Sunday, May 17, 2009


I have always been in love with the VW bug. They were the perfect first car when they started selling them in the US. Really cheap, great mileage, terminally cute, and a piece of cake for the shade tree mechanic to work on. Ferdinand Porsche's masterpiece. Ask most any senior and they will tell you they either owned one or rode in a friend's. I fell in the latter group and while I always liked them, I never owned one when they were popular. However I did borrow one once and had a nasty wreck in it. Don't ever loan me your car.

Don't know why but when I hit age 60, I had to have a Bug. It was an obsession and if you have been reading along, you know I bow to my obsessions. A friend who worked on Bugs was selling his daily driver so I thought , why not?

She (the car was feminine to me and was named Reba) was mechanically sound so all I had to do was restore her body and innards . She was a red, 74 cutie. I had her show painted Porsche red , covered the bucked seats (not original equipment) with leather like vinyl and redid the inside completely. She was grand looking when finished and unfortunately I can only find one picture of her. This is me tending to her oil needs.

She was a great conversation starter. A regular "old codger" magnet. She drew a crowd where ever we went. This was in Florida so the lack of air conditioning was a real downer. However, by planning my trips in the early morning or late evening, we survived for 4 years. By then I had put over 100,000 miles on a rebuilt engine and was ready to move on to some modern creature comforts. I had satisfied my need and sold her. I always get attached to my vehicles so it was a hard parting but she went to a good home.

Today I got to enjoy that warm, smiley feeling all over again. I went to a Bug show and just smiled a lot as I strolled among the pride and joy's of a dedicated group of people. I understand their pride. Below are some of the Bugs I got to enjoy. Hope you enjoy them also.

Nice convertable and work truck

The original recreational vehicle.

California dreaming ,surf board and all.

Karmann Ghia, the mid-life crisis VW

I had more fun than a pair of ferrets.


  1. Great pics, patti. I've always been a VW fan too. I bought a '66 in 1975 and kept it for a few years. It was a blue beauty with a sunroof. I had friends do some detail work on it, so my gear shift knob was a beautiful crystal doorknob. Roger and I still fantasize about getting an old VW convertible. I wouldn't mind having that work truck too!

  2. my ex-husband and I had a red VW in 1974...unfortunately, it was stolen.Then stripped.....we were sad.

  3. Hi Patti, I love the 'bugs'... I never owned one, but my brother had one for years and years. Neat little car!!!! But I didn't care for them when they brought the new ones out.. Like you, I love the older ones.

    Thanks for the memories.

  4. robin,
    I heard 66 was the best year. And weren't you spiffy?? They are such neat cars.
    Women I think are taken by the absolute cuteness and I think guys like them for the bull dog dependability and for the fact that VWs tend to think they are Jeeps.

    Welcome to TNS. Thanks for stopping by. Your's and mine were twins. So sad that it was stolen and raped. How awful.

    Ah, such good taste you have.The new ones just don't make it inspite of all the neat things like A/C and heat. I smile every time I see one and if I see one that is in ratty condition, I want to take it home and make it better.

  5. I rode in my first VW Bug in 1960,my senior year at Univ. of TX. One of my pharmacy friends owned one, and most of us owned nothing.

    Patti, visit my website. I have something for you.

  6. Patti- You are the best! My first car memories are of VW Bugs. My folks had one each - my Dad's was orange and my Mom's was light blue. It had to have been around 1974 when we moved to the Cape that they had them.

    I wish I had the means to afford one now. I'd love to restore a VW bus for camping!

    Thanks for this post and it's great to see pictures from the show!

  7. It was our first car!! Pearl white with apple red interior and a Blauplunkt radio - the best one ever. I think it was a 1964 or 65 model. I learned to drive stick on that one! Mr. kenju rolled it into a ditch one dark and rainy night, while swerving to avoid a stupid dog out for a stroll in a storm.

  8. I owned one and drove it as my daily driver for 8 years. It was a year older than me-1971. I live in New England so mittens a scraper for the INSIDE of the windshield was needed for winter.
    I sold it when I was going to become a Mom and thought I needed something safer.
    I miss that car everyday. I haven't been to a Bug Show in a few years-Too sad for me.
    Enjoy and hope you find a nice one again.

  9. I LOVE that you finally owned your own BUG...They were GREAT GREAT Cars and so many people I knew owned them, back in the day....And that VW Van...that too, Soooo many people had those---the Blue one? Remember that one? I had a great friend who owned a Karmen Ghia back in the early 1960' 1961...It was cute as a button and so was he! (lol)
    LOVED seeing all these pictures Patti.....

  10. I had a friend at art school who owned a rather battered VW, the sort that you have to give a big, window rattling slam to the passenger door of, because it no longer shut properly. He drove me round to his place one lunch time, and, as we navigated various back streets and slowly ascended a hill, he told me the sad tale of how his poor old VW had become unreliable and had failed its Warrant of Fitness which is an official mechanical test that all elderly cars have to undergo every 6 months in New Zealand. I commiserated with my fellow poor student, as car repairs can be costly. He also said that he was taking a bit of a strange way home by the back streets to avoid passing any police who might take an interest in his non compliant vehicle. That certainly explained his cautious and round about progress into one of Dunedin's hill suburbs. Just as we started to turn into another road, he said, "Oh, we'll have to take this bit carefully, because the reason this didn't pass its WOF was because the brakes don't work." The road suddenly pitched downhill at an alarmingly steep angle that steepened to 1 in 2.86 (which is steep!).. We were in Baldwin Street, which is reputed to be the world's steepest street (see,_Dunedin). We inched downward in 1st gear and as we wobbled across the road into his drive, a smile creased his ugly face... "Just Kidding", said he. I do this to every new person that I bring home!"
    Best Wishes (thanks for the info about Cow Birds), Peter

  11. Loved your bug pics. One of my friends in college had a couple of them, I think he's still driving one of them. What fun. A friend of my daughter's just got an old camper one for and had it redone for her high schooler son. Too cute.
    Thanks for the memories. Now, I my self am looking for an old MGB to race around in. Yeehaa...

  12. Nitwit,
    Weren't they the coolest? They were just made for those of us who had almost nothing.
    I'll pop over to see you as soon as I get thru todays post.

    You lucky dog, you all had TWO of them. Got to admit I loved that VW orange.
    Finding one today with out rust is hard but, not that you need one more project, but a van restore would be so neat. The bus was the first RV.


    I'll bet you were so proud of that beauty. Has there ever been a better dollar buy in the US? They just did it all and looked cool doing it. You all are fueling my budding desire for another one.


    Welcome good friend of Barry's to TNS and thanks for the comment.
    You were a really hardy soul to drive a VW in New England for the heating systems were really pathetic. However my favorite VW commercial showed a fierce snow storm and asked the question "Did you ever wonder how the snow plow driver gets TO the snow plow." and it showed a VW pushing thru the snow. Gotta love em.


    The Ghia was the ultimate sports car in my opinion. You got the dependabality of the VW but with really smart looks. I still harbour a desire for a van. Did you ever notice that every movie that is not a period piece, has a VW bug somewhere in it? I alwasys look.


    Great, funny, story Peter but what a rascle that friend? was, If I remember correctly, a lot of the Bugs in those days had something mechanically wrong that needed fixing. The friend I rode back in the day, had no reverse gear so we always had to push it out of a parking place. Good thing is they were so light, it was like pushing a wheelbarrow.


    I'll bet your friends son is super popular with a restored camper. Perfect high school vehicle.
    MGB huh? Now that is a sports car. I leaned toward the MGA but would love either. Good luck in you hunt.