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OT: Ex-VW Beetle Owners- any wacky stories?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Porcupine, Sep 12, 2008.

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  1. Porcupine

    Porcupine Active Member

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    Spin-off from another thread. Many of us have at one time or another owned an original VW Beetle, a car so quirky that it couldn't help but leave a lot of stories worth retelling. What's yours?

    My first Bug was a 1957 with a 1966 chassis and engine, 50 HP. There was one day driving to school that my father had really put me over the edge, and I wasn't thinking about my driving and I got my first speeding ticket. When I pulled away from the cop he never noticed that I tried to put my fist through the windshield of the car. I needed to hit something and it was so close ......

    LA
     
  2. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    Bought my first and only VW while stationed in England. It was the first year they came out with the bigger motor and changed body style. Somehow it came with dual port heads and dual carbs. I did not order it that way but I didn't complain. It was a real sleeper. I went to programming school in Oklahoma city and was stationed at Ft Worth Tx after leaving England. I drove home on the weekends and learned that if five or six cars got together you could speed and wouldn't get stopped. While headed back to school one weeked(there were tornadoes everywhere) I had gotten in a bunch of cars and didn't know how fast we were going as my speedo was pegged. Here comes an Oklahoma State Police and weeves through until he got behind me and turned on his lights. I had been sipping on a cold one and just knew I was going to jail. I pulled over and had my insurance and license out and when he came up to the window he told me he didn't want to see them, He wanted to see what the H--- I had under the hood. Did I know how fast I was going to which I replied no. He told me we were running 112 MPH and that it had taken him five miles to run us down in his Fury III after seeing us from an overpass. A classmate that lived in Dallas and rode back and two with me couldn't wait to get to school and tell everyone about it. That was about 37 years ago. Jackie B.
     
  3. Bluzman98

    Bluzman98 Member

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    I owned a 1964 Beetle while in university. For some reason, I decided to test my mechanical skills (which at the time were zero) by rebuilding the engine. I went to the local dealer, bought a "service" manual, and purchased pistons, gaskets, etc. Upon returning to the dorms, I let the engine cool down, drained the oil, disconnected the engine (I think 5 or 6 bolts held it in place), carried the engine up 4 flights of steps to my room, and then dismantled the engine. Reading the manual and looking at diagrams (and a couple days), I finally got the engine back together----unfortunately I had 2 bolts and another piece left over with no idea what they were, but I knew I had taken them off the engine. For the life of me I could not figure out what to do or what they were for and finally said the hell with it, carried the engine back down the steps, remounted/reconnected the engine, put oil in it, and decided to "fire her up". To my amazement the engine fired up on the 4th attempt- running as smoothly as a VW motor could- don't ask me how. At this point, I opened the glove box and threw the 3 pieces in it with thought that if the car ever stopped working and I had to take it to the shop, I would just tell the mechanic that those pieces had fallen off.
    Funny thing is....when I sold the VW 3 years and many miles later, it was running smooth and strong.....AND those 3 parts were still in the glove box.

    Jim C
     
  4. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing funny but kind of amazing - I used to buy a new one every year $1710 w/radio, wo/gas heater. Dealer I worked for as a bodyman painter traded me every year for $75 to upgrade to new model.
     
  5. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    I didn't own one, but my aunt graciously gave me her brand new, 1977 lime green beetle to use while I was in school. It was so cute, and so EASY to park...I loved it. I was used to driving a stick shift, but on muscle cars, so I had to get used to the "wierd" pattern on the VW.

    Imagine my embarrassment in this situation: I was gone all day to a beach party, and somehow the battery died (can't remember why). I was with a bunch of friends, and there was this guy that was kind of cute that was hanging around. One friend brought his car over to jump the VW, and the cute guy said he would do it for me. I quickly told him that I worked on my own cars (which was true) and that I could do it myself. Imagine my surprise when I opened the hood of the VW!!! LOL!! I had to ASK this guy where the battery was, and he was smiling the whole time.
     
