I stopped this weekend to ask this dapper gent if I could take a picture of him pouring gas into his trunk. He agreed, and even provided a winning smile. For our younger readers, all Beetles had their fuel tank in the trunk, directly in front of the driver’s feet, and you had to open the hood to access the fuel filler.
I grew up around two cars with the fuel filler under the hood (or is it trunk?). Grandma Godfrey’s Renault Dauphine placed it in the (rear) engine compartment, and my father’s 1967 Beetle was built the year before Volkswagen went with an external fuel door. ’68 and newer Beetles placed a fuel door on the body above the right fender and just in front of the passenger door.
Overall, Renault seemed to have the better concept, since placing the fuel tank in the luggage compartment led to fuel spills on your luggage, the groceries, or that pet fish you just bought.
Oh, the Beetle? It’s a 1960 model that the owner took delivery of in late 1959, and he’s had it ever since. He says the only original parts are the chassis and the spare.