This VW has been a fixture in our neighborhood since well before we moved here thirty years ago. The rather curious fellow that owns it is obviously planning to drive it for the rest of his life. It’s a keeper, and I can respect that.
I took pictures of it some ten years ago, but I can’t find it. It was green then, and had lots of stickers on it. The wheels are still the previous color.
The door lock has been replaced with something a bit simpler and more durable.
The owner hauls a lot of stuff around, so the passenger seat is long gone. He doesn’t seem the kind that would likely have a passenger.
The back seat has a tarp for a cover, and it gets a lot of use.
I do like hearing it around the neighborhood. And I hope that continues for a long time yet.
A tribute to States with no annual inspection. Living in New York, I’ve never experienced anything but annual inspections and emissions testing. A car like this VW would have been forced off the road decades ago. The details are great… like the driver’s side mirror and the “half-pipe” roof rack. A bug without its running boards looks rather jaunty. It’s a wonder they were never designed out– it may have saved on production costs. Maybe they acted as rub strips?
Door lock inspired by Mr. Bean’s mini…
I see an engine compartment lock in the same style out back…
Mr Bean’s Mini door lock inspired by this Beetle 🔍
Excellent! I can’t imagine what it would be like to “drive” that, but I (honestly) have nothing but respect for someone who does and doesn’t give a damn what anyone else might think of it.
As an aside, I will note that he’s clearly all set for Festivus and is transporting a very proper pole.
FESTIVUS for the rest of us! SERENITY NOW!!!!! (=
You have to admire a car that can keep chugging along, even when held together by spit, bailing wire and barnyard hardware. That poor rear suspension keeps holding up its end despite the extra load it carries in the back seat.
’67 and ’68 bugs tend to sag in the back…VW added a compensator spring to prevent a tire from rolling under the car in a hard turn event and reduced the diameter of the rear torsion bar to keep the ride smooth. My ’68 has long lost its compensator spring and has a bit of a sag as well.
Good for the guy keeping that bug alive…things can run forever if rust doesn’t kill them!
Little nuggets of info like this are part of why I love CC.
If it ain’t broke……
The sound of those engines. When they were everywhere, back in the day, the distinctive mechanical cacophony of those air cooled Beetles and other VWs was indelibly imprinted into my brain. And likely the noggins of many other people as well.
Yes. And the harder, harsher more of a clattery sound of the later ones. I especially noticed that when Uncle Jack got a ’72 ‘Collector’s Bug’ (Aussie special edition, his was a 1600 manual) to replace his ’62.
The car is cluttered, but not a rusted out wreck. I’ll bet that it is maintained so that it is reliable. Plenty of parts support for older VWs, so keeping it on the road shouldn’t be so hard. I think that the gate locks on the car are more from a sense of whimsy, than the inability to find replacement parts. The gas mileage is also something that you can live with, maybe 25-30 mpg? Some older vehicles are easier to keep on the road than others.
Before bi annual emmission testing became mandatory it was more common for older simpler cars to still be in use. Nothing will take an old car out of service quicker than the need for an expensive new catalytic converter, or a hard to source air pump, or EGR valve.
In my neighborhood back in the mid ’70’s, there was an old man that drove a ’49 Chevy fastback sedan. The paint was faded with patches of surface rust, the seats had exploded with the stuffing spilling out of the tops, and the sidewalls of the tires were all scuffed up, as he used them as curb feelers. The sides of the car displayed all the battles that it had lost with trash cans, sign posts, and other immovable objects. The driver would rev the engine furiously to start off in second gear, he referred to that as his “automatic” transmission which he never shifted. While trailing a cloud of blue smoke it ran well enough to go the half mile to my Mom’s neighborhood grocery store. The car was only used for that purpose. He was a neighborhood fixture for many years.
I hesitate to say this, for fear that I’m wrong in the state where the general assumption is that the long arm of the law reaches everywhere, but even her in Massachusetts cars more than 15 years old are exempt from emissions testing.
