily blow you across all three lanes of traffic with no warning!
Finally got rid of the buss when that tranny went south. They were so rotted out they were not safe to drive any more.
My father had two 71 411's. These were the four door sedans. The first he bought for $750 right off the truck on it's way to the junk yard. It had less than 1000 miles on it and had been hit in the back and totaled. He did body work and spent $300 in parts and drove that car for 11 years. He found a second one sitting in a gas station full of bullet holes which he paid $75 for. The next day he found another for $50. Between the two we made one good one. Took it down to the body shop he worked at to paint it. After it was all masked up I asked what color it was going to be. His response was "I don't know - lets see what we can find". Under the paint bench was a full galleon of paint. Mixed it up and painted the car. Turned out to be a beautiful shade of blue which I later used to paint my 71 fastback with.
Someday I would love to get another bus - pre 1967. I still have most of the camper unit to go in it.
Yup,Sorry to say i bought a new 71 bug and it was the same type of fun a doodle bug was.Without a doubt the worst car we ever destroyed!! Bud.
1963 Porsche 60 coupe (owned in 1974-5)
1966 Porsche 912 coupe with roller crank, light flywheel etc.(owned in 1975-80)
1977 VW big window bus with after market camper conversion. (owned 1994 to 2000)
1984 VW Westphalia Vanagon Diesel-slowest VW on earth! (owned1984-88)
Current air cooled madness is a 1927 Franklin Series 11B sedan
I still have the 1968 beetle I bought new for $2100. One day I'll restore it and get it back on the road.
In 1970 at 20 years old, I bought 57 bug for $450. I made two trips from LA to Omaha and got 37 mpg. It's final resting place was on its top in a corn field because I digested way too much fermented E-110.
Then I bought a 63 squareback. It had too many miles and one too many carburetors.
Ah yes memories!
My Little brother has an affection for VWs like me for Ts. He has a Manx dune buggy in his garage for at least 30 years.
I've got a 59 Type I Karmann Cabriolet (Beetle convertible for those not well versed in the VW badging ) and a Gazelle (29 Mercedes clone) on a 70 Beetle chassis. I've had 10-12 VW's in the past, Type I, II, and III's (all air-cooled) but these are the ony two I have right now.
George, you mentioned the Kubelwagen...I always wanted a Schwimmwagen! Too bad they are so scarce and sought after...
I've never owned a VW, but I have owned three CitroŽn 2CV's that made a VW look like a luxury car....
When I was in 7th and 8th grade, my sort-of girlfriend's father had a 1949 VW split-window bug that was the first VW in the St. Louis area. I rode it in from time to time, but was way too young to drive it.
Never owned a VW but grew up in the era when it seemed that darn near everyone had one. The most amusing thing I can remember was January 1973. The temperature that month NEVER rose above 0 deg. F and was often -20F for a high.
The parking lot we used at the St. Paul (Ag) campus that first week contained about 100 abandoned VW bugs. A couple of guys were running around the lot with a generator in the back of a pickup truck charging $5.00 for a boost to get students cars started but the VWs wouldn't budge. As I recall this was because the heavier oil used in the air-cooled engine got too thick and the starters wouldn't turn them over. During the weekend, a lot of Hibachi grills came out, went under these cars and they were driven home, not to be seen until sometime in February.
It was so cold that January that my buddy and I gave each other spare keys for our cars and one of us would run the car every 2 hours for 20 minutes when we had free time between classes. It took BOTH of us to steer his '56 Belaire for the first few blocks on the way home and the Powerglide tranny took about 30 seconds to engage after we pulled the lever into Drive.
After they bought their Hibachis a lot of the VW owners used those as heaters and drove with the windows cracked open to avoid monoxide asphyxiation.
Never had much time for Bugs, just never been keen on that clattering motor. But I have had several campers, despite the motor, because the size is fine for a daily driver on our crowded UK roads and they're great for short camping trips, esp if you have an awning.
Vans originally sold in UK are all rotted out, so our latest is a RHD import from a dry Australian state. 1976 2-litre, Aussie camper conversion with cooker, fridge, 'rock 'n roll' double bed, goes well, heater even works a bit!
'60 Karmann Ghia, '66 squareback, '73 squareback, '71 Super Beetle (great autocrosser!), and '72 bus.
Then I got into Audis and liquid-cooled VWs.
Then 60 Minutes claimed that Audis ran over children (the so-called "unintended acceleration") and Audis lost half their resale value overnight.
Ah, Mr. Elkins, the "Schwimmwagen", I too would like to have one, the reason they are so scarce is that most were left parked on the side of the road with the drivers/passengers in sad states of dis-repair and the body shot full of holes, long time ago. I owned one of the many windowed busses in the early '60's, had a sliding sun roof, horribly underpowered, would barely pull itself in a wind, I bought it to keep on a deer lease to sleep in, a double mattress fit pretty well in the back with the seats removed. When I had kids, I built a Dune Buggy for the beach on Padre Island, that was a fun car and the kids loved it, with big tires it would float over the sand. I rebuilt the engine once, there was not much of the valve heads or guides left, the sand really did a number on them.
In about 1970, my neighbor across the street saw an ad in the Pennysaver for a 1942 VW. It was a Schwimmwagen sitting in a field here in SoCalif. Knowing him, he didn't pay much for it. He said there were only half a dozen in the US. He used to give rides on our street to the kids. I gave him the lever action rear shocks off my 1950, as I had found adapters for tubulars.
He moved to Edinburgh after divorce in about 1976, and I've rarely seen him since. Last I knew, he had it on loan to a dealer. He probably sold it at some point.
Just bought a '67 Baja Bug that had been resting for 17 years. I don't know why I bought it, but it sure is a fun car to drive! Just like a Model T, after 17 years, I put in a new battery and started it right up!
I've had three VW's, Two bugs and a bus.
I still have the '71 Superbeetle Convertible.
I had a super bettle. When the divorce judge gave her the car, I said thank god both of them are gone. dont know which one of them needed more work, her and the bettle was more than i needed.
Over the years I've had a few, loved 'em all, just got to large over the years to get in and out comfortably! =-)
'60 Custom Beetle Roadster Pickup
'71 Super Beetle
2 -'71 Super Beetle "Vert"s
Geo. - Ore.
Right up my alley. I have often felt the same way. I have owned VWs all my driving life. If it is not a Ford or a VW I dont own it. Wife drives a Passat now.
I restored this 1957 Beetle. This photo is at the AACA Grand Nationals a few years ago with a friends '61 bus. This beetle is a 1956 European Model, which means no over riders on bumpers, Kph speedometer and no turn signals. For turn signals it has semaphores. Also came with cloth (wool) interior, Germans didnt care for vinyl.
Cool thing about VW is they can tell you when your car was made , what color, and when and where it was delivered. This one was delivered to the factory as a factory test car.
After I restored this beetle I wanted to do another VW, a pre 1953, but the prices were going through the roof.
Being a Ford guy I also always wanted a model T. My T came up and I bought it. Now as is the case so often I want another!
I still go to many VW shows, and have just been to a few model T only events. But as a general rule I would rather hang out with Model T people than the VW group. A comment was made about some arguing on this board some time back. But until you have hung around the VW boards you havent seen anything.
I just think it is so great to have the two most produced and recognized cars ever, setting side by side in the garage. If only they could talk, what would they be saying to each other.
I had a friend who had a VW bug and he put a hugh homemade skate type key out of the back just above the engine. As he drove down the road it turned and looked like a giant wind-up toy. Every once in a while he would stop and get out of the car and walk to the back and act like he was winding it up. Then he would get back in and drive away.