  6. Gold E

    Gold E TS Member

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    '71 with a '72 1600 with headers for a little bark and a rattle can paint job.

    No stories but a handful of good memories.
     
  7. DJM

    DJM Member

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    I had a VW micro bus for a short while, the ultimate hippe ride. What a POS that was. Most modern motorcycles and some garden tractors have larger engines than it had (1200 cc ?). I remember the day it died. A rod was knocking so loud a group of little kids playing on the street held their ears shut as I drove by. 100' farther the engine froze up locking the rear wheels. But no problem finding a willing buyer who was "gonna fix er up".
     
  8. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    Wow...I'm so glad that nobody has published their attempted romantic tristes in the little bug..the visions would give me nightmares for a week!
    My best friend and I built up a beetle for his sister and painted it with the #53 and stripes from "Herbie"...Imagine everybodies amazement at our normal hotrod hangouts on its shakedown run when the little car would yank the front wheels a couple of inches when we dumped the clutch..(we ended up having to put another one in before we turned it over to her)..under the hood it had a Porsche 914 based 2200cc with all the goodies the JC Whitney catalog would provide...it was truly cool and the ultimate sleeper
     
  9. fritzi93

    fritzi93 TS Member

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    First car I bought (as opposed to borrowing the family's second car) was a well-used '63 bug. It was painted vermilion and had flower decals on it. Hey, it was wheels and was only a couple hundred bucks, I forget how much exactly.

    It gave good service for the better part of a year, then the starter died. No money to fix it. No problem, I just parked on hills when possible. When parking on the flat was unavoidable, it wasn't too tough to push start.

    After maybe a year and a half, one time I was going uphill and upshifted too fast, lugging the engine. POW! "What the heck was that!" Pulled over and took a look. A spark plug had come out, stripping the sleeve. Limped home and rigged up a Rube-Goldberg thing with baling wire and shims to jam it back in and hold it. I think I put something on the threads too to help hold it, but it's so long ago it's kinda hazy. It actually worked that way for a while, as long as I never lugged the engine.

    A mechanic told me I needed a new engine. I just ran it until it wouldn't go any more and junked it. Then I got a used Renault, BIG BIG BIG mistake, but that's another story. [wink]
     
  10. nspktr1

    nspktr1 TS Member

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    My best friend and I both owned old beetles right out of high school. His was a '64 with a sun roof and mine was a '66. We grew up in SW Missouri/SE Kansas and used to hunt coyotes with them. We would take turns driving and herding with one of us in the passenger seat of the '64 standing up and shooting out of the sun roof. Rough ride in those hay fields sometimes. My '66 was great for taking out the passenger seat and laying a keg between the rails for transport. It was later stolen from my drive way in Florida, found stripped in an orange grove several months later, hope it made a good dunebuggy. At the time it had 90mm jugs on a 1900cc engine with a Weber dual one barrel setup with twin Judson turbos. The little sucker would flat scream!
     
  11. locktime

    locktime TS Member

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    This not a wacky bug story, but it is kind of fun to remember. In 1964 a hunting budding and I were duck and pheasant hunting on Lower Klamath Refuge(CA). I had just bought a used 1962 VW bug. We decided to circumnavigate the refuge taking the old Dorris-Brownell road looking for pheasants. A two day rain and snow storm had preceded our excursion. This country is high desert and when the ground gets wet it gets pretty sloppy. The road was covered with water and mud, but the thought of flushing roosters drove us on. About a hour into our sojourn we realized that we had not seen another vehicle. There was no way we could turn around so we pushed on. About two hours later we finally got to decent road where two Jeeps were parked with four hunters with looks of amazement on their faces as the VW Bug covered with mud drove up to them. They couldn't believe that we cleared that road. If we had gotten stuck we would have had to walk out and my Bug would have spent the winter there. Dumb but fun.
    Butch
     
  12. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    While in the US Army Reserve, after active duty, I owned a 1970 VW Squareback that was a wonderful little car. Once, I loaded 45 cases (24 cans each) of Budwiser, a case of bourbon, 80 pounds of charcoal and all of the chips I could cram into every empty cubic inch of space.

