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Hi Wayne,

If you remember the feature of my Dr. Jekyll Beetle. I had concluded on wanting to widen the rear track and stated that the Province of Quebec had refused to grant permission for the JEKYLL plate. Here are a few pictures showing the updated Bug and I finally won my case and the Jekyll trademark blocking my plate request was removed.

Also, I changed the wheels as well as cutting, rewelding and repainting the cut airbrushed job on the fenders to fit the big 295-50-15 rubber on 15x10 chrome wheels. BTW, my daughter and her boyfriend got me a laminated copy of my feature at to hang in my garage for Christmas. Here hare a few pictures of the fender widening, the finished car and the copy of my article on the Garage Door.

Thanks again for your dedicated work,


Hello Francois,

It's so nice to hear from you and see the updates to your beautiful Super Beetle. Great news about your license plate and the fenders turned out amazing! love the paintwork on them. You can still see your Beetle in the gallery section of the site. What a nice gesture from your daughter and her boyfriend, that looks great. Thanks for being such a great supporter of everything VW.

Wayne -


I was reading some of your website and came across a topic started by John and johnscarcorner. With all due respect for John, the U.S. did NOT force VW to stop selling the Beetle due to safety reasons. The VW still passed U.S. Safety standards, and in fact even a standard Beetle outperformed the Golf Mk 1 in the frontal crash ratings. VW had been working on Beetle safety since at least the late 1960s and really stepped up things in the early 1970s. Yes, the super beetle is better than a standard in a front crash but both cars could have been sold in the USA into the 1980s without issue. They also passed emissions just fine. The issue was that competition was offering more for the same or less money by the 1970s. The VW still was at the top in terms of quality and very near the top in terms of fuel economy but the reality is the DM vs USD was not in VWs favor by themed 1970s.

A Beetle had a base price of under $1900, was a $3800 car by 1977. And that is of course not even a Super Beetle. That is a double the price in just six years. Imagine a Nissan Versa that cost $16,000 in 2013, being a $32,000 car in 2019. How many would sell? Well the same thing happened with the Beetle. Sales nosedived as prices increased to the point that it was not really a good buy against more modern, less expensive cars from Japan and even Detroit. The VW actually increased sales from 1972 to 1973, only to fall substantially in 1974 when the prices really started escalating. From 342,000 in '73, they went to 274,000 in 1974, and to barely over 12,000 in 1977-this is Sedans only, not convertibles. If the VW Beetle and Super Beetle would have continued to sell in strong numbers, I assure you that VW would have continued to sell it here.

Mike Goode

Hi Mike,

Thanks for setting the record straight for when it comes to the end of our beloved Super Beetle! You can read more about this in the History of the Super Beetle section of the site!

Wayne -

Here's a cool set of Specal Edition decals for the model builders out there. Sent to us from our friend Colin Shinkin from

A unique sheet of high quality waterslide decals for the hobbyist Volkswagen fan: This unique decal sheet enables customisation of 1/18 scale metal die-cast, resin cast and plastic kit Bug models to authentically represent the accessory style stripes and VW factory produced Special Sales Campaign models of the mid 70s. era.
Included are scale miniature versions of the “Formula Vee”, “Super Beetle” and “Wrap Over” stripes that were all part of the 1974 and 1975 Volkswagen of America accessory range. In addition the sheet includes miniatures of the side stripes applied by Volkswagen dealers to the Sun Bug Edition and by VW AG to several charismatic Special sales campaign model Beetles sold in Europe.

This decal sheet has been produced in response to hobbyist VW fans wishing to modify commercially available scale model Bugs to represent versions not otherwise available. It is designed to provide hobbyists and collectors with the opportunity to indulge in anything from modest accessorisation to extensive remodelling in 1/18th scale of the various Super Beetle and standard Beetle toys and collectors models available on the hobby market. Full information about the correct paint colors etc., for each particular Edition are given in the individual profiles on the SEBeetles website:

In addition however, and as an easy reference for the casual or younger modeller, quick reference guidance in downloadable pdf format has been included on the SEBeetles website at:

