RE: Volkswagen Beetle: PH Carpool

RE: Volkswagen Beetle: PH Carpool

Monday 18th September 2017

Volkswagen Beetle: PH Carpool

Why this PHer picked a motoring icon as her daily is down to its simplicity



Name: Amanda Grison
Car: Volkswagen Beetle 1969
Owned since: 2009
Previously owned: BMW E36 318is coupe 1995

Why I bought it:
"The Volkswagen Beetle has always been an icon since I was a little girl working on them with my father. So, naturally, the Beetle has always been dear to my heart, and when the opportunity arose for me to own one of these beauties I pounced! I found it in a small parking lot in South Australia with a dusty for sale sign, I barely made out the phone number."


What I wish I'd known:
"I wish I had known that tyres made for the Beetle have been discontinued. It caused a major headache tracking down a set that would fit and make the handling better - luckily I got help from Tyre empire who sent me the last set of Mexican made tyres they could get their hands on! Another pain was replacing the original panels - original panels are 8mm but all modernly made ones are 6mm so my only option was to go for pre-owned parts."

Things I love:
"The love I have for this car trumps everything, but I simply adore the simplicity of things. For example worried about overheating? Don't, there are no radiators, pipes, pumps or thermostats. Just a big fan designed for directing air over the engine that's right no coolant! The engine is also placed at the back of the car so no hydraulic pump is needed for the steering, there is only one thing attached to the accessory belt and that is the alternator. Truly a car for the working man, who can change anything needed at home or on the road."


Things I hate:
"There are very few things I hate about this car, it's truly built like a tank. But if I had to mention anything it would be the handling, the car simply has too much power for a small chassis, with rear wheel drive to be safe compared to our modern cars with all their electronic aids."

Costs:
"The cost of maintenance for the Volkswagen is minimal, just general upkeep. The fuel consumption is more than what I had expected of a 1,600cc engine at 10 liters per 100km (28mpg) on average it's hardly an economic car, but it's lovely to drive through town. I get a lot of looks and that makes every milliliter count. I do all my own restoration work and mechanical work with the only thing that needed replacing was the idle valve."


Where I've been:
"My most recent adventure was down to Renmark in South Australia for a few days under the sun and next to the river with my husband and son. Truly a magical time."

What next?
"For the last month or two, she has been collecting dust in the garage waiting for her next adventure. We last used her for an advertising sign to promote our old pizza business, so we might be getting rid of her soon, unfortunately."


Want to share your car with PHers on Carpool? Email us at carpool@pistonheads.com!

Author
Discussion

Murphy16

Original Poster:

193 posts

10 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
Excellent carpool, when i was 19 i was offered a 72 beetle swap for my Jetta and at the time i didn't do it as i didn't want to daily a beetle. Always wondered what it would have been like to do it though.

SwissJonese

1,182 posts

103 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
My 2nd car was a 60's Beetle when I was about 22. I used it as a daily for about 6 years, put loads of miles on it, nothing really went wrong for the first 5 years and then the engine blew, the brakes failed, it had rust, it needed lots of work. It had a 1600 engine instead of the original 1300 which made hardly any difference in speed. But I could get some nice wheel spins from the rear.

Loved driving it, 6x9 speakers in the back, Sony head-unit hidden in the glove compartment. Everyone thought it looked brilliant, until they had a ride in it and smelt the petrol every-time you turned left. The heater was always on which made it a sweat box in summer. Used to get ice on the inside of the windscreen in winter. The brakes failed once and the handbrake was useless so I had to use engine braking and then bounce it into a hedge. Could leave the thing unlocked as no one ever tried to steal it.

I do miss it though:-

Dr Interceptor

4,757 posts

124 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
I bought this little fella with me to work this morning smile


PhantomPH

2,945 posts

153 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
Nice little car.

The 'tyres' comment confuses me a little - are you looking to create a period-perfect car? I have had a couple of Beetles over the years and never had a problem finding modern tyres for either of them. That includes a '74 1303S and more recently a '58.

Whilst we are sharing images, this was mine (sold a few weeks ago...and this post just made me a little sad about that!)






Turbobanana

940 posts

129 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
While I love the obvious enthusiasm in the article, it is really hard to read. Would it have done any harm to proof read it before publication?
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unsprung

1,645 posts

52 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
PhantomPH said:
Nice little car.
The 'tyres' comment confuses me a little
Me too. It would be interesting to hear more. coffee

Also: LHD car in Oz. Was it originally a personal import? And... 1969 model, but the seats are not high-backed.


