Author Topic: Tell us your story  (Read 1439 times)

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Offline lovebus (jack)

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Tell us your story
« on: July 03, 2019, 03:54:45 PM »
How did you get to be a VW owner?

I did this many years ago and got some very interesting stories, tell us yours...
When, where, why?

Don't be shy!
I don't have to go to work in the morning....

RT 66 June 1, 2015

"Why restore it to its former short comings
When you can modify it too its full potential."

Offline Bob(Herbie)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 11:40:18 AM »
Most member don't know that a 1963 Beetle changed the course of my life. Sounds like a crazy statement. huh! well read on. I was attending Cumberland Count College to become a Physical Education Teacher. I had various part time jobs including working at Ushler's Body Shop, Wheaton Glass and Sears Vineland. My current ride at the time was my first car a 1954 Chevy Belair. My boss at Ushler's ,Gerry, talked me into trading my Chevy for a 1963 Ragtop Bug. His argument of saving gas money with the Beetle was too much to resist. Hey, I could fill it for two bucks in 1969. So everything was great until the engine disintegrated on the way home from my job at Sears. This took place in front of the Prudential Insurance building , now Lake Side Middle School, in Millville. I remembered seeing several VeeDubs at a small business on West Main Street, Route 49. So, I walked over and asked for help. After introducing myself to the the owner Bob Charlesworth, we towed my bug back to his lot with a tow bar hooked to his Chevy El Camino. He told me that I needed a replacement engine. I asked if I could work it off as I was very poor at the time. We agreed on an amount of work to earn the engine made from various used parts. Bob had recently acquired the building and lot so, it needed a lot of cleaning up. Among other things I had to level and fill holes in the lot, tear down the old fence and paint the building. When I finished the jobs Bob asked if I wanted to stay on and become his apprentice. I had just finished at CCC so I said yes. As his apprentice I learned how to repair and maintain all aspects of automobiles. Bob was a former Chevy mechanic who became a Volkswagen mechanic at Foster Motors in Millville. He was trained by German Mechanics at Fosters. The stories of the German Mechanics being very strict were interesting. He trained me with his experience and knowledge of American and German Cars. So because of that 1963 Beetle I became a Mechanic. During this time I went on to continue my post secondary education at Glassboro State attending night classes with some buddies of mine. If you are old enough to remember Rt 55 was not finished then. So, we took back roads from Millvile to Glassboro as Rt47 was always jam packed with traffic! I started teaching Automotive Mechanics at Schalick High School in 1976. The Board of Ed in Pittsgrove Twp. decided to close the shop because of redundancy with the VoTech in 1982. I continued teaching at Millville Senior High School from 1983 to 2009 until I retired due to Advanced Lyme Disease. As I look back it is amazing how people and events have helped to shape my life story. I hope this is interesting enough to inspire others to share their stories.
 Keep Buggin,
 Bob C  old-\
46 years later and I am back to a '63 Rag named Herby
 '56 Oval Nigel  '53 Zwitter Project Stanley 
 Dalton said "Opinions Vary"

Offline lovebus (jack)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 03:55:19 PM »
Great story Bob thanks for shearing with us...  \LIKE= f(bug-
I don't have to go to work in the morning....

RT 66 June 1, 2015

"Why restore it to its former short comings
When you can modify it too its full potential."

Offline matt

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 12:25:27 PM »
Thanks Bob,
Nice, like those bel-airs


 Nothing as interesting as Bob's, but when I was about 10,  in the year of 55 BC,  my mother bought a 68 VW. Living in De, my longest rides in it were to drive to PA to get spring water near Tyler Aboretum, about 50 min. We had about 40 gallons of plastic and glass containers to fill. One filled the car was much heavier and struggled with the PA hills.
  Once I went with my Mom and a friend of hers, and at that time Mom brought so many water jugs there was not enough room for me to sit anywhere ( not in the cubby, rear seats or floor etc) , so believe it or not, I had to "sit"  in between the passenger and driver seat -  if you can imagine,
    At one point while going down a steep  Pa hill, my Mom got worried, and said      "Somethings wrong!!..  I have the brakes on but the car keeps going faster and faster !!"      Everyone was getting scared, until after a short while, it was found when I shifted myself seconds earlier, I was bracing myself up by my feet -  one of which was now on the accelerator pedal! Good memories!

   As the years went by, Ted and I worked on her car a bit, found it to be simple, and bugs became my transport to college
-  and then work.
 I had over 10 bugs by now..easily.

First bug was a yellow 1967 sitting rotting in someones wooded  driveway. The owner said if I could get it running, I could have it.
Had it running in about 20 minutes. Took it home and changed the oil, and screen. The screen was overfilled with sand and other junk. Took about 5 oil changes to clean it all out. Ran great. I think I got rid of it as even in my immortal-life youth years, I knew it was a death trap. I think the 67's are my favorite bug of all. Love to get another.

