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Old 01-30-2013, 08:38pm   #1
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Default Secrets of the original Volkswagen Beetle...

The original air-cooled VW Beetle lasted an incredible 58 years in production, during which time it was fundamentally unchanged. Itís a record that will likely never be approached, let alone broken. Although nearly everyone of a certain age has at least one Beetle story or fond memory, there are a few things still not generally known about the beloved car:

1.The original classic Beetle didnít leave production until 2003: Although it was last sold in the U.S. in 1979 (by which time the water-cooled Rabbit had replaced it), the original air-cooled Beetle was produced in Puebla, Mexico, until 2003. Itís essentially identical to the cars produced in Germany for export to the U.S. in the 1970s, but it is illegal to try to import a Mexican Beetle into the U.S. because they donít comply with recent emissions and safety laws.

2.It was conceived by an infamous dictator: The original Beetle was the brainchild of Adolf Hitler. Keen to put ordinary Germans on the newly constructed autobahn superhighways in their own cars, a subsidized savings plan involving a coupon booklet was devised. When a family filled their booklet, they were supposed to get their car. WWII intervened and all pre-war Beetle deliveries were limited to Nazi party officials. Private owners didnít get their hands on a Beetle until after the war.

3.Germans donít remember it as fondly as we do: The connection with the dictator who brought ruin to their country as well as the fact that it serves as a reminder of the lean times before the West German economic miracle took hold means that post-war Germans donít have the same warm and fuzzy feelings about the Beetle that American ex-hippies do.

4.The Beetle will float: The Beetle may have been inexpensive, but it was never cheap. Gaps were tight and doors sealed well. Additionally, it was a unibody car with a very flat floor with few openings. All of this meant that the car would actually float for at least several minutes after hitting the water before turning into a small U-boat.

5.Subject of groundbreaking ad campaign: The Beetle was the subject of one of the most influential ad campaigns of the 20th century. Most recently lampooned on the TV show ďMad Men,Ē it was among the first national campaigns to utilize irony and self-deprecating wit. A tiny black-and-white photo of a Beetle in a sea of white space with only the headline ďThink SmallĒ was the first of the ads introduced in 1959 by the agency Doyle Dane Bernbach.

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:47pm   #2
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One of Dustin Hoffman's first gigs was a VW commercial.

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:53pm   #3
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4.The Beetle will float: The Beetle may have been inexpensive, but it was never cheap. Gaps were tight and doors sealed well. Additionally, it was a unibody car with a very flat floor with few openings. All of this meant that the car would actually float for at least several minutes after hitting the water before turning into a small U-boat.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:58pm   #4
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What other car gives you this kind of qualityindofprice?
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:03pm   #5
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What other car gives you this kind of qualityindofprice?
They make great dune buggies
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:03pm   #6
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My first 2 cars were bugs!! '65, then a '69. The first one was the better of the two, but they were both fun as hell!

I still maintain that the original VW bug is the ideal first car for kids:
Dirt simple to operate and maintain
Cheap to drive, sips the fuel
Cheap to insure
Just enough power (stock) to get into traffic quick enough
Not quite enough power (stock) to get into trouble!
Fun to drive, and teaches inexpensive lessons on car ownership

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Old 01-30-2013, 09:08pm   #7
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My first 2 cars were bugs!! '65, then a '69. The first one was the better of the two, but they were both fun as hell!

I still maintain that the original VW bug is the ideal first car for kids:
Dirt simple to operate and maintain
Cheap to drive, sips the fuel
Cheap to insure
Just enough power (stock) to get into traffic quick enough
Not quite enough power (stock) to get into trouble!
Fun to drive, and teaches inexpensive lessons on car ownership



And practically indestructible mechanically. Bullet-proof engine and tranny, no options to speak of to break, it just cranks and goes every time no matter the weather.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:10pm   #8
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I had two street VW's. Heaters sucked on both of the them during the winter.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:11pm   #9
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Had a '55 oval window. Black with Red interior.

The only thing that was a pain was when a passenger unknowingly
hit the reserve fuel lever with their foot.
Without warning, the car would die when it ran out of gas.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:16pm   #10
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Had a '55 oval window. Black with Red interior.

The only thing that was a pain was when a passenger unknowingly
hit the reserve fuel lever with their foot.
Without warning, the car would die when it ran out of gas.
Yeah...but you still loved that little fcuker car, didn't you?
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:18pm   #11
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Snide and I took one for a test ride this past weekend.
It was cute.



