One of my favorite things about driving an old VW bug is talking to strangers about the car. Almost any time I fill my 1971 SuperBeetle up with gas someone approaches me to chat about the car.
They often offer to buy it “how much?” or “would you ever sell it?” My usual response is either “Sure, $50,000.” or “I’ll add you to the list of buyers.”
Sometimes they just want to chat. They want to relive the good times and adventures that they had driving an old bug. One guy told me how he an his wife spent their honey moon driving a bug across the country. At night they would park the car, take the front seats out and then unfold a custom made bed board that filled the whole car. I wondered if they ever worried about someone stealing their seats at night.
Another guy told me a story about the time when his shifter broke off at the base while he was driving. He simply grabbed some vice grips and tightened them down on the shift linkage to give himself enough leverage to shift. He drove around for over a year like this. Sometimes instead of locking his car when he got out he would simply take the vice grips with him. He figured even if a thief got the car started, they couldn’t drive without putting it in gear.
Some people remember driving their bug to college, purchasing their first car on their own, driving away from their wedding with cans and streamers flying or driving a baby home from the hospital.
Because of their prevalence and unique popularity, almost everyone has had an adventure in a old bug. Even if you never owned one which is rare, you probably recall a story or two about a friend or relative’s bug. These stories are both similar and different. The details are different. The themes are similar; a cross country trip, an on the fly repair, your first car, the one you drove to college, etc. A large chunk of the population of this country and many others share these experiences. Adventures in VW bugs is something many people have in common.
If you have an old bug, hold on to it, cherish making memories in it and know that you are not alone. If you have old bug stories that you remember fondly, share those stories with the world.