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VW Decides To Squash The Bug – Lots Of Videos

The Volkswagen Beetle (bug) has been a staple in the automotive industry for 70 years ! The classic bug we all know and loved was once turned into a b*stard child for many years only hinting a design that was once what it was.

VW 1968 VolksWagon 1500

Volkswagon just announced they will no longer make the VW Beetle as of 2019.

Doctor Ferdinand PorscheOf course, the classic VW beetle has been gone from USA showrooms since 1979 but continued to be built in Mexico – it was a popular car for taxi services there. Later replaced by a new version calling itself a Beetle that hardly resembled the classic bug.

The only sane idea Adolph Hitler ever had – commissioning a “people’s car” … car for the folks – “VolksWagon” … Cheap to make and buy. Cheap to maintain … awesome gas mileage.

In 1934, Adolph Hitler ordered Ferdinand Porsche (yes – the Porsche guy – properly pronounced POR-SHAH) to make a car that could transport two adults and three children at least 62 mph at 32 mpg.

The engine had to be powerful enough for sustained cruising on Germany’s new Autobahnen road system. Parts for repair must be able to be quickly and inexpensively exchanged. The engine had to be air-cooled.

Porsche’ made it happen with the VW Bug …

You couldn’t kill a VW bug. My dad in the 1970s bought a bug from someone who ran it without engine oil and the engine completely ceased up. He got it for $50 bucks. He reintroduced oil and worked the engine parts free that night and drove it to work the next day !!!

Woody Allen in his classic scifi movie “Sleeper” found a 200 year old VW in a cave that starts right up.

You couldn’t easily break or SINK a VW bug – They were watertight and Volkswagon even had a TV ad back in the day demonstrating how strong the VW bug was –

Here are my fond memories of the VW bug –

Back around 1970, my father decided to leave the world of drag racing and enter into the new and exciting world of off road racing. He sold his “NHRA classified A/gasser” – a 1940 Willis Coup with a big block Chevy engine named “Suddenly”. He began to chop up VW bugs and create swamp and sand monsters …

He joined the Eastern Dune Buggy Association. The weekends we once spent in the 1960s all over the Southeast at drag strips smelling burning rubber was replaced by weekends of sand and swamp.

VW herbie the love bug movie posterYears earlier, we had bought a 1964 VW bug and it was my mother’s daily driver.

In 1968, the family rode that 1964 bug to the movie theater to see the new Walt Disney movie “The Love Bug”. I remember that night so very well.

Dad began buying used VW bugs a chopping them up. Creating sand and swamp racing monsters.

My dad said he could put $1000 into a VW engine, work his magic of engine building, and make it undefeatable. Soon he was building engines and “rail jobs” for racers from all over the Southeast.

Dad soon became a dealer for “Sand Flea Dune Buggies” – a maker of fiberglass bodies out of Clearwater, Florida. Over the 1970s, he built countless custom cars and dune buggies for people. Some simple and mean to race and some elegant like works of art.

That same 1964 bug my mom drove was passed on to me once I hit 16.

We put custom flared fenders and air scoops on it. Painted it a beautiful metallic gold. Put in a Hurst racing shifter. A racing steering wheel and system.

We put on a set of American Mag wheels with super wide tire all around. A BIG footprint …

I inherited a retired racing engine from one of my dad’s racing cars complete with all the tricked out performance parts and a magnesium flywheel.

From a standing start, I could chirp the tires and raise the front wheels off the pavement for around 30 yards to gently drop back to earth going into 2nd gear. I could leave any muscle car behind from light to light.

It was converted to 12 volt from the old 6 volt system. A great improvement.

We took out the back seat and put in a platform like it was a mini-van. I put a bean bag chair in the back. I built my own stereo speaker boxes in the back and wired up a Craig cassette player and a power amplifier – it would make your ears bleed.

That’s what I drove to high school every day and it was the favorite ride of my friends.

VW auto beetle volkswagen vw bug baja bug vehicle oldtimer classic volkswagen vw beetleYou could chop a section out of the middle of a VW bug and weld it back in a shorter version. You could chop it all up and make a “Baja Bug”. You could completely replace the body with steel pipes and make a “rail job”.

Only 4 bolts held the engine in place. An engine swap took only minutes. You could even adapt easily a Porsche’ engine onto it (a “pancake engine”) and make a 6 cylinder monster machine !!!

When Star Wars hit theaters in 1977, my friend’s nicknamed me and my tough, metallic gold VW bug “Gold Leader” … Some day in the future, I will drag out some photos from back then in a future post here.

VW Rebelbaja ATTRIB Beeblebrox at English Wikipedia

There is no RIP for the VW BUG !

Here is the VW Bug craze today in Mexico: (video)

Volkswagen Bugorama – It’s a culture – The VW Life – (video)

Volkswagon History Documentary – 42 minutes – very interesting if you have a deeper interest –

Street Racing – VW Dung Beetle VS Willis coup modified – (idiot video) –

NASTY VWs – Drag Racing –

(video)

In my life, I had a lot of experience with the mighty VW Bug … I promise to make future posts with many more details. The biggest question is – what happened to my beloved VW Bug ?

Filed Under: FeaturedTony Rollo Blog

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