Back in the Spring, when, according to the Good Book, “kings go off to war”, I hauled the Esposita out to the local VW car show. She tolerates this annual religious pilgrimage with good humor, possibly because I keep the AC functioning on her car during our ungodly hot summers, and we spent a delightful, to me, morning prowling the V-dub heaps as I re-lived my youthful faded glory that mainly exists in my mind.
It’s a typical VW show. Legions of Cal Dubs with their tiny nerf bars, a host of stockers, the type 2, 3 and 4’s in mass. Fine and scuzzy Karman Ghias. Westys and Bajas. It’s nice and all, but I have to admit it gets a tad predictable. Organized VW religion can be like that eh? I’m always on the lookout for something unusual, like a really early type 1, they had a late 40’s one once and I got super excited. This year was looking pretty mainstream though, no serious oldies, nothing really strange, was about time to start thinking of lunch. Maybe a burger or taco. Hmm.
But as we rounded a bend my pulse skyrocketed!
“Oh my God!” I sputtered out, “It’s..oh wow…wow…oh SWEET!”
“Huh?” my wife said, puzzled at my sudden and inexplicable excitement over yet another Bug, “What are you talking about?”
“It’s…I…oh wow…it’s a new one!” I helpfully clarified.
“Huh? Where?” as she looked about for one of those stupid re-skinned Golfs that…that entity what calls itself “Volkswagen” these days has the bald faced audacity to dare christen “Beetle” which, fortuitously, are banned from the show and cast into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of gears.
Nope, not one of those charlatans, but a real Bug. And new.
Now if you, like I, have focused your considerable autistic skills of hyper-focus and legerdemain on knowing the exact differences between every single year of VW type 1’s sold in the US of A from 1949-79 then you would have immediately noted that this Bug was wrong. All wrong. And that’s what was so right about it. Where were the vents behind the back windows? Why were the turn signals in the bumpers? Those wheels, the trim, wrong, and it looked brand new. Dear Lord, this was one of the Mexican ones, and a late model as well.
The sign in the window said it was a 2003 model! The last of them all! This my friend, was the Holy Grail of Bugs. What we, the few remaining faithful clinging to the skeletal corpse of aircooled Volkswagen are willing to worship with tithes and offerings and supplications.
But how could it be here? These Bugs are forbidden fruit, verboten, can’t be imported until they are 25 years old because Uncle Sugar knows best. Meaning, of course, we won’t be able to roll in an 03′ Beetle until the year 2028 when most of us reading this will be drooling on our wheelchairs while our care nurse tries to wipe our chin.
Luckily for me the owner was right at hand to explain all and more. He was about age 35, and his wife and kiddo were there as well and they were all looking like they’d stepped right out of a telenovela, handsome, beautiful, fashionable and sizzling sexy.
The Bug was one of the last made, it had about 6k kilometers on it, whatever that is in Freedom Miles™ I dunno but it’s not much as the car looked, and still smelled, new. It was registered in Mexico, where the owner had a home in Mexico City. When he was in the Central California area, aka the land that God forgot, where he also had a home, it was trailered up. He keeps it babied, and it lives in garages in both countries, has never seen rain, or even the road much. Needless to say this man was a True Believer in the church of the aircooled, and we fellowshipped together at the altar of Flat Four.
And it has factory AC! I took some pics for you to fawn over, I know you will, the AC vents under the dash, (Yay) the compressor setup (Oooo). It worked great! He fired it up for me, sweet runner, to hear that engine purr was akin to the heavenly choir, and then he turned on the AC. I’m here to testify that a type 1 can have real, honest to Dog, cold air blowing out of the dash. Can I get an amen?!
There are some intriguing differences with this late model car and the 77′ sedan models, the last regular Bugs we got here in America. It’s not an inglourious basterd Superbeetle (VW’s 1971-79′ pitiful attempt to “modernize” the Bug that resulted in an unholy swelling of the upper parts) so no silly struts for the front suspension but torsion bars like all Sanctified Bugs have. Steering wheel and seats are, of course changed, while the dash is right out of the late 60’s redo. Lots more for you eagle eyed readers to spy and labor over.
