View Poll Results: Did you ever own a VW Beetle?

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  • Yep, sure did.

    247 74.17%
  • Nope

    52 15.62%
  • I've got a New Beetle does that count?

    7 2.10%
  • I had some other kind of aircooled boxer motor like a Porsche or a Bus

    27 8.11%
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Thread: Have you ever owned a VW Beetle?

  1. #166
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rad View Post
    What a crack up. I loved our Beetle and our Karman Gia, our VW camper van?.. not so much.

    Radwife and I were flat broke college students with that Beatle. The heater boxes were rusted and too stuck to be moved by the old heater cable so two times a year I went under the car to either open the boxes by hand or close them. That meant each fall we had to decide when we wanted full heat all the time for the winter and each spring we decided when we wanted no heat until next fall. Of course right after changing the heater we would get an Indian summer or a cold spell and we would subsequently roast or freeze. To be young.
    It all depends on where you were living when you tell the heater box story. My story took place in central PA, so long winter trips required German Army surplus wool pants and Lacrosse pac boots.
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  2. #167
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    Yes, a 1967 Bug was my first car bought in 1973.

    Still have the Franklin Mint Model.
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  3. #168
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    .............. My story took place in central PA, so long winter trips required German Army surplus wool pants and Lacrosse pac boots.
    Those silly bugs did very well in snow

  4. #169
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    I grew up with three VW Beetles over the years.

    A green 1959 with the fabric sunroof you would slide back.

    A beige 1967; the first year with a 12V system and a mechanical cable actuated fuel gauge (previous models had a foot activated reserve lever) and a 1500 cc engine. This is the one I started doing complete maintenance on when I was thirteen.

    A gold metallic 1974 Sun Bug with the curved front windshield, sunroof and MacPherson strut front suspension and a 1600 cc dual port head engine. It was the last year of the traditional dual exhaust before the 1975 fuel infected model (what a disaster that was).

    I now have a flat-six from the same designer.


    If anyone knows of a really good web site describing the VW Beetle in detail by year, along with pics, please let me know.

  5. #170
    Hero of the Stupid HONDARIDER's Avatar
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    Absolutely! Every gearhead needs to own and maintain a Beetle at some point in their life. I learned a lot about automobile mechanics on air cooled VWs. 62 Beetle...67 Beetle...73 Super Beetle...72 Bus...and best of all, Myers Manx on a 1957 pan. Love them Beetles!

  6. #171
    na1g
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    My darling bride came with a '67 Bug which I then used for an 80-mile round trip to college for three years.

    While I was still student teaching, the Bug snapped a valve stem dropping the valve into the combustion chamber where it was driven through the piston. Rebuilt the motor, (which we couldn't afford) and drove it for two more years.

    Miss the Bug. Still have the wife.

    pete

  7. #172
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    My darling bride came with a '67 Bug which I then used for an 80-mile round trip to college for three years.

    While I was still student teaching, the Bug snapped a valve stem dropping the valve into the combustion chamber where it was driven through the piston. Rebuilt the motor, (which we couldn't afford) and drove it for two more years.

    Miss the Bug. Still have the wife.

    pete
    Number 3 cylinder I bet.

  8. #173
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rad View Post
    Number 3 cylinder I bet.
    You mean the one blocked by the oil cooler?

    At least they offset it in more recent models.

  9. #174
    Swamp Fox GeneT's Avatar
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    VW Bug

    I never owned one but I worked for a foreign car dealer for 7 years 1951-1958 in Pennsylvania, we sold and serviced many different foreign imports. Those included VW, Porsche, Morris Garages, (MG, Morris Minor) Jaguar, Mercedes, Triumph, Morgan, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. If there was something else you wanted my employer would manage to get you one. The Beetle sold new for $995, MG TD, $1295, Porsche 1500 Super if I remember was $2600. The Mercedes 300SL Gull wing was $6500. bran spanking new, one recently sold at auction in Fort Lauderdale, FL for $880,000. By the way this car's clutch was interchangeable with a flat head Ford 85 HP, pressure plate and clutch disk.

    Those of you that complain about the VW heater either had poor maintenance or a poor mechanic or both. The little black knob that rotated adjusted the passenger compartment heater, it closed the engine cooling hot air discharge and when adjusted properly deflected the hot air into the interior of the vehicle, should road salt and or rust attack the cable system heat was lost. Believe me this worked well when adjusted properly.

