Here is my second Bug, a 1974 Super Beetle. My parents and I bought it in 1990, for $500, after I found out my first car, a '74 Beetle, was rusted pretty much beyond repair. You see, winters in New York state mean one thing - SALT, and lots of it, used on the roads to help in melting snow and ice. How good it really works is questionable, but it sure does help in causing rust to form and grow on your car.
As you can see from the first couple of pictures, when it was washed and waxed, my bug actually looked pretty good. As with many things in life, though, appearance isn't everything. Up in the wheel wells... behind the running boards... around the fenders... rust had started, and kept eating away at the metal, until finally it got so bad, whenever I'd drive in the rain, I'd end up with water 2 inches deep on the floor!
When this started to happen, I decided it was time to do something. That's when I took the bug off the road, and bought my Buick. These last 2 pictures show the bug in different stages of dis-assembly. I removed the fenders, bumpers, lights, trim, glass, and pretty much all of the interior. Unfortunately, after I got this far, I didn't really know what to do next. There are plenty of replacement steel panels available, but since I don't know how to weld, there wasn't much I could do. So, it sat in the garage for the next 2 years. Finally, I put it back together, and started taking it around to VW mechanics and restorers. Everywhere I went, I got pretty much the same reaction - "nope, can't fix all that. It would very expensive, and the rust would probably just come back. Just get rid of it." Of course, being the south, most people haven't seen or worked on rust that bad.
I ended up just junking my first bug, and I hated to have to do the same with this one. There are a lot of memories with this car. First, is the history of the car before I got it. Apparently, it had been bought in 1973 (I think) by a man who lived somewhere down towards New York City. As far as I know, he was the only person who owned it before me. Anyway, sometime in 1990, this guy's son was driving it up the Taconic State Parkway, when something happened to either the clutch or transmission. It was towed to a man named Klaus, who had a VW repair shop in Hopewell Junction, just a few minutes from where I lived, Fishkill. Whatever had broke wasn't anything major, and it was fixed.
Well, for whatever reason, the man never came to get the car. It basically just sat at Klaus' garage for a little over a year. Here is where I come in. I had bought my green bug in February, 1990. I didn't get my driver's license until September, 1990. In New York, registered cars get inspected every year. When the bug was inspected in September, so I could register it, I found out that the front end was rusted out pretty bad. I took it over to Klaus (he had a good reputation, and my dad had taken his bug there some years before). He basically said it wasn't worth messing with. But, he showed me a red Super Beetle, and told me about how it had been left there, and said I could have it for 500 bucks.
So, after a couple of weeks, and a lot of paper work, the car was declared legally his, and he sold it to me. Also around this time, my family was getting ready for the big move in 1991 to Georgia. They didn't want to have to worry about a non drivable car, so the green bug was junked. :( I drove the red bug for about the next 3 years. I finished my senior year in high school with it. And I had it for my first couple of years of college. I was able to get 35 MPG out of it, driving on Interstate 85, from Atlanta, Georgia, to school in Salisbury, North Carolina.
I ended up giving it to the man who restored my Sun Bug, to use for parts.
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