And bonus! He also owned a 1999 type 2 and it was also at the show! Here’s some snaps of it. Water cooled, factory AC, also smelled like new. This man is a hero. He has fought the good fight, he has finished the course, he has kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness, for this is one righteous VW dude. Amen and amen.
Seeing these VWs was delightful, a spiritual experience for the Compleat VW Idiot. One of the greatest moments of my short, miserable, smelly life. I have seen, and even touched, a piece of the reward that awaits all those who hold to the faith. I can now die happy.
Went to CC to see what was on my reading list for the day, but had to read immediately.
An air cooled Beetle with A/C and that new car smell.
I’ve always liked the Bug (I came home from the hospital in a ’61). My wife (then girlfriend) and I had the great good fortune of riding in Bugs and an identical Type 2 van during a trip to Mexico in 1992. Quite memorable. I have photos of a VW show I took back in 2000 – plenty of early Type 1’s, in both split and oval window versions. I also watched the TV news clip of the last Bug rolling off the line at the Puebla factory in 2003, complete with a mariachi band. Kind of sad, but plenty of people are still showing the Bug some love. As it should be.
I’m not really an aficionado, but I prefer the turn signals perched atop the front fenders (in accord with Scripture), not down in the bumper. I think they moved to the bumper in ’75 or so, except in the US and Canada where they remained on the fenders because they have integral sidemarker lights and reflectors not catered for (physically) in the bumper lights.
A water-cooled Type II? Is that even…I mean…doesn’t god get very angry…?
Yea, Brother Stern is correct: the turn signals MUST be placed on the fender tops in a pious manner. The man from the Show was obviously sent to tempt you off the true Beetle path, my friend. Factory AC indeed! Ha! The righteous Beetle driver craves neither cold air in the summer nor warm air in the winter. That path leads only to power steering, massage seats, and infotainment systems. Repent now! It’s good you came to us for counsel, brother.
Great article though, and I’m glad you enjoyed the show. Looks like a fun day.
Heretics! Turn signals must be placed below and to the side of the Headlights, but above the bumper! The rear window may either be split (orthodox) or oval (reformed.)
Hey, don’t forget us evangelicals with the rapturously-big rear window!
The fallacy of the big window leads one down the path towards 12 volts, to even larger rear windows, to colored turn signals. REPENT!
My last Bug was the ’66 – and I kept it as a 6 volt. I even found a pushbutton AM/FM Blaupunkt for it. I never really left the Church of Aircooled VW, look at my avatar.
I keep being smitten by the latest Jetta tho – then I remember how unreliable they are and how the dealer treats you. That always puts me off.
My 6 volt ’66 Beetle had a 12 volt convertor for it’s 12 volt AM-FM radio added later, at idle with the turnsignals flashing the radio volume would get lower and higher in time with the clicks.
The German market ones were still 6v for ’67 (I had one). Did find an AM-FM radio for it, in of all places, Sears.
Absolutely on the turn signal location. Good with the rear window, but the larger windshield starting in ’58 was nice.
“A water-cooled Type II? Is that even…I mean…doesn’t god get very angry…?”
Indeed there is a whiff of brimstone about it, however, and this comes directly from Holy Writ, on page 78 of the Compleat Idiots Guide to Keeping Your VW Alive it says that conversions to water-cooled are doctrinally sound if they are for the sole and express purpose of keeping a type 1, 2, 3, or 4 in production and on the road.
Wait, I think you’re quoting from the Book of Marmon, there, Heath…
Some of us old timers thought it was heretical when VW moved the front turn signal from its rightful place next to the headlight to the top of the fender in 1958. And some even older timers thought it was heretical to replace the semaphores with turn signal lights.
You really DO learn something new every day. ;o)
This site continues to increase (my already pretty extensive) vocabulary. Thanks Paul!
