One of the reasons why I enjoy working with the VW Beetle is that everyone has a story. It’s what I like to call the “happy car.” The VW Beetle evokes stares of recognition and distant memories. I love it when people come up to me in the parking lot and ask questions about the Beetle; “What year is it?” or “Is that the original paint?,” and even “What kind of mileage are you getting?”
Invariably, they begin to tell me their VW Beetle story. Everything from first dates to college cars to sleeping in the back well behind the rear seat. This car simply brings out happy, memorable moments. The people that see the car and strike up a conversation seem to be positively grateful that they saw the car and remembered something valuable in their lives.
Today’s Washington Post carries an article about a woman’s memories of her 1960 Beetle that she drove during her college years in the 70′s. The fun of the article centers around the unpredictable clutch, which after being replaced, only worked in second gear, providing a thrilling ride in the hills of Virginia.
I love the confidence that the writer, Melony, exudes in her recollections of driving her Beetle:
Frostburg’s streets undulate, and every one has an incline of some degree, many featuring a stop sign about midway to the top. I had mastered the art of balancing the amount of gas I gave the engine while in first gear, and how far I let the clutch out, with the degree of the incline of the hill upon which I was stopped. Thus, after slowing on my approach to a stop sign, I did not brake, but using the clutch I could suspend my VW with exquisite, practiced proficiency on the incline. The other girls envied me. They couldn’t even drive a stick.
Read the rest of this wonderful homage to the VW Beetle at the WaPo site: In VW Beetle’s last clutch moments, it was push or scream