By Loren R. Knapp

Tuesday, April 10, 1973 my wife and I were car shopping at the Pima Volkswagen dealership here in Tucson, Arizona with our 5-month-old son Travis in tow. I never imaged that 46 years later the Texas Yellow Super Beetle would still be part of our family. I recall we were debating between the light blue or yellow and decided the brighter color would be more visible in traffic. I eventually had it painted Metallic Electric Blue. I have the bill of sale and under Cash Price of Car it reads: Super $2490….AC $410….Push AM Radio $46.38….Bumper Guards $39.95….Cash Price $2986.33….Tax $149.32….Registration $54.35….Total Cash Price Delivered $3135.50. We had scraped together $2550 and financed $635.65. (By the way, we just converted the AC system to the newer R134 Freon.) One last memory about this is that just prior to signing on the dotted line I told the salesman that we would seal the deal, if he would subtract the $135.50 from the price. He said, "I'm sorry, but we can't do that." We said okay and got up to leave. We hadn't made it to the car, when he caught up with us in the parking lot and said the sales manager approved it. Both our son Travis and our daughter Stacey learned how to drive in the Super Beetle. We've had many adventures and close calls. Many of these I have written about in the "Idle Chatter" section. The articles are as follows:

"The Chronicles of VDUBYA - The Roadrunner, The Hitch and the Locomotive"
"You May Be a Bug Owner If…"
"What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate?"
"The Beetle and the Beatles"
"Why a VW Bug is Better than a Wife"
"Road Trip"
"VW Cliff Hanger"

With all that said, the purpose of this article is to share with you the accessories with photos that I have enhanced "The Blues" with over the years.


Speaker placement kick panels. Red strobing alarm warning light with alarm system. Blue edged floor mats.

Chrome 3M tubing on deck lid in gap area as pictured.

Gravel guards, tail pipe decorative connector.

Polished aluminum running boards & door sill covers.

Gas door trim.

Luggage compartment cover.

Window tint on all windows. Partial top area on front windshield with silver lettering "The Blues." Pin striping. Chrome 3M ¼" molding tape centered in windshield rubber. Note: The original window rubber in the 73 Super Beetles had this look on all the main windows. However, the chrome strip was inserted in a slit in the rubber. I duplicated the look with 3M ¼" molding. Holds fine even in 110 degrees here in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

Wood window handles and chrome door latch covers. Chrome strip added to painted blue door handle pulls.

Chrome door edge molding added to roof rain lip. Stainless steel Window rain and shade deflectors.

Wood gear shift knob and emergency handle brake sleeve. Console with drink holder and storage compartment.

VW decals. Chrome crescent vent covers.

Door hinge chrome wraps. Chrome hinge oil plug covers.

Door handle guards and edge guards.

Door kick panels.

Radio antenna chrome cap.

Fender gravel guards.

Cat eyes headlight covers.

Volkswagen emblem.

Trunk lid handle guard.

Chrome Rims with white wall tires

Dash Mat, Wood dash inserts, Electric windshield washer.

Chrome Jack insert port cover.

Leather steering wheel cover.

License plate brake lights with Bottom 2 Bolts on License plate glow blue when lights are on.

Upholstery -carpet, seats and door panels.

Cyclops brake light.

Cowl Air Vent Cover

Hello SuperBeetles!

California Pacific JBugs is going through a restoration project. We wanted to let all of your visitors know that now have some videos on YouTube that I wanted to share. The first one is called - What to look for when buying a VW Beetle. Enjoy!

Thanks for sharing that awesome video Jason! We will be looking forward to more of them in the future!

Wayne -

The Nacht Before Christmas
By Mike Rayburn

'Twas the nacht before Christmas, and in the garage,
Not a Beetle was stirring, Nor Ghia, nor Dodge.
The stockings were hung by the tool chest with care,
In hopes that St. Porsche, soon would be there.

And I settled down, fast asleep in my bed,
While visions of Veedubs, danced through my head.

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter;
I leapt out of bed to see what was the matter!

I raced to the window, and peered out the sill,
To gaze at the snow, that was silent and still.
When what up above to my eyes did appear,
But a fine German man with eight Nordic reindeer!

And there was a Speedster - A '356.
Which took me a moment to recognize quick.
It was the dear Doktor, the great Ferdinand!
He jumped off the roof, and extended his hand.

My heart leaped so high, and was full of such glee!
I thought of the things he might have for me!
He reached for his bag, he had in his car.
And said "Guten Abend! For I've traveled far,

And have wunderbar things, on this great Christmas night,
To give out to all, before the dawn's light!"
I gave me a pinch, for somehow it seemed,
That all of a sudden, it was but a dream.