I had to look up “Semaphore”, and then had to quantify it with “VW” to find this……
I think that’s actually sort of a modern interpretation of a semaphore turn signal in that video. I’m pretty sure the original ones used in the 1940s and 50s didn’t flash or have any lighting at all. They were pretty much just a flag that popped out from the side of the car in place of turn signal lights.
The “Jay Leno’s Garage” YouTube channel featured a 1955 Beetle a while back. In that episode they demonstrated the semaphore signals.
Another modern day interpretation of this concept would be the stop sign that pops out of the side of a school bus.
Here’s another one in the correct location. I think the waving action was not factory, though.
The ones on English cars had lights, but they didn’t flash. From what I remember, they never went back together again properly after you changed the globe – all the ones I remember were held together with insulation tape.
Truth to tell, post-’67 Beetles (no aero headlamp cover lenses, no oval vent grates) jest don’t look right to me.
’67’s retained the horn grills and tube bumpers, but sealed their fate into doom by abandoning their glass covered headlamps. The new 12 volt system had it’s grip on their souls as well. Their fate was sealed in ’68 when the grills were cast away and the one piece bumpers defiled their faith.
Again, I’m not an aficionado, but I am fairly sure ’67 was the last year for the glass-covered headlamps. They were illegalised by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard № 108, which took effect in ’68.
It depended on where the car was sold. US models got a 12v system and “naked” sealed beams for ’67 (August 1966 production). My grey market ’67 still had covered headlamps. An odd advantage for me was that the CHP used to do surprise roadblocks to check safety equipment, similar to DUI checkpoints today. They had a headlight aim testing machine that flunked over half the cars tested. Old VW’s, Jaguars, etc. could not use the machine. I got my sticker every time, without having to pay a licensed “headlight adjusting station” to sign off.
A quickie Google image search reveals plenty of US-spec Beetles with “naked” sealed beams, but your “Depends which market it was built for” answer has problems. For one thing, the US market was one of only a few where sealed-beam headlamps were mandatory. They were allowed but not mandatory in Mexico, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Japan. They weren’t legal in Europe. Yet again I can’t speak authoritatively on VWs in particular, but overwhelmingly things worked like this: in unregulated markets and in markets with regulations that allowed either the European or the American headlamp system, European cars tended to have European headlamps: composite items with separable lenses, reflectors, and bulbs. The exception was Canada, where European cars tended to have American-type headlamps in recognition of market availability and service familiarity with sealed beams and not with replaceable bulbs. Outside the US/Canada “sealed beam island”, pre-’68 (or pre-’67 if you like) Beetles didn’t have aero clear cover lenses in front of sealed beams, they had aero optically-faceted lenses at the front of composite headlamp assemblies.
So, which market was this grey-market ’67 of yours originally built for…?
This applied to US Beetles only. Another strange thing is Beetles and Type 3’s only got front lap belts in ’66 and ’67, no standard rear seat belts. American cars got rear lap belts standard during this time, not VW. Some how VW must have gotten some kind of exemption on the belts. The ’67 and later US Beetle headlamp assemblies and chrome surround ring (headlamp doors) were from the VW Type 3. (Fastback and Squareback).
Beetles and Type 3’s came with mounting points for shoulder belts, front and rear since 1962.
the T2C seen in the pic is a Brasilian model with the inline 4 – this one ended production 12.31.13 when last manufactured @ the Sao Bernardo do Campo VW plant…
Love your writing style Heath. It makes me laugh and although I do not worship at the Church of The Mighty VW, I have my own weakness of the automotive flesh.
So I can relate.
The La Esposita thing is 100% GOLD.
Same here to all that, Bill Shields.
I know the feeling. Had a ’97 show up at Cars and Coffee Richmond back in June (and of course I wasn’t carrying a camera). Caught it out of the corner of my eye from three rows over because I noticed the A/C compressor stuffed in there with the engine.
