I first got bit by “the bug” my second year in the Marine Corps. A buddy of mine purchased what I now know to have been a ‘72 Super Beetle. I had my first ride in it when I was scheduled to go to the rifle range, which required 2 AM drives to the range and 8 PM drive from the range, in the middle a South Carolina winter. The vehicle itself was in horrible shape and I could actually see the road below my feet passing by, but, it got us from point A to point B. Riding around in freezing early mornings / late nights became the highlight of my day!
Although, I hadn’t desired purchasing one YET! It wasn’t until one evening when the beetle broke down on the side of the road and both my buddy and I got out of the beetle to inspect the engine. It turned out that the throttle control spring and the belt broke. At this point I realized I was just standing there, thinking how far of a walk it would be until I reached my warm bed. My buddy then pulled out a spring from his pen, jerry-rigged (pun intended) it to the engine and taped, (YES TAPED, with heavy duty 100 mile an hour tape) the belt together!! Needless to say, I thought this guy was crazy…BUT IT WORKED, well at least enough to chug back to base. From that moment I was sold! I had to get one for myself.
Fast-forward 12 years, I finally got my own! I had been searching on the Samba and various other sites when I stumbled upon ClassicVWBugs.com. I contacted the owner Chris Vallone, and after some long discussions with my wife, placed an order. Chris was able to find me a ‘67, original black, with a solid body and components. What was going to be a quick clean up turned into a complete body off and engine rebuild. I even had the interior redone from standard red to tweed gray with white piping. This really turned into a project, for Chris, not to mention my constant phone calls, which I am sure he appreciated! LoL. I received my ‘67 in January and have amassed, what I believe to be, an impressive tool collection and a library of books and videos. I use my ‘67 as a daily driver and I have even volunteered to go grocery shopping, EVERY WEEKEND, in order to fire it up. Although it is conventional to name your beetle a female name, I went a different route and named it IronSquishy, which I think fits nicely (I even got a small name decal)!
My future plan is to pass down my ‘67 to my daughter when she turns 16, many, many years down the road. The intention is to teach her everything I have and will learn about these vehicles and maybe take on a rebuild myself, with her right by my side, learning how to care for and respected these classics.
Well, this pretty much sums up my story, and I wanted to again thank 1967Beetle.com, for all of your insight and willingness to pass along your knowledge.
Thanks, Frank, for sharing your ’67 with 1967beetle.com.