The VW Beetle has always been a big hit throughout my life. Well, I finally had the opportunity to experience one of these machines for myself. The story of how this particular 1971 VW Super Beetle Convertible emerged in the realm of my family requires a bit of background about the loss of my mother and recent uncle.
My mother was the proud owner of the 1974 Super Beetle in her early twenties. As a self-proclaimed second-generation hippie, VW’s synonyms for peace, love, and fun have intrigued her car. After her mother went to college, her grandmother packed up her luggage and moved the whole country to San Diego. That was where my mother was looking for the right beetle. In response to her grandmother’s advertisement in her local newspaper, her mother flew to California with a $ 2,300 check to scoop her dream car. With the addition of her own mother, the pair then embarked on a long journey across the United States. That ambitious journey will reach Barstow, California. It was there that the Beetle gearbox made the final shift. The heat of the day in the Mojave Desert is rarely escaped, and local mechanics explained that the necessary repairs can only be done at night. My mother always believed in this explanation, but she thought that something else was probably going on more accurately, and she reminded me many times of her late-night trip to the parts store. rice field. In any case, the pair returned to the road a few days later, a “new” gearbox was installed under the cover of darkness, and the beetle was given the proper name: Barstow.
Unfortunately, Barstow didn’t stay with my mother for a very long time. Shortly before I was born, she decided it was time for her mother to move away from the dilapidated air-cooled classic, and she sold it. My mother never really let go of Barstow.
As far as I can remember, she talked about her day-to-day life as a classic car owner. She would have joked that 58 horsepower in her car was barely enough to tackle Michigan’s board-flat roads and wanted to see her ripping bugs across the Rocky Mountains. Photo albums at the time were always blamed for the lack of Barstow’s photographs. Because her mother believed she had never taken a picture of a car. For years, we stopped seeing all the beetles with the sign for sale and pushed the dream over and over again. It’s a parent-child nature, but it was always clear to the rest of us that beetles were lost from mom’s life.
As the children grew up, my parents began to intrigue them for the first time in 30 years. They enjoy their lives, but all the changes come from fun places. Last year, my uncle Brent was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Brent, my father’s cousin, grew up with his father after losing his father at an early age. From playing high school basketball to building a family business, the two were inseparable and we did it all together. The two dated together and married a friend in the neighboring town. My mother and Steph gave birth to their first child a few months apart, further attracting two growing families. They had three children who were tactically deficient than four of my parents. The debate about who was there continues today.
As things tend to go on, life will eventually see two bell households spend less time together. Brent eventually left the family business and our children went their own way. Anyway, we all know that Brent and Steph, and the role they played in our lives, have always been important. It was clear how upset my parents were when my mother told me that Brent was ill. The following year, the tragedy brought the four closer together and began to see their parents’ thinking began to change. They realized that life was too short to chase what makes us happy.
In the final message exchange with his father, Brent chose to continue looking for that happiness. He sent my dad a link to yet another beetle for sale locally, stating that it was exactly the kind of thing my mother wanted to own. He died at home shortly thereafter. In the days leading up to Brent’s memorial service, his father decided that he would buy the beetle and arrive. The last nod to Brent’s impact on their lives.
The car was brought from California to Michigan in 2018 by an older gentleman as a gift to his dying wife. She picked him up for her first date at the Super Beetle in 1971. He wanted the car to be restored for a weekend cruise. She died before her wife had the opportunity to join the cruise while a local VW specialty store was working on the restoration. It was placed in the garage for two years and could be unloaded at completion and sold to her father at a asking price of $ 11,000. Not a few cents.
It’s not visually perfect, but all the machines in this Super Beetle are professionally addressed. The motor is a newly rebuilt unit equipped with an upgraded Weber carburetor. The engine runs with a single click on the starter, showing the horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder roar that we all love. Since there is no tachometer that clutters your mind, the engine pulls with more force than the 60hp and 82lb-ft outputs suggest. The 4-speed manual gearbox fits nicely into each gear, but finding a reverse has proven to be a big challenge for our beginners. All new suspension components are mounted on both axles, giving the bend enough confidence. Unassisted drum brakes that handle stop work are not. Overall, this is an example of a beetle as great as I’ve seen up close, and there’s room for improvement. The vintage-style Braupunct Radio will properly replace the 1990s head unit, but some minor dashboard repairs conclude the list. Beyond that, the car can be used and enjoyed. Mom already has a list of car and coffee events for the summer.
It brings me incredible joy to my mother rekindling her love for cars and being in a place where she can. That said, beetles always carry the weight of Brent’s passage. Cars serve as a reminder of the importance of never taking your loved ones for granted and chasing our dreams. Anyway, I believe Brent sent that link to remind my parents that they would continue to enjoy their lives. I hope the beetle is just the first chapter of the journey.