It was for sale, asking price $10,000.00. I forget how the owner managed to get Virginia plates on it, but I think it was a legally backdated car. “Legally” of course being used in the narrow lawyer’s point of view. I’m certain that the VaDOT would have something to say about it, if they realized what had been pulled on them.
Later Mexican Vochos, like that white one, had EFI and a HUGELY improved exhaust muffler, to the point they didn’t sound like a Escarabajo anymore. They were also kind of expensive and people expecting a cheap ride was sorely dissapointed.
One of my uni mates had one, red and w/o A/C. I remember it beng peppy and him being tired of the heat coming from the back, and the oil getting black quickly and… so at some point we gave a hand in dropping the engine down and fitting some insulation he ordered from the US.
The Kombi must be a Brazilian one, which is where they ended production. The engine, if memory serves well, also did duties powering Gols, Golfs…
Heath didn’t mention it, but yes, this Beetle, like all later Mexican Beetles, does have FI, despite that throttle body looking a bit like a carb. It can be retrofitted to earlier DP engines.
I nearly convinced my parents to buy a Mexican Beetle in 2000. There are no import restrictions in the UK and I was amazed when my mother took me seriously. My parents basically hate cars, but my mum is a luddite so was pleased at the idea of driving an ancient but new car. She clearly hadn’t thought through all the implications, and I didn’t mention them.
In the end they were put off by delivery times and their inability to trade in their old car with the importer in England, and bought a “boring for here” Peugeot 206.
Very interesting Heath, and moreso that the flat 4 has enough oomph to turn the compressor as well. I guess having the modern rotary one helps.
I don’t get why people display beetles with the front trunk open. I have a beetle, and I look in there and go “nothing interesting here..”
Maybe to display your copy of Muir’s idiot book?
Why keep the front trunk open? On this particular Beetle, perhaps it’s just to show how well detailed everything is; not a speck of dust anywhere. Or perhaps it ‘s to confuse the younger generation: “Ha ha! Where could the engine be?”
I sometimes wonder the opposite: why an otherwise beautiful car would have the hood closed. The gorgeous XJS V12 I saw at a show the other day, for example. Now that’s an engine I would’ve liked to see. Possibly the owner just got tired of the nightmarish complexity of cleaning all that and just gave up.
Oh, I know one good reason.
A guy I know in Richmond has a gorgeous Ferrari 412 coupe (the 400 series being my favorite Ferrari’s). Gorgeous, restored and detailed to mint perfection, the only thing being a bit off is the knob on the shift lever . . . .
And the first couple of times he’s shown it, he absolutely refused to raise the hood. Because under it is a complete Australian Pontiac GTO engine and transmission. And, at the one gathering where he did open the hood, the organizers threw him out of the show.
Now, at Cars and Coffee Richmond, he shows up with the hood missing.
Ha! I wondered whether the XJS might’ve had an engine swap. Your experience is even better, though.
Saw something similar once…80s Jag XJS coupe. Under the hood? A rip-roaring LT4 (still wearing it’s crossed-flag Corvette dress-up kit), and a 6-speed manual.
“I don’t get why people display beetles with the front trunk open. I have a beetle, and I look in there and go “nothing interesting here..””
The faithful owner was displaying various holy relics in the truck, hence the open lid.
All A/C compressors are “rotary”—they’re turned to do their job. You mean “cylindrical” or “round”.
Thank you, Brother Heath, for sharing that wonderful testimony! Amen and Amen! Now if Brother Doug and Brother Paul will come forward, we’ll take up the offering. Please turn in your Idiot Book to Chapter X, Page 96, and let’s tunefully sing together as we lift up our Vochos in harmony.
(the only thing that would make this better were for it to be an Ultima Edicion)
As a member of that more ancient faith (which subscribes to foundational doctrines of 6 or 8 water-cooled cylinders up front driving rear wheels, most perfectly practiced by long-extinct congregations in Indiana) I consider your sect to be one of the more benign heresies out there.
