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Patt's 1974 Super Beetle

Imagine having an 18 year old who doesn't want to drive ! Well, that's what I have. Thinking that her nervousness would pass, her Dad and I started looking for cars. I grew up in a family where the kids were expected to buy their own cars, so I wanted the same for my daughter. I knew that she would appreciate it more and take better care of it. Since she would be paying for it, the price had to be right. When the opportunity to buy a running '74 Super Beetle for $1000 came up, we jumped on it thinking that we could let our daughter use it as a first car and then we would have fun with it when she moved on to something "better". So we bought it in July '17, named it Lucille after my Grandma, and started on our journey to get it a little more road ready. I started researching and found out from other VW fans that, although black now, it was originally a Special Edition gold Sun Bug! After finding out that this model came with special seats, dash, steering wheel, and paint color, we were disappointed when we realized that our budget didn't allow us to restore it to its original glory. But we were determined to treat Lucille with love and get her looking decent. Last December and January, we stripped the inside, put new insulation, carpet, seat foam, seat covers, and door cards in her. I eventually want to get the sunroof fixed so I held off on putting a new headliner in her.

I improvised with some maps and glue. I ended up with a headliner that gets some attention! Sun Bugs came with a unique shifter knob which is very hard to find these days, so I made one! Wanting to keep with a travel theme, I made a globe shifter from a 2" wooden ball from a craft store. I guess necessity is the mother of invention! The headliner and knob get a lot of attention at shows, and I enjoy telling people about how I did it and helping them with ideas for their cars. Turns out that our daughter is not only still nervous about driving but is dead set against driving a stick! She does however love VWs so we found her a cute little '04 New Beetle (that's an automatic) that she may actually build up the courage to drive one day!! My husband and I are enjoying Lucille now and love to show her off. We brought home 1st place in stock category and 1st place in project category at our last show. We are also band parents, so we are excited to see our kids enjoying her, too. Maybe one day, I'll get to see my baby girl drive her! Well, a girl can dream, right?

Patt Barker

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