Volkswagen Beetle: PH Carpool

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."

"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."

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Comments (32) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Murphy16 18 Sep 2017

    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 18 Sep 2017

    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 18 Sep 2017

    I bought this little fella with me to work this morning smile

  • PhantomPH 18 Sep 2017

    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 18 Sep 2017

    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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