    I do recall various engine problems in the earlier models but Americans did not yet understand they had to keep the engine RPM's up by using a lower gear, which also kept the cooling fan cranking needed cold air. Anyone having trouble with a VW gear shift surely needed instruction, I will admit it had a long throw or movement. The earlier VW & Porsche did not have PA approved headlights or windshields, the dealer had to replace these with approved type before the vehicle could pass PA inspection. It was discovered that a rubber stamp with the approval # on it when dipped in acid carefully and placed on the windshield in the proper location it was suddenly approved.

    I did however have a Porsche 356 at my disposal for trips to Rhode Island as we had another dealership there, and yes they were very good in the snow if you did not try and corner like crazy. Many years later I did own a 1984 Porsche 944, it was a POS. If it broke once it would break again and again.
    Gene T

  10. #175
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    The little black knob that rotated adjusted the passenger compartment heater.
    I remember it; it was on the tunnel on the '59 my mom had. The later '67 and '74 that we had, had two levers, one on each side of the hand brake.

  11. #176
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    Those of you that complain about the VW heater either had poor maintenance or a poor mechanic or both. .
    Uh....Ya

    In college radwife and I were flat broke....and I mean broke! We were scraping together every penny and working part time jobs to pay for our own education as we also created a mountain of college loan debt that we paid back every penny of. The bug parked in a remote dirt lot on campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean and was wrapped in salt air and marine fog every night.

    Mechanic? what was that back then? 'twas nothing we could afford back then. I loved those days.

    BTW I gave my granddaughter the nickname "Bug" and it has stuck. Her initials are VW

  12. #177
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    I never owned one but I worked for a foreign car dealer for 7 years 1951-1958 in Pennsylvania, we sold and serviced many different foreign imports. Those included VW, Porsche, Morris Garages, (MG, Morris Minor) Jaguar, Mercedes, Triumph, Morgan, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. If there was something else you wanted my employer would manage to get you one. The Beetle sold new for $995, MG TD, $1295, Porsche 1500 Super if I remember was $2600. The Mercedes 300SL Gull wing was $6500. bran spanking new,.
    Gene,

    Great posting. For reference, the inflation adjusted value of a 1955 dollar in 2013 is $8.69. In addition, NADA has the original MSRP for many classic vehicles. According to that source, the MSRP for a 1951 Beetle was $1295 or about $13,000 in 2013 dollars. For comparison, a small Kia sedan is at that price level and has AC and heat!
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  13. #178
    Swamp Fox GeneT's Avatar
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    Hello 36654,

    Thanks for the correction, I was taking those prices from deeply buried memories. Memories which included my employer had connections in Europe as he was originally from Austria, he came here in 1938. In 1954 he ordered me a new BMW R25, it was shipped direct from Germany in a wooden crate to his dealership in PA. My price was $995.00 including shipping. He and I un-crated it, installed the seat and handle bars, connected the battery added liquids and I was off like a breeze. Oops, no tag either.

    I don't remember when VW spent the bucks for PA approval, but it did happen, and again I don't remember what year the curved windshield came out. Something tells me 1962, but I was not in his employ then.
    Gene T

  14. #179
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    Hello 36654,

    Thanks for the correction, I was taking those prices from deeply buried memories. Memories which included my employer had connections in Europe as he was originally from Austria, he came here in 1938. In 1954 he ordered me a new BMW R25, it was shipped direct from Germany in a wooden crate to his dealership in PA. My price was $995.00 including shipping. He and I un-crated it, installed the seat and handle bars, connected the battery added liquids and I was off like a breeze. Oops, no tag either.

    I don't remember when VW spent the bucks for PA approval, but it did happen, and again I don't remember what year the curved windshield came out. Something tells me 1962, but I was not in his employ then.
    Where in PA was the dealership?

    Curved windshield on the Beetle? I thought that was ~1972 on the "Super" Beetle.
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  15. #180
    Swamp Fox GeneT's Avatar
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    VW Bug

    Chester County, Exton, PA on route US 30 near Church Farm School

    Why am I reading email instead of out riding???
    Gene T

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