Nevertheless, let us all be of good fellowship as we practice our varying faiths in peace and harmony.
And a seriously cool find, I gotta admit.
“As a member of that more ancient faith (which subscribes to foundational doctrines of 6 or 8 water-cooled cylinders up front driving rear wheels, most perfectly practiced by long-extinct congregations in Indiana) ”
My parents and their parents before them were of that denomination, a cold, dead faith dedicated to legalistic interpretations of the law of CARB. Luckily for me I quickly embraced the warm, some would say overheated, faith of the flat four aircooled as a young adult.
Front, rear, mid, 3/4/5/6/8 cylinder, inline/V/boxer, air/water cooled, Can’t we all just, get along? 🙂
DARN! My “Co-Exist” banner didn’t post!!!
A faith, more of my fathers, from which I am much lapsed, having developed an abiding dislike fed by our long, hot (or exhaust-gassy & cold), impossibly slow “journeys” as a child in HTL 495 the ’63 Microbus. (Yes, the plate really did read HTL. On a VW. Owned by a pre-war refugee from Germany). 1.2 litres to motivate 8 people, 6 of whom were already fighting before the, say, 4 hour, 70 mile “journey” had begun, some of whom had injuries caused by unwonted close confinement and all of whom were not on speaking terms by “journeys” end.
I glimpsed others through the windows when a brother (or sister) would squish my head that way mid-fight; in their religions, they had 6 cylinders and even V8’s. For them, the “journey” was just a trip to grandmas, and it took 50 minutes.
Foolishly, one of the sisters rejoined the Movement briefly in adulthood with a Superbug. Although that thing was admittedly great fun to drive, it often didn’t. Consistent with the Superbug name, it also persisted in trying to kill her.
“Freedom Miles”. That made me really laugh! Well done again, Heath McClure, lot of enjoyment here. Though I will remain an embittered ex, may your god bless you and your next rebuild be bounteously aircooled.
Oh dear, it would seem you missed the point of “suffering builds character” taught in chapter 3 of the Compleat Idiots Guide.
I will place your name before the dual port heads for redemption, may the microbus save your soul!
Holy Moly, they last forever! —–if you don’t drive them.
Maybe this article is the right excuse to make some guys aware of my most favorite Youtube channel of late:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLa2v9ydEWA&t=74s
Wonderful find, Brother McClure. I confess to having had many impure thoughts of bringing in one of these illicitly from Mexico. These thoughts ranged from a wide variety of means to make it legal, such as the not-uncommon pan swap.
A fair number did make their way to CA that way (and other ways). Given how lax Oregon is with registering foreign cars less than 25 years old, I feel temptation rising from time to time.
I’ve often wondered how hard it would be to just put plates on one from an older model and drive it.
The Calif DMV never really bothers to check anything, we have no safety inspections, and if you used a 75′ or older non-smog check plate who’d ever be the wiser?
No one would ever look at the VIN plate if you stayed out of trouble eh?
Hmm, better stop this line of thinking…
There were a few people in the 90s who were buying Bugs in the USA, driving them to Mexico, SWAPPING everything over onto the old Bugs restored and derusted pan with new heater channels and then driving them back into the USA to be sold for around $10,000, and then selling the old Bug with the new pan in Mexico. Not a bad deal for the restorer when the MexiBugs cost around $7,000. They were able to be titled legally here because the VIN and EPA/DOT certifications went with the pan.
The experience would have been exactly like this one. I regret never doing it.
I remember something like these advertised in the classifieds in the Oklahoma City paper, late ’90’s, early 2000’s. New body was going on the old pan with the new drivetrain. It would be kind of tempting, at this point in life.
I would think that under the new low volume production law that VW could sell a few hundred new type 1’s in the US of A quite easily.
Not even a little bit. That law is not for low-production vehicle models, it’s for low-production manufacturers.
This was a lot of fun to read today, and I appreciate the effort putting it together. I never owned a VW, but had plenty of friends who did, and got some once-removed sense of what ownership is like.
