A woman is reunited with her first car

… albeit a VW Bug that doesn’t run. But, she is still happy to get it back.

For the guy that has everything, as much as I am nostalgic about my Morris Minor as my first car, I want to make it perfectly clear, I don’t want it back. It’s been 50 years anyway so probably long ago made into a dish washer. Still just to be clear to everyone, I don’t want it back. I managed to sell it once and got out from under it and can’t believe my luck would hold for the second time around. Now my second car, the 59 VW was wrecked so no chance of that but maybe I’d take my 59 Pontiac back but would have a hard time fitting it in the garage. Just like don’t ever buy a dog for someone, don’t ever present them with their old car. IMHO anyway.


One of the biggest mistakes of my life was trading-in my first car–a beautiful '71 Charger SE.
It was only 3 years old, and I had never had any problems with the car, but because of the first major gasoline shortage, I decided that I needed something more economical. Even though it had the smallest (318 c.i.) V-8, it was not capable of more than 13-16 mpg in my usual driving. I once managed to wring 17 mpg out of it on a very long road trip, but that was just not very good, I thought.

Unfortunately, I bought-into the myth of Volvo reliability, and in the process, I wound up with a true POS '74 Volvo–in stark contrast to my rock-solid Charger. And, I only gained–at most–about 6 mpg.

The benefit of that relatively small gain in gas mileage paled by comparison with the losses that I sustained by being stranded multiple times, and by the incredible repair costs after just a couple of years.

So, in some sense, I do wish that I had my first car back again, even though it would not stack-up very well with virtually any modern car.


My first car was a 1988 Toyota Corolla. I grew up in Illinois, and cars there rusted badly. By the time I was old enough to drive–1996–the car had a LOT of rust. In fact, it was junked due to excessive rust, still running well. My next car, a 1991 Toyota Camry was also junked once the brake lines rusted through, and the entire undercarriage was rusty and crumbling.

Now I live in Arizona, and I still see these cars on the road. In fact, every day I see at least one 1987-1991 Toyota Camry on the road, another great car which is long extinct in places where rust is a problem. I wouldn’t mind another 1991 Camry, and every now and then I see one for sale with low miles and in good condition.

I read the story and wasted 3 minutes of my life I won’t be getting back.

Having worked a Volkswagen dealerships for a total of several years, and having completely worn out 2 original beetles (not those goofy “new beetles”), I feel qualified to say that the car was a total piece of :poop: when purchased the first time and more so, purchased the second time. Has she no common sense at all? Talk about blight! Embarrassing.

No offense, but I wouldn’t shake hands with that woman and just reading this story makes me get up and go take a hot shower. I’ll be back in a few minutes… (CSA steps away from his desk)

(CSA returns, towel drying his hair) Enjoy the memories from your first car, your first girl friend, your first house, whatever… You can’t go back, again. Those times can never be recreated and an attempt should not be made. Enjoy the memories. Throw the crap away.

I’m not sure what my first girlfriend was but my first fiance was at 5 years old. I was fussy. I broke it off until finally at 24, with a string in between as far as I can remember. No regrets although some still make my palms sweat. Don’t tell anyone though.

My Grandson had a fiancé at 5 years old. He broke it off when informed he could only have one wife. LOL

While they have their quirks I get why people fall in love with these. A relative had at least 10 Vw’s in his parent’s front yard between beetles,squarebacks, and a fastback or two. He’s now got a kermit green New Beetle TDI.

My first car was a 52 Plymouth, liked it a lot but it went to the junkyard at 10 years old with terminal rust. My first new car was a 71 VW bus, the bus was ok but I hated everything about that lousy 60 hp air cooled engine. The lack of heat, and power and the fact that I never got 20 mpg out of it. To keep it running I had to adjust the valves at every 3000 mile oil change. Also, who sells a new car without a fuel or oil filter.

When Chrysler came out with the minivan in 84, there was finally a great family hauler that could haul 4 x 8 plywood, drywall, appliances, etc and I used to take my 32" international cub riding mower to cut our church frass in one. Also no problem getting the home denter to put a pallet of roofing shingles in it.

Well, technically, it did have an oil filter. Of course, that strainer couldn’t capture anything much smaller than a pebble, but VW considered it to be a filter. :wink:

In any event, let us not forget that this vehicle represented mid-1930s technology, and other cars from that era also had no oil filter.

Those old bugs were several magnitudes more reliable then 99% of other cars on the road. I’ve seen several bugs with easily over 500k miles on the original engine and tranny. Easy to work on and GREAT in snow.

Their biggest problem was - NO HEAT. You could get a gas heater, but those were notoriously dangerous. They also rusted out (like every other vehicle of that era).

While I don’t regret the time I spent driving my 59 VW, the last thing I would want is to get it back. Luckily the VW dealer was withing walking distance of campus which was handy for the many times it needed to go into the shop. A class mates dad owned the place so once in a while I’d see her there too which was a bonus. Highly over-rated but cute.

Are you referring to the class-mate or the Beetle? :wink:

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I’d require proof of that, if that means never out, never rebuilt, original pistons/rings/cylinders. With no oil filter, they were not magic. Few engines with good oil filters make it half that far.

Yeah that was not very clear. The car was cute but highly over-rated. The daughter was cute too but not over-rated.

The bus had undergone generational changes since the first one and it had a rubber fuel line going to the carb. No reason to not have an inline filter . Which is what I did after the dealer charged me $100 dollars for dumping the dirt out of the carb, two weeks after buying the bus. It wasn’t covered by the warranty because " It wasn’t VWs fault that I bought dirty gas." He then tried to sell me a $49 SuperMicronite fuel filter. I drove to an auto parts store and put in a 99 cent one VW may have considered that screen an oil filter, I did not. I never bothered to remove it again, just removed the small center plug.

That little air cooled engine may have been adequate in the bug, but it was pitiful in the bus.

As far as being good in the snow, the great traction was counterbalanced by the fact that most of the time you couldn’t see where you were going and if it was slippery, the wind could blow you off the road. Did I mention that the Buffalo area has higher average wind speeds than Chicago, as well as having more snow.

This has been seen around town for a couple years now. Either the same owner or a friend of the faded early 70’s VW van that’s usually parked next to it.

In my opinion . . . that is truly hideous :fearful:


My solution was to cut through the heat duct under the rear seat, and install a blower motor from a '55 Chevy. That actually provided very good heat–albeit only on the driver’s side. In order to get heat on both sides, I would have had to do the same thing on the passenger side, and I figured out that the electrical system was too weak to run two blower motors simultaneously.

I had a gas heater in mine and it was fine. Once you were on the road though, the heater vents seemed to be fine to keep me warm and this was South Dakota and Minnesota. And I like heat but only used the gas heater off and on to heat the car up. If parked though using the heater, you had to be a little careful because it used gas out of the tank and there was no gas gauge, just a small reserve tank.