    I drove it several miles as slow as I could on gravel roads out to an open field where we could do as we pleased. Other persons brought ice and cups. Our supply sargeant traded for 150 rib eye steaks with another sargeant at a hospital. We had a wing ding of a unit party.

    The vehicle was way overloaded as it was hunkered down on its shocks and springs. The little vehicle never complained and it never spilled a drop.


    It had a 3 valve per cylinder engine, fuel injection and about 1600 CC. It would do about 90 MPH.


    Ed Ward
     
  13. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    In 1959 a college buddy and I decided to make a long distance skiing trip from Minneapolis to Quebec Canada in his $1700 new VW Beetle. It had some kind of spark plug type heater booster with that air cooled tiny engine and we wore our long johns and heavy mittens and literally froze our a$$es off in that thing. Don't ask how he managed to keep the windshield from frosting up.
     
  14. Phil E

    Phil E TS Member

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    Twice I blew a sparkplug out of the head at highway (over 70) speeds. It still drove OK on 3 cylinders. They'd tap the hole, put in a shim, and screw in a new plug, good to go. I did enjoy the "heater" (long-johns) and "defroster" (rag, ice scraper and squeegee for inside windshield.) Oh, and the exhaust fumes as the "heater" box rotted out. I had a '62 that with 4 studded tires would almost climb a telephone pole it had such good traction. I'd drive into snow drifts just for the fun of putt-putting back out again. I blew a left knee in a skiing accident once, and drove my '62 for a month without using the clutch. You could shift 'em by sound. Phil E
     
  15. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Another comment.

    I had a friend who drove his 1968 micro bus from Ohio to California and he and his wife had a great ride. Along the way, they discovered that a brick on the gas pedal made a great cruise control.

    Ed Ward
     
  16. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    I remember having to re-adjust the carburetor going from L.A. up the mountains to Big Bear......

    an old pre- '63 as I remember.. 36 hp?
     
  17. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    While in my senior year in high school, 1962, one of my friends bought the first "Bug" I had ever seen. Interesting it had no gas gauge and when you ran out you flipped the reserve lever and made your way to a filling station. He used to rave about his mileage so every day we'd add a little gas to the car. Eventually he was bragging he was getting over 300 MPG.

    He took his car to the dealer for routine service and told them he was getting 300 MPG and, of course, they looked at him like he had two heads.

    After a couple of weeks of this we started siphoning gas out on a daily basis until he evntually was constantly running out of gas and getting about 6 MPG.

    He took it to his dealer totally outraged.

    Luckily for him we were more interested in girls and stopped the nonsence and never told him.
     
  18. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    "I quickly told him that I worked on my own cars (which was true) and that I could do it myself. Imagine my surprise when I opened the hood of the VW!!! LOL!! I had to ASK this guy where the battery was, and he was smiling the whole time."

    Sooo, did you ever find the waterpump???? lol
     
  19. BRGII

    BRGII TS Member

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    Or the radiator? lol
     
  20. Terry Shellhamer

    Terry Shellhamer TS Member

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    I worked at a VW dealership( after getting out of the Army ) from 1971 to 1980 and many interesting things happened there. One in particular that I remember was a little old ( very funny ) lady that was a long time bug owner. She would trade up to a new model every year or so. Well one year she traded to a Dasher or a Rabbit - I can't remember which, but that is not the important fact. It was late fall, nearing winter weather - so she was concerned about her winter driving safety and therefore went to the local tire dealer and had brand new snow tires installed on the REAR of her Dasher or Rabbit! The next time she came in for normal service work all of us at the dealership had a good laugh because the Dasher or Rabbit was FRONT WHEEL DRIVE - She was such a nice person and good customer that nobody at the dealership had the heart to tell her about her tire mixup [ the tire installing people must not had the heart to tell her either ]. Well, that was one of many good memories from my VW years.
     
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