Frank Salvitti, of Long Island, NY, and I began our e-correspondence several months ago. We talked about little odds and ends concerning 1967 Beetles. It wasn’t long before we were exchanging photos and talking in depth about our cars. I began to sense that Frank is a person who talks to nuts and bolts and wrenches and they do his bidding.
In Frank’s own words..
Frank…when I saw photographs of your Beetle and of your garage, I knew that we HAD to do a story.
The garage is something I had in mind and have wanted to do for years, so finally did.
You told me that you have some history with Volkswagens. Give the Readers of 1967beetle.com an idea of when you first were involved with VWs.
A. When I was a kid I always had a love for cars and the sound of motors and loud pipes– since around 6 years old or so, that I can remember. I grew up in the time when cars were at their best in the 60’s with the muscle cars. A lot of family members had hot rods. However some family friends had a VW which I thought was a real neat car. I liked that– so different. During that time, I remember that my grandfather bought a white 1968 VW Bug—the first year of the auto stick. We went for a ride and I was like “…wow! How come the brake pedal is so large? And—“No clutch.” Then I saw him shift and asked how he could shift with no clutch? He explained and I said, “Wow a neat invention!” lol
From our conversations, I know that you have a love of all things automotive. What about VWs interested you?
A. Jay, as for the interest in VWs, after growing up around them I became interested in their neat design, so different from American cars. The motor is in the back? No radiator? How is this possible? My interest grew as I got older and starting seeing so many of them. One of my neighbors had a VW Bus, another VW that I thought was so cool. This was back in the time of peace signs and flower power etc. –painted all over it, a “Hippy Van” I believe it was called back then. Also around that time I came across the first VW Ghia that I had seen. I was fascinated by this new wave of automobiles. But when I saw my first Dune Buggy, that was it! I was sold on VWs. I thought that was the coolest thing of all times. They could be taken down the beach, no roof, loud… wow! “I got to have one!” I was around 15 or so when these things were all over and were only $800.00 for a brand new one. However, growing up kind of poor, that was a lot of money back then to lay out for a toy. I told myself that one day I will have a VW Bug and Dune Buggy. It took me many years but I did accomplish that.