That perfect-shape recent Beetle is too, too cool—–surely a treat to see after all the restored Bugs, etc.
Sidelight: a couple months ago there was a Ford Fairmont wagon (1990s) with the Mexico-only 3.8 V6 on eBay……if I had a helper or the confidence, I’d have given it a new home in a second……
I had the opportunity to drive one, with only 300km on it, in 2004. It was one of the “legal” ones registered via a 1973 tunnel.
As most of y’all know, I’ve been an air-cooled fanatic my entire life. Of course, being born in 1985, every air-cooled I’ve been in was old. Some restored, yes but all old. I always wondered what it was like to buy a brand new one.
Anyway, a local guy bought one of the last ones and came to a cruise in with it. I asked him how it drove and he replied “The keys are in it.” I was so strange to drive because like I said, they’d always been old cars and here was this quiet, tight, brand new car and it felt and drove like a brand new car but it was a Beetle. I got a little taste of what it was like to drive a new one back in the day.
I remember coming to a stop and thinking the engine died when I pushed the clutch in because it was so quiet at idle.
I was so strange to drive because like I said, they’d always been old cars and here was this quiet, tight, brand new car and it felt and drove like a brand new car but it was a Beetle. I got a little taste of what it was like to drive a new one back in the day.
I remember coming to a stop and thinking the engine died when I pushed the clutch in because it was so quiet at idle.
Did you post that same story somewhere else recently? I remember the comments about the car having 300km on it and thinking it died because the idle was so quiet.
Possibly. It’s a story I’ve told numerous times. Sorry if it’s a repeat.
It’s one of those moments I’ll never forget for the reasons above plus the owner has since passed on so it’s a memory of someone who is no longer here.
Possibly. It’s a story I’ve told numerous times. Sorry if it’s a repeat.
Yes, it’s a good story, which is why I remembered it. If you had not posted it, I would have posted it as “read somewhere recently”.
The difference between a new car with all OEM parts and a restoration with reproduction parts in this case is not unique. I have heard plenty of gripes that reproduction breaker points and condenser sets that are available today do not last anywhere near as well as the OEM parts of 50 years ago. Packard’s Torsion-Level suspension is sensitive to parts not being up to spec. I have read of reproduction bushings leading to bizarre suspension behavior, and some bushings described as barely adequate for a car that sits stationary in a museum.
Repro maintenance parts for my ’50 Ford 8N have gotten to the point where it’s a crapshoot as to whether they’ll even fit any more. We call them ‘parts from the land of almost-right.’
Ed, you’d do better to get real parts (NOS/NORS) from the likes of Old Car Parts Northwest.
Is that a carburetor…or a throttle-body type fuel injection?
15 minute build film for the last 2003 Mexican bugs. This video is only 14 years old, but, compared to, for instance, Wolfsburg, today, I am amazed at the amount of hand work being done, all the men walking in and hand fitting the body parts into the welding jig and painting the entire body with hand held guns. In Wolfsburg, these processes are entirely automated and there is hardly anyone in these departments.
Even in India, where line workers make a quarter what they do in Mexico, VW plants have more automation now.
Thanks for posting that video! It burns us to think that such treasures were being made and sold to the general public only a few hundred miles from my abode.
Life is truly not fair.
Love that emblem flopping alignment device. It is an interesting juxtaposition. So much hand work on the one hand but such a modern plant on the other hand. Everything nice bright and clean and modern yet the cars are getting fender welt.
I remember a film shown in auto shop of the Wolfsburg plant from the mid-1960’s. There was more automation there than the 21st Century Mexican plant. I think the key difference was volume. A high volume 1960’s auto assembly plant was typically over 1000 cars a day.
Even as a non-VW enthusiast, I share your enthusiasm about this car. Among other things, it’s a living contradiction: 1990s-style upholstery and steering wheel in a 1950s cabin. The car that defines “basic transportation” featuring a modern a/c system. The auto world’s most familiar shape, but with hidden surprises that have me re-looking at those pictures trying to find more.