 Quite a few of my friends had them, so often we would get together to work on someones bug. Those were good times.


Nice, like those bel-airs
VW's that you can sleep ON are the best-est - except for  the lack of heat.....

Offline Bob(Herbie)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2019, 01:29:06 PM »
Great story Matt. I love to hear those kids of stories from people at car shows and cruises. My Belair was Omaha Orange with a cream top and interior. When I got it the seats were covered with clear vinyl, just like people use to cover couches and chairs.  My friends all called it the Great Pumpkin after the Charlie Brown cartoon. I have some Polaroids of it. I will see if I can scan and share them. It was a great car with a 235 three on the tree!
46 years later and I am back to a '63 Rag named Herby
 '56 Oval Nigel  '53 Zwitter Project Stanley 
 Dalton said "Opinions Vary"

Offline matt

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2019, 02:58:51 PM »
yea, would love to see it....
VW's that you can sleep ON are the best-est - except for  the lack of heat.....

Offline Richard (Monty)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2019, 09:38:00 AM »
My first Beetle was a surprise gift from my parents. It was toward the end of senior year of high school 1971. I came home from school one day and sitting in front of the house was a 1963 Beryl Green Bug. I didn't think anything of it, and didn't really notice that my Dad's car was home. When I entered the house my parents handed me the keys and said have a nice summer. I didn't believe them at first, but sure enough... That evening after dinner my dad took me out and taught me how to work a manual trans and an hour after that I was at Carol's house showing it off to her. The AM radio barely worked so off we went to one  of the area stores and scored an AM/FM transistor radio that had an earphone jack and whip antenna. I had a pair of old E.J. Korvetts speakers that I put in the back and ran the wires up to the ashtray, which I had replaced with a piece of brown wood paneling and a phono jack. I made a short jumper to connect the radio to the panel and presto... We had tunes. The transistor radio lived in the glove box. In order to use it, the glovebox door had to be open and the antenna had to be extended  into the car, but we couldn't have cared less. We had tunes. The rear seat was folded down and I installed a leftover piece of black and white deep shag carpet to cover the entire back  of the car. A peace sign decal in the rear quarter window and we were ready  for the road. Absolutely made our Summer!!

When I got home from college the next spring, to my horror I discovered my well meaning folks had replaced my beloved '63 with a yellow autostick Super Beetle. I was crushed, but I never let them know. They thought they were doing something really nice for me. Apparently, it was made, literally, from the front half of one and the rear half of another!! It turned out to be a nightmare. At the end of sophomore year it was sold.

Fast forward to late 2011ish. Carol and I are out driving and an old classic car goes by. I say, for the millionth time, "one of these days I'd love to get an old Beetle and fix it up." She looks back at me with an exaspirated look and says something on the order of: I'm tired of hearing it, just do it already!
Enter  Monty.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 10:12:13 PM by Richard (Monty) »

Offline Bob(Herbie)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2019, 10:30:44 AM »
Awesome story Richard. Thanks for sharing *buG
46 years later and I am back to a '63 Rag named Herby
 '56 Oval Nigel  '53 Zwitter Project Stanley 
 Dalton said "Opinions Vary"

Offline matt

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2019, 02:31:46 PM »

 Rich, glad you have a pic of it, love those older bugs....
Behind the bug, is that an AMC Rambler?


VW's that you can sleep ON are the best-est - except for  the lack of heat.....

Offline Gunterwagen (Nick C.)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2019, 06:15:03 PM »
Great stories everyone! My story definitely isn?t as interesting as the yours, but here it is.

I was about 6-7 years old. [1986] We went to go go visit my family in Sicily. My Uncle [dads brother] has a 1970 Beetle convertible in clementine orange. From the first time I saw it and heard it, I fell in love with it. The sound of the engine, the dash , that it?s a convertible, and even the smell. We all know the smell! I always joke with my uncle that I would end up getting it. That was 30 years ago. Haha. Since then, Ive been back to Sicily a few times. He still has it! In the mid 70s, my dad was brought in to the US by VW to work for them because at that time there was a mechanic shortage. He worked in Maryland and they put him in the engine room to rebuild and repair engines. 



In the 80s my uncles job in town was to repair all the cafes cappuccino/coffee machines. He would often take me with him to the cafe shops, restaurants, and beaches during the day. Always with the top down. We would often go to the main part of town [which is at the bottom of the mountain] until about 1am hanging out with the ladies. Since I was only 16, it really appealed to me. At the end of the night, we drove back home. It?s about a 30 minute drive. We live on top of very tall mountain without any guardrails and definitely no street lights. Lots of one lane streets and sharp turns with inclines. At night, it was essentially a black out. The only light we had was coming from the car?s headlights. We managed to breakdown one time. Im not sure what it was but he managed to fix it in the dark! We had fun times with the car.



