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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

THE BUG


THE BUG
When I graduated from college, I bought a brand new VW Bug.  It cost $1600. It listed for less, but I paid extra for a radio and undercoating.  I put down $200, my pop paid the rest.  When I got a job, I gave him $200 a month and it was fully paid for by Christmas.

My 1968 bug had 53 horsepower and could reach speeds of almost 65 MPH…80 if going downhill.  The air cooled engine never overheated.  The rear engine positioned extra weight over large (for the size of the car) rear drive tires, giving it excellent traction in the snow.  The Bug got me through high water (they claim the damn thing could float) and heavy snow.  I never got stuck.

The best thing about the Bug was it was a friendly car.  It was cute.  It was unintimidating.  I was never challenged to drag race at a stop light.  The Bug had a friendly horn, a cute little beep-beep.  I used the horn often, and no one ever shot me that middle finger salutation.

My Dad bought a VW Bug in 1955.  There were almost no Bugs on the road in 1955.  Whenever you did pass another Bug, both cars would respond with a beep-beep greeting.  In 1968, when I bought my Bug, there were millions on the road.  I passed other Bugs all the time; still the beep-beep tradition was followed.

I think the best thing about my Bug is it was an anti-road rage car.  It was impossible to get angry at the Bug.  When I went up a hill and couldn’t go faster than 50 MPH, the cars behind would never get angry.  They knew it was not my fault, it’s a Bug!

I miss my Bug; I sold it for $50 when it was twenty four years old and it was still running as good as ever.  Well almost as good as ever.  To this day I am still sorry I sold it.

The world was a better place when the Bug was in production.  With the Bug off the road, driver courtesy has disappeared.   The road has not been the same since the piece-sign painted, plastic-daisy on the antennae Bugs left it.

My roots are half German.  I am told the German people are a strict, rigid, serious people.  The Bug was the exact opposite of those stereotypes.

Germany gave us Hitler, but it also gave us THE BUG.

Beep-Beep! 

25 comments:

  1. My next door neighbor still has his VW bug--he drives it every day!!

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  2. You can't beat a VW can you? SD doesn't have a Bug but he does currently have three (yes, I said THREE) VW vans and a beach buggy. You still get a beep beep and a wave as you pass other Vdubbers over here.

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  3. Lovely post - it's true, everyone loves a Bug! The car I planned for Future Me when I was a kid. I ended up getting a 1978 Toyota Corolla instead. Like your bug, it would have run forever if I hadn't finally crashed it.

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  4. Lovely post - it's true, everyone loves a Bug! The car I planned for Future Me when I was a kid. I ended up getting a 1978 Toyota Corolla instead. Like your bug, it would have run forever if I hadn't finally crashed it.

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  5. Over this side of the pond we call them Beetles and I have an idea they are still manufactured - in Brazil or possibly Mexico.

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  6. An interesting view of a car my husband also owned as a graduate student. Damn thing would never start, so we always parked it on a hill.

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  7. Loved the Bug! There is a very nice gentleman who lives around here and attends every garage sale within miles in his pristinely kept Bug. He seldom buys anything, but he's nice to talk to, and loves his car.

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  8. I have never ridden in a VW bug but I've always wanted to!

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  9. Had two Beetles, a used white '71 then bought a brand-spanking new '74 in forest green. Man I loved those cars. Reliable and easy to work on.

    I do miss my Beetle. (The Germans call them der Käfer, literally "The Beetle.")

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  10. A friend retired his granddaughter's sixty something bug out beside the garden shed. It wears long eyelashes around the headlights.

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  11. This is a fun, interesting read about this famous car. I see new models of this and they still maintain their cute, friendly and unintimidating looks as you put it. It's a classic.

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  12. I still think about the Bug I had during my college years. It treated me a lot better than I treated it. I feel bad about that.

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  13. Cute post :) When I was in 8th grade, nine of my classmates, including me, went to a game the boys were playing. We all fit into the bug (no seat belts back then); so 10 of us including the driver. Whenever I see a bug to this day, I remember that time.

    betty

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  14. my sis had a vw bug as her first car. she loved it! that cute little putter of the engine, the cute beep. yup, unintimidating, for sure.

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  15. I never had one, but I love the Bug. Their retro one isn't the same. Not at all. If they made them the original way there would be millions on the road again.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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  16. I never had one, but I can see why those of you who did loved them so. At the local Cars and Coffee car show the VDubClub is a fun bunch to visit with. How could they NOT be? :)

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  17. Yup, I had a Beetle, too.
    It was the second car I ever owned.
    Had it for five years.
    I like it so much, I might still be driving it, if it hadn't been totaled in a rollover.

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  18. The bugs are really cute. I'm not a fan of two-door cars, but I think if I was ever going to like one it would probably be a bug.

    My sister drives a Mini Cooper and she swears that Mini drivers are supposed to greet each other that way.

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  19. I always wanted a bug and finally got a 74 to restore when I hit age 60. It was adorable and was a marvelous codger magnet. Any time I stopped, some cute old fellow would come up and tell me his bug story. Everyone of a certain age either owned or had some great times in one.
    My favorite commercial ever was one that showed a man getting into a bug during a snow storm. The announcer says,"Have you ever wondered how the snow plow driver gets to the snow plow." And off the bug would go into the storm.

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  20. One of my college roommates had a dark green Bug. We loved to tool around in it, waving at people. I don't know why. Must have something to do with the college experience. Funny that her nickname was Bean. Something seems amiss.

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  21. Loved our Bug. In fact we owned a Notch-Back bug as well. You're right they were superb snow goers, sipped gasoline and were good for teaching kids about driving stick.

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  22. I remember the first time I drove a Bug. I was still smoking then and I went to knock off my cigarette ashes in the dash-mounted ash tray. Quite obviously I had not taken the interior size into consideration as I slammed my hand into the windshield. They were fun cars, though.

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  23. I'm all, 100%, German, and I've never owned a bug. Bwwwaaahhh! Something's wrong here!

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  24. In spite of being German, we never owned a Bug. My dad was a Ford man once he could afford them, before that we had an Austin 6, a Vauxhall something-or-other and there was the small panel van with the door that never latched properly so my sister fell out.
    When I had four small kids we bought a Kombi, two buckets seats up front, and two bench seats behind, so each kid got to have a window seat with space between them to avoid the "he's touching me!" fights. It was a great car. Hubby drove it to death in two years, just like he drove everything else.

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  25. First car I drove that didn't belong to my parents was a sky blue auto stick VW Bug! And I've wanted one ever since! Great memories are stirred whenever I see one!!! Beep-Beep!

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