For he pulled from his bag so much wonderful stuff,
As he smoked on his pipe, and blew a big puff.
Like new Hella lamps to go on my Bug,
And a toy Schuco windup, to run on my rug.

Plus new Continentals, a Blaupunkt, chrome wheels!
And a spare tire tool kit, of fine German steel.
The gifts they were endless, the list it went on.
As he emptied his bag, the night turned to dawn.

He climbed in the Speedster, and cracked at the whip,
To summon the reindeer, to take him off quick.
His Porsche it flew, like a Messerschmidt plane,
As he called back to me and said, "Wiedersehen!".

And once more he called, from his fanciful flight,
"Froehliche Weihnachten Und to all a gut night!"

Hey Mike...It looks like you're a poet and don't know it!

Awesome job!

Wayne -

Hi Wayne,

Mid America Motorworks is excited to announce that our friend Dr. Mac Jones will be lending us a Kübelwagen, Schwimmwagen, KdF-Wagen and 5-6 other unique and rare VW's for Funfest for Air-Cooled VW! These VW's will make up a WWII military vehicle display at the event's 15th anniversary that will take place May 31st-June 2nd at Mid America Motorworks corporate campus in Effingham, IL.

Included in the display will be a Kübelwagen, Schwimmwagen and KdF-Wagen. All three of these vehicles were produced by VW and used by the German military during WWII. The Volkswagen Kübelwagen, literally translated as "tub truck," for its resemblance to a metal bathtub on wheels, was based heavily on Ferdinand Porsche's early Beetle designs and became a light military vehicle known internally as the Type 82. The VW Thing sold in the 1970s and used by many European countries as a responder and military vehicle was clearly designed along the simple lines of the Kubelwagen. 50,435 Kubels were produced. It is estimated that there are 150 in the United States and approximately 1,000 worldwide.

The Volkswagen Type 166 Schwimmwagen is an amphibious four-wheel drive off-road vehicle used extensively during the war with a unitized bodytub structure for smooth movement through the water. The VW Type 166 is the most numerous mass-produced amphibious car in history. 15,584 "Schwimms" were produced. There are approximately 100 on the Schwimmwagen registry including 1 in New Zealand and another in Japan.

The KdF-Wagen was set up by Hitler's "Strength through Joy" organization as an affordable car for the people. Due to the shift to wartime production, no consumers ever received a KdF-Wagen; only a few military personnel had possession of the vehicle. After WWII, the vehicles were ordered destroyed which makes them extremely rare. This vehicle was the closest predecessor of what we now know as the Volkswagen Beetle. There are just 50 KdF-Wagens on the register with 5 of them listed under the Dr. Mac Jones collection.

Mid America Motorworks is celebrating the event's 15th Anniversary with a Magical Mystery Funfest. In addition to this unique collection of Air-Cooled VW's the event will include Celebrity Choice car judging, slalom races and Saturday night concert which welcome The Beatles tribute band, The Return to the Funfest Amphitheater. Funfest will also bring an all new line up of seminars with a new location and will be exhibiting more suppliers and vendors than ever. For the latest updates and to register, visit All participants registered by May 15, 2013 will receive preferred pricing on weekend admission and the Funfest t-shirt and a goody bag, while supplies last.

Best Regards,


Hey Kelsey,

That sounds iike one awesome show. If I wasn't up here in Canada I'd be there!




I am the guy that D-D-B chose to be the spokesman for that famous "Floating VW" TV commercial in June, 1972. My name is Lew Wood, and I was doing commercials and V/O's in NYC when I was booked for the job. We shot it at a launching ramp in Stamford, CT on LI Sound. The production crew was Horn-Greiner. Director Norm Greiner. D-D-B's creative director was Tom Yobaggy. And even Mr. Bernbach was on the location! They hired a stuntman to drive the VW into the water. However, Norm Greiner suddenly woke up to the fact that I had to deliver that last line "Now, what other car gives you this kind of quality at this kind of price?" from the car! I said, "Norm, I'm a sailor, I'm at home on the water. I'll drive it in!"