Fast forward to 2015. 2015 was the year for change because that?s when I received a heart and kidney transplant. Prior to that, it was a very rocky road health wise. My wife and I both agreed that if I survive for a year, then I could get a new Beetle. Fast forward a year, and sure enough, Im still here. At the same time, VW announced that it would be making the Beetle in habanero orange. That sealed the deal for me. It was the same color as my uncles. I went to the dealership and placed an order for an orange R-Line Beetle. You can only order them. Within a week it was accepted. Coincidentally, VW started production on it one week later. If I submitted it a month later, it would have been too late and I wouldnt have received one. I love the new Beetle, but at this point I really wanted a vintage one. I always did, but I thought that the new one might satisfied the need for one. I was wrong. Long story short, I saw a 1968 Beetle convertible that was for sale online. My only requirements were that it runs and no rust. This car was both. Bonus that it was located in California. The rest is history..



For all you gear heads..here?s the specs of my uncle?s 1970 convertible. It?s a euro spec. so things on it are very different. 1300cc engine, metal dash with chrome, low back seats, lap belts, small front turn indicators with clear lenses, rear taillights have a red reverse lens instead of the clear. It might be swing axel..not sure. When I was looking for one here in the US, I was very confused! I didn?t know there was such thing as a US and Euro spec!

The pic isnt the best, but yes, that's me in the front seat. Circa 1992.
Could be better, could be worse, could be in a hearse.

Offline Richard (Monty)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2019, 08:27:29 PM »
....Behind the bug, is that an AMC Rambler?
Close, 1970 Chevy Nova 4 door w/ a 307.

Offline VWPANZER1

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2019, 06:08:14 PM »

good





Offline VWPANZER1

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 06:27:22 PM »
                                                                                                      MY FIRST VW BEETLE
                                                                                        HOW IT ALL STARTED


                                                                                                                                     

      Around 1966 that I spotted this beat-up, piss green, 1958 VW Beetle sitting in an open field on Catawba Avenue in Newfield. It was just up the road from the old farmhouse that I grew up in. The sign in the front window read. 
                                                                                    FOR SALE
                                                                                       $75.00
     The mud-caked car had obviously been run through the dirt roads and backwoods of the rural NJ. The roof and fenders looked like it had been whacked a zillion times with a Ball Peen hammer. My first thoughts that it either failed to negotiate several turns or just for the hell of it, the occupants were purposely making it a cheap rollover amusement ride.

          It didn't take much negotiating to get it for $50.00, which I was convinced on ride home that I paid $40 too
      much. 

      But it turned out to be the perfect car for recently divorced father who was just handed a judgment to pay $90 a week child support payments from a $135 paycheck. Even in the late sixties, it was hard to live on $35 a week. The PV544 Volvo that I was driving was killing me with numerous and expensive replacement parts. The 60-mile trip to the Absecon Volvo dealer was almost a weekly wallet-emptying ritual.

    That old VW yielded good mileage, almost nothing broke and what did I could fix easily. Tune-ups parts were available everywhere and, very inexpensive compared to the Volvo.

       I bought it in summer so who needed a heater?  In the winter it was another story- Parka, gloves and a blanket were standard fares. Having a 6-volt system meant that I had candles for headlights and a starter that barely cranked fast enough to ignite the plugs, but somehow it always did. I soon came to realize what a bulletproof car this was.  I change the oil every 3000 miles, checked the valve adjustment every oil change, didn't beat it to death and the grateful car just kept going and going. It even seemed to run better with age.

      As for going on dates, that car was a death knoll. If I wanted to make an impression I would borrow Rosie's, my cousin's girl-soon to be second wife, dark green Pontiac GTO. Now if my date lived close to home, I would take my aunts Angie?' 8-miles to a gallon, 427 Chevy. I often asked myself, what kind Chevrolet salesman would sell my spinster aunt, a stripped down, two-door, tire burning (thinly disguised) drag car?

     I sold the Volvo at a profit and with two clandestine part-time jobs; I had to consider a better car. I even had enough spare money to start a Dune Buggy project. My time with the green VW was well spent, it had served me well ? but the truth was that old green 36 horsepower VW was: cold,  slow, especially compared to my previous 88 horsepower Volvo, and it was such an eyesore, even pigeons avoided crapping on it.

                                                                   It was time to let it go.

        I sold it for $100 and bought a pristine 1959 Sunroof VW one owner Beetle ? which to this day I still own.
 
        So that was my first air-cooled VW, the start of a love affair or a curse? And since then, I have owned some ten air-cooled VW?s including five Beetles, several buses, one pickup, and a delivery van.  But I'll never forget how that ugly, little piss green Beetle that served me so well when I needed it most and ? she never let me down.

     

Offline Gunterwagen (Nick C.)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 09:34:37 PM »
Cool story Joe!
Could be better, could be worse, could be in a hearse.

Offline Richard (Monty)

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Re: Tell us your story
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2019, 10:56:57 PM »
Joe, nothing like your first!
Did you ever give it a name?