This is why my 1976 Volvo – which may or may not is supposed to have a catalytic converter – is exempt and hence it’s a moot point. No one has tried to stick a probe up the car’s exhaust in years.
On the other hand, some inspection stations have tried to fail it due to the non-functional rear window wiper. The solution to that is to take it to another inspection point where they aren’t trying to haul you in to fix a problem that they haven’t been able to find the parts to fix for around 20 years.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Not to mention the FLUX capacitor!?! They been very rare since 1985!
I have seen my share of similar looking “well loved” older cars. I opened my “old car shop” in the late 1970s, and for many years we had multiple customers who were still driving 20-50 year old cars as everyday drivers, along with a few orphan makes. Some owners drove old cars because they liked driving them. All of my employees drove older vehicles as their main transportation, and they worked there because of their love for old cars & trucks. [And I let them work on their own cars after hours.]
One of my favorite customers drove 3 cars as daily drivers, and his family lived in the city of Washington DC, He drove a 1953 Packard Patrician during the winter as it had lots of body rust, and in the summer he drove a 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood 60s that he bought from me. His wife drove a 1954 Chrysler New Yorker. Both the Caddy and the Chrysler had factory A/C. Eventually the Packard got too rusty, and it was sold, but the other 2 cars continued to be daily drivers until he and his wife passed away about 15 years ago.
There were several customers who drove cars in similar condition to this VW, mostly due to financial constraints. We tried to work with the car owners as much as possible, installing used parts, sometimes off parts cars in my back “field of dreams” [AKA a field of old parts cars]. A couple of cars [a 1964 Studebaker sedan, and a 1960 Corvair sedan] were owned and driven by people who were retirees that barely made ends meet financially, and we sometimes worked on those 2 cars for free, fitting in the work an hour at a time between paying jobs.
I even had one customer who was living in his white 1966 Chevy Biscayne 2-door sedan, 6-cylinder stick shift car he bought new. The only option on the car was a heater. Yes he lived in the car, and it was clear he had emotional issues, but my techs never complained about how the inside of the car looked [or smelled in the summer], and a few times my guys were willing to put off getting paid for the work until his monthly disability check came in, and he always paid what he owed, in cash. When one of my guys got married, the Chevy owner sent him a card with 5 $1 bills inside. On opening the card, he sat down & cried!
Bill, that’s a moving story…which seems all that more appropriate for this time of year.
All should be so fortunate as to have encountered a businessman such as yourself, and your shop.
A hodge podge of different year parts. Passenger door is ’65 or ’66, the outer door handle on the driver’s door is ’65 or early ’66, can’t see the inside of door, most likely ’65 or ’66. Front fender is missing the oval horn grill and has a slot in it, maybe ’68 and up front fenders. The rear wheels look to be 4 lug, can’t tell on the front.
If I didn’t live in the Great White Salted North there were a couple cars I could have seen this happening too. Not intentionally, just favourites that I still miss after they lost their battles with the rust monsters.
In California, only cars 1975 and earlier that are exempt from smog tests. Car enthusiasts have been hoping for a rolling age exemption standard, maybe cars older than 20 years, but there hasn’t seemed to be interest among the legislature. 1975 was 47 years ago! In a lot of cases an older car is not a gross polluter, but it just doesn’t have all the required equipment in place, and it cannot meet the standard. The State has a program to assist the owner in locating the needed parts and even a grant, for low income people, to pay for them. But the main thrust is to pay the owners to scrap their vehicles. I think that there should be an exemption for vintage vehicles that qualify for historical vehicle licensing, and have use restrictions which limit their mileage.
Another long time owner doing the do .
In the 1970’s I had many such Customers that drove now valuable early Beetles and Vans .
Here in So. Cal. are lots of homeless living in their vehicles, I was pondering one old woman yesterday who blocked traffic and just sat there in her Chevy minivan filled to the roof with dirty old crap as folks tried to get past .
Even the passenger seat was full .
I enjoy these stories of cars in curbsideclassic. Would you consider making the typeface a little bigger, and black? I can barely read it on my phone. Thanks!