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Beetle (old ones) Lovers' Nostalgic Road Trip

My daughter had heard many stories of my “Beetle days” and driving out west to ski with a buddy. She just sent me this message and a link…

"Neat article! My thoughts were you should do this, Dad! And also, did they wedge a tennis racket down on the accelerator for cruise control? :)"

I completely wore out, used up 2 Beetles, a used '64 and a brand new '71 Super Beetle and of course that would generate some stories!

I told my daughter about driving straight through (24 hours non-stop) in the Super Beetle to ski Colorado, stopping only for gas and snacks, and nature calls. I remember Nebraskaaa! I filled up with gas just inside Nebraska and had to fill up again before I got out of it. A fill-up was about 3 bucks. An all day, all area lift ticket at Vail was $9 and Breakfast Special in the basement of “The Lodge” was about a buck or so. We stayed nights up the road a ways at the Eagle River Hotel (used by railroad workers at $2/night, priced jacked to $4 for skiers :smile: ).

A '57 (36 hp.) couldn’t hold a candle to my powerful '71, but it must have made a very interesting trip as this story tells…

(Oh, and don’t ask me about the tennis racket! :blush: It was the '70s, after all!)
Enjoy it!
http://www.wzzm13.com/mobile/article/news/nation-now/two-missouri-guys-repeat-67-trip-to-pikes-peak-in-the-same-old-beetle/465-2kpjyexEJWMg4WSg0CGgMi
CSA

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I drove a 1958 European model beetle across Europe over the summer of 1960. I crossed the Alps 3 times, mostly in second gear going uphill. The car had about 30 HP and I was constantly shifting up and down to get some performance.

Drove 10,000 KM including lots on the German autobahns, where I managed 110 km/hr and stayed in the slow lane.

The car broke its speedometer cable (a $6 repair) but was reliable the rest of the way.

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Nostalgia is nice but I wouldn’t have taken my 59 Bug on that trip without another car following me. Mine was totaled so no chance. My old college roommate died recently and thinking of the time the three of us took it on a pheasant hunting trip. First night all the motels were booked solid with other hunters, so three of us slept in that car. It wasn’t very comfortable and found a motel after that.

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When I was a kid my neighbor had an old bug. We lived at 8,000 feet with a 1500 foot rise on the road into the neighborhood. Dad always dreaded getting behind her on the way home. That thing just crawled uphill at altitude. Still, as the only car in the neighborhood that wasn’t a box, with the exception of the Corvette one guy very rarely drove, I always thought it was really cool. Still like 'em today.

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Will there be any 2017 Volkswagens still running in 2077 I wonder. Or for that matter any 2017 Mercedes Benz or Cadillacs or any other make.

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Wow! do you remember if it had "semaphore" turn signals that popped out of the “B” pillars when you signaled for a turn?

I remember those cables! I had one on my '64 and '71. The VW speedo cables terminated in a square end, at the left front wheel (right front on European right-hand drive?), where it went through a hollow axle spindle from the back side, through a square hole in the bearing grease cap, and was held fast with a “c”-clip.
CSA

We used to go to high school basketball games, as a kid, my dads bud bought a new beetle, I still remember sitting in the back seat, thinking the rear window was so small, my dad drove us in his 58 impala after that and he never wanted to ride in a beetle again.
Kind of odd why I remember that ride, they must have just redone the basketball floor, maybe like linseed oil smell, it was one of my favorites smells in life. Still wish I could find that exact smell for a happy memory.

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I put one of those speedo cables in too. Yep, right through the front wheel. Actually, what could be simpler?

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Really! The entire car was simplified, designed by an aircraft designer and used an air-cooled (aircraft engine) and a stamped outer “skin” (Those fancy body stampings aren’t for looks), all in the interest of simplicity and saving weight, cutting drag, etcetera.
CSA

Yes, it had those funny flick out turn signals that usually worked. Otherwise the car was bare bones, 4 on the floor manual shift, no A/C, no power steering or anything else power. I did enjoy the canvas sliding roof though; in Spain It kept enough air flowing through the car.

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Yeah I had the canvas sun roof too. I bought it at a Rolls dealer for $500 in 67. The salesman told me that an architect owned it and when he had to haul a 2x4 or something, he just stuck it out the sun roof. The only car salesman I’ve run across with a tailored suit, monogrammed shirt and gold cuff links. I think I over paid a little.

Did you try hauling 2 x 4s? It seemed to be quite lucrative for the architect if he traded-in at a Rolls dealer!
:wink:
CSA

Man, that sounds steep for a sun roof in '67!

;-]

Yeah kind of like when you buy a boat motor they throw the boat in for free, you buy the sunroof and they throw the car in for free.

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