Thanks for this interesting and amusing write-up. This is one of those articles that I’ve read and re-read several times.
Strange that you can’t legally import one to the U.S.A, that seems a bit draconian. I remember a U.K importer bringing brand new Beetles in back in the early 2000s, the price was around $13.5k on the road. As I remember, they were fuel injected with catalytic converters.
There are quite a few of those new/old transporters trundling around here too, complete with that unhappy radiator lump on the nose. It’s a modern 1.4 vw petrol engine, endowing the bus with rather more power than the original air cooled lump, with a theoretical top speed that, thanks to the rest of the vehicle being largely unchanged from a ’60s example, you don’t ever want to approach.
Our version of your DMV doesn’t really care what vehicle you bring in (within reason). For a while you could even buy a brand new Indian made Hindustan Ambassador here, which is basically a ’50s Morris oxford that the Indians never stopped making.
Cars have to go through a complex and expensive certification process to be sold in the land of the free. Getting them into Calif and getting plates is even harder than the rest of the states, what with CARB and all.
Those Hindustan Ambassadors are pretty interesting to me. Hmm.
Well, that just made me giggle. Inappropriate at a religious service, of course – I’m sorry.
I hereby present my copy of the Muir Bible and seek forgiveness. Actually, I only hold onto it in case I find salvation in a Karmann-Ghia. I suspect it will not happen in this earthly life.
May all the air-cooled believers attain tax free status.
In regard to the HTL prefix on the Type 2 registration plate…there is a W109 300 SEL in Melbourne with the sequence KDF and that does make me laugh too. As an aside, Mr W109 has the iron block nirvana M130 2.8 and is spared the torments of hell that invariably accompany the alloy M189.
Thank you Heath, that made my day!
Hehe! I shall keep a lookout for Strength Through Joy, though without hope of attaining it (literally or spiritually).
I forgot to add that HTL ended up Nearer My God To Thee, in that it was given away to the Pallotine Fathers at their retreat at Milgrove in the mists of the glorious mountain country above the Yarra Valley, where Brother Ludwig – no, an actual religious Brother – cannibalized the rusted remains for his own Type 2. Consumed, then, by flesh of its own flesh, rather than the fires of eternal damnation. Sic Transit Gloria.
I went to Milgrove for church camps as a teen. Glorious mountain country indeed.
Always thought it was interesting Mexican Beetles kept the swing axle in production until the end in 2003. But it was in the decambered long axle style that ’67/’68 US models came with, which was an improvement over the earlier positive camber designs. Perhaps VW Mexico figured by doing this it would keep it’s road to Salvation clear, ignoring the venial sins such as turn signal placement, which looks great but is less visible.
Some people in the US have replaced the pan and transmissions with IRS ’69 up US versions, and use the VIN etched under the rear seat to register the Mexican versions to the year of the pan.
The smaller rotary compressor and idler AC set up is nice, looks cleaner the big York square idlerless setup my ’73 Sport Bug had, probably saps less power as well. The AC was plenty cool in the ’73, it did work well.
Nice to see these cars at the show, the Bus with the watercooled inline 4 cylinder engine should be a lot more durable than the troublesome water boxer Vanagons came with here. Too bad there was no way to hide the radiator somehow, but having AC and a real heater makes it worth the look. As a bonus it gives great access to the front of the engine for drive and timing belt replacement, as well as engine R&R with a floor jack.
All A/C compressors are “rotary”—they’re turned to do their job. You mean “cylindrical” or “round”.
” I’m here to testify that a type 1 can have real, honest to Dog, cold air blowing out of the dash. Can I get an amen?!”
Come now…that’s all a VW EVER blew, even at -10° F…my Corvairs, too, for that matter. 🙂
The smaller rotary vane compressor and idler AC set up is nice, looks cleaner than the big square York idlerless reciprocating piston type compressor my ’73 Sport Bug had, probably saps less power as well.