The one we took out had the heritage wheels.
And yes he put the top down for short time (it was freezing up here).
It did seem to have a lot of room. It is suppose to be about 800 lbs. lighter than the Passat, but the gas mileage was better in the Passat and they both have the same engine.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:30pm   #12
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Snide and I took one for a test ride this past weekend.
It was cute.



The one we took out had the heritage wheels.
And yes he put the top down for short time (it was freezing up here).
It did seem to have a lot of room. It is suppose to be about 800 lbs. lighter than the Passat, but the gas mileage was better in the Passat and they both have the same engine.
Were you both holding hands during your day trip, too?
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:41pm   #13
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Were you both holding hands during your day trip, too?
???

Day trip? Going to test drive a new bug is a day trip for you?
Wow, that's kind of sorry, in my eyes.
Or were you trying to make a funny?? If so, please don't give up your day job

Now, if you can explain why a bug that's 800 lbs lighter (as told to me by the sales person) gets less per mile than a 800 lbs. heavier car with the same engine and horsepower, then we can talk. Can it be because of the torque difference?
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:46pm   #14
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???

Day trip? Going to test drive a new bug is a day trip for you?
Look at Bigfoot... it took half the day to fold his ass up small enough to get in the car!
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:49pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasnglass77 View Post
???

Day trip? Going to test drive a new bug is a day trip for you?
Wow, that's kind of sorry, in my eyes.
Or were you trying to make a funny?? If so, please don't give up your day job

Now, if you can explain why a bug that's 800 lbs lighter (as told to me by the sales person) gets less per mile than a 800 lbs. heavier car with the same engine and horsepower, then we can talk. Can it be because of the torque difference?
Gearing and aerodynamics?
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:53pm   #16
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I had several air cooled VW's. First was a '66 Fastback. I had it five years. When I sold it in '90 the clock still worked. Six volt, only car I had that cranked when the temps got to zero. It was all stock with all the heater shrouds and ducts, and the heater was unreal hot! I set a Tupperware container in the rear floorboard and drone 25 miles to work. The damn heat melted the container on one side!
Also had a '68 Van, and a '68 Bug. The bug had been restored and customized. It was nice enough to win a slew of trophies at Bugapoolaza!
Great little cars. I'm sue I'll own another at some point.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:00pm   #17
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I used to work on VW's in the 90's. I'm an air cooled trivia resource, practically.

The most interesting (VW) bug I ever experienced was when a guy brought an almost new Mexican beetle up from Tijuana one day for service. It was maybe 3 years old (1993 model). The car was slightly updated with a rabbit style interior and more modern steering wheel, but it was essentially a '68 swing axle type I beetle with electronic ignition.

Everything worked fine and it was tight and new, but the biggest single difference was how good the steering box was...all the antique beetles had a much more vague steering...plus not having seat springs coming up through the upholstery was a bonus too.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:03pm   #18
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...

[B]3.Germans donít remember it as fondly as we do
I asked some people in China about it, but they had never seen one. They didn't start driving en masse until about 10 years ago though.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:12pm   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasnglass77 View Post
???

Day trip? Going to test drive a new bug is a day trip for you?
Wow, that's kind of sorry, in my eyes.
Or were you trying to make a funny?? If so, please don't give up your day job

Now, if you can explain why a bug that's 800 lbs lighter (as told to me by the sales person) gets less per mile than a 800 lbs. heavier car with the same engine and horsepower, then we can talk. Can it be because of the torque difference?
The car may be 800lbs lighter but you had a 2 ton Snide with you.

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Old 01-30-2013, 10:17pm   #20
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I love air cooled vee dubs! I had a 68 and a 71 Super. One of my dad's co-workers gave him the 68 when I was about 11. It ran but had the usual rotted out heater channels and floor. He rebuilt it by hand, made a new floor from fiberglass, fixed it up in general. It had been white originally (I think) with red suits with white trim. He painted it yellow (he was an industrial painter, and the paint was shall-we-say free), and when I was 12 gave it to me and taught me to drive on it. I didn't drive it much, someone offered me $100 for it, and they were still that cheap at the time.
I paid $600 for the Super with thoughts of fixing it up, until I disassembled it and found out there wasn't any part on it that wasn't rusted all the way through and held together with bondo. The engine needed rebuilding too. We farted around with it for a few years and let it go, also for $100
I'll get another someday, and it won't go for no Franklin...
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