It seems that everybody has a Volkswagen story, whether it’s “Oh nice bug! that was my first car….” or “Oh a bug! I drove one of those things to Alaska and back…” or even “I used to have ten of these things parked in my barn, one thing I regret today? Don’t get rid of em!” Each owner connects with their Volkswagen in a certain way, and I feel that by restoring one myself, I’ve come to appreciate it.
I knew that I wanted to find an early style Beetle for my restoration project, so each day I would search around the Bay Area in search for a 1960s Bug. It took awhile, but after searching craigslist for a couple of days I found this Bug in Fremont, California. It ran fine yet the interior was falling apart, but we managed to drive it home the same day.
It’s a standard Beetle, featuring bright red paint on the exterior enhanced by a white and black interior. It is fully restored to make it as original as possible, so it still runs on the stock 1200cc engine with new six-volt electrics. Most of the chrome is original, which gives it a subtle aged look that I enjoy.
There really isn’t anything I don’t love about this Beetle: its looks, the chirpy flat-four engine in the back, the wimpy suspension that makes you feel like you’re driving a golf cart on the freeway, the list goes on and on. Even though driving it can sometimes be intimidating, everything about a Volkswagen just feels right. It’s really easy to work on and if something goes wrong, you can easily diagnose and fix it yourself. I also love all the looks it gets when I drive around. I get smiles, random honks, and thumbs up from people I don’t even know–it makes me happy that by driving my car around I’m making other people happy. It’s a strange effect that only a Volkswagen Beetle can produce. Furthermore, I love my car because of all the work I’ve put into it. Sure, it may have its defects here and there, but the truth of the matter is that I restored it myself, from the paint and interior to the electrics and suspension. And I don’t think I’d ever sell this Bug.
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