FN2TypeR

4,967 posts

21 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
Dr Interceptor said:
I bought this little fella with me to work this morning smile

That is awesome cool

MadmanO/T People

757 posts

133 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
unsprung said:
LHD car in Oz? Was it originally a personal import? And... 1969 model, but the seats are not high-backed.
I wondered about that, too. I thought LHD cars were illegal in Australia?

Seats, however, are easily changed and may not be original to the car. Or maybe there were variations for different local markets?

Triumph Man

4,977 posts

96 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
Looking at that engine bay reminds me of this video that always amuses:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQhfcdQf1QA

Jon_S_Rally

33 posts

16 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
I certainly admire the enthusiasm, but God I hate these cars laugh Not for me, don't see the appeal at all. We're all different though!

PhantomPH

2,945 posts

153 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
Jon_S_Rally said:
I certainly admire the enthusiasm, but God I hate these cars laugh Not for me, don't see the appeal at all. We're all different though!
Good of you to take time to tell someone you hate their car tho. Kudos to you!

Jhonno

2,974 posts

69 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
said:
the car simply has too much power for a small chassis, with rear wheel drive to be safe compared to our modern cars
Baffled by this bit.. laugh

Dr Interceptor

4,757 posts

124 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
Jhonno said:
said:
the car simply has too much power for a small chassis, with rear wheel drive to be safe compared to our modern cars
Baffled by this bit.. laugh
Me too... I don't think little Olly has enough power to make the back end do anything untoward!


Jon_S_Rally

33 posts

16 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
PhantomPH said:
Good of you to take time to tell someone you hate their car tho. Kudos to you!
Plenty of people hate my cars, so share the wealth! As I said, I admire the enthusiasm for the car and keeping it running.

Mr2Mike

18,802 posts

183 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
Jon_S_Rally said:
I certainly admire the enthusiasm, but God I hate these cars laugh Not for me, don't see the appeal at all. We're all different though!
100% agree. I can see the appeal of the shape and style (and clearly so could VW when they made their modern pastiche) but couldn't live with the wheezing engine, whistling exhaust, god awful handling and brakes.

Also just because an engine is air-cooled, it doesn't mean it can't overheat!

PistonBroker

1,406 posts

154 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
Mr2Mike said:
Also just because an engine is air-cooled, it doesn't mean it can't overheat!
Yes! In fact, judging by the hard shoulder of the M5 during the summer, isn't it actually more likely?!

I'm very hypocritical as I love a nice air-cooled Porker, but have always preferred my VWs with water flowing round their engines. Can't deny the coolness of these things though.



unsprung

1,645 posts

52 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
MadmanO/T People said:
I wondered about that, too. I thought LHD cars were illegal in Australia?
Actually, LHD is possible in Australia... if the car is old enough. Think of this like the US limitations on personal importation of a non-US-conforming vehicle. You can do it, but you must wait 25 years. Canadians need wait only 15 years (probably something to do with poutine or the metric system).

In Australia, the age at which a LHD vehicle may be imported without undergoing the mandatory and expensive conversion to RHD is governed by the states. WA had the least wait time, if I recall correctly.

The Beetle in the article, above, is in the state of South Australia. At nearly 50 years old, it long ago became free of the LHD limitations in any Australian state / territory.





shoestring7

5,697 posts

174 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
If it really does have 8mm thick steel panels it's not just built like a tank, it is a tank.

SS7

Richard A

168 posts

104 months

Monday 18th September 2017
quotequote all
PistonBroker said:
Yes! In fact, judging by the hard shoulder of the M5 during the summer, isn't it actually more likely?!

I'm very hypocritical as I love a nice air-cooled Porker, but have always preferred my VWs with water flowing round their engines. Can't deny the coolness of these things though.
I've an idea that most of the overheating problems experienced by Beetles and Busses in the modern era are down to people leaving out the tinware which seals the upper engine compartment from the lower. The concept is that it should be fresh air only above the seal and hot air off the cooling fins below, which should then exit the car (ideally cooling the exhaust box a bit en route). If the tinware is left off, which I've seen, the hot air tends to get recirculated up to the fan intake.

AER

930 posts

198 months

Tuesday 19th September 2017
quotequote all
shoestring7 said:
If it really does have 8mm thick steel panels it's not just built like a tank, it is a tank.

SS7
I suspect she was meaning the glass pane thickness.