I splashed it three times. (We used three identical Beetles, all burnt orange in color. Splashed two of them alternately, the third never got wet and was used for "beauty shots." Swimmers went in to tow them back to shore after each take. We all thought our commercial would win the "Clio" that year, but the "Snowplow" commercial took the prize. However, the residuals were nice! After many years of searching for a 1972 Super Beetle in burnt orange with NO RUST, I finally found one a few years ago in Vista, CA, and snapped it up. I now proudly drive around town frequently and get admiring looks. Now, you know "the rest of the story!"

Hey Lew,

That is one awesome story and one awesome comercial! Thanks for sharing...



Super Beetles for SuperBeetles
Written by Rachael Miller

It’s safe to say that since the Beetle was first manufactured in 1938, it has become one of the most loved models of car of all time.  The Beetle particularly represents the fun loving 60’s, with the introduction of the 1967 edition of the VW Beetle, changing the motor scene forever.  The Beetle’s popularity is apparent simply because of the number of films, adverts and music videos they feature in. The essence of the Beetle and the free loving spirit of the 60’s have been on our screens more times than you’d think.  Here are some of the most famous Beetles…

Herbie- The Ultimate Beetle Movie Franchise

Herbie is probably the most recognised VW Beetle in the world.  Herbie is a self-controlled white Beetle, with red, white and blue racing stripes which go from his bumper all the way across the top to his back bumper. Herbie burst onto the scene in 1968 in the feature film The Love Bug, which saw the loveable Beetle being snubbed by a socialite, but then was found by Jim Douglas who saw Herbie’s potential.  This VW Beetle has a mind of his own, and turned out to be a serious racing contender, winning his owner numerous races. People couldn’t get enough of Herbie, which is why this franchise of movies has done so well and has spanned over five decades.  Other feature films include Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Herbie Goes Bananas and more recently in 2005, Herbie: Fully Loaded,  featuring Lindsey Lohan. There have also been several animated television series of Herbie throughout the years, showing that this Beetle isn’t just fun car, but it has turned into an iconic model which is still as popular as ever.

Bumblebee- Transformers 2

Transformers started out as a Japanese toy line made by Hasbro, which became so popular that comic books, video games and movies were made in their honour.  Bumblebee was created to be the youthful character who was constantly trying to prove himself to his peers.  Bumblebee had an advantage over his more mature counterparts; he was small and quick, meaning he could reach places that the larger robots couldn’t.  This is why the yellow VW Beetle was chosen to represent Bumblebee’s character- it represents his youthful and care-free nature, which is true of the image of the Beetle since its release.
Bumbleebee was a VW Beetle in the main series of Generation 1 and continued to be manufactured as a Beetle in the toy ranges; however, in the most recent Transformers films Bumblebee is a Chevrolet Camaro, despite the fact that he was originally a VW Beetle in the comics, animations and previous television series.

Footloose, 1984

Anyone who’s anyone will have heard the song ‘Footloose’ and will have probably seen the film at some point too. This 1984 movie tells the tale of a city boy, Ren, who moves from the big lights of Chicago to a small town in the sticks.  Rock music and dancing are illegal in this little town, much to Ren’s disgust.  Ren happens to drive a yellow VW Beetle in Footloose, highlighting is free spirit and audacious personality, which is highlighted when Ren and his friends manage to abolish the dancing ban, which seems to breathe life into the rest of the otherwise repressed town.

Dazed and Confused, 1993

Dazed and Confused is a feel good, easy going film set in the 70’s.  This movie had a host of upcoming stars in the making, including Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich and Ben Affleck, who all stamped their authority in the movie business after the release of this film.  The film is all about different high school characters who aim to get either stoned or laid, as typical teenagers do.  An off-white VW Beetle convertible makes an appearance of this film, again keeping with the tone of being fun loving and free.

Fight Club, 1999

Fight Club is the only Beetle in our list which doesn’t represent a fun loving, free spirited character or ideal, in fact, quite the opposite.  For those not familiar with Fight Club, the film is sees a questionably mentally stable insomniac (Brad Pitt) and a salesman (Edward Norton) creating ‘clubs’ where men could vent their anger and frustration- by fighting each other.  The Beetle only makes a brief appearance in this otherwise serious and mature film, as more of a symbol of the cast’s beliefs of consumerism.  Neither Pitt or Norton like the new style Beetle, seeing the original as an ‘icon of 60s youth culture and values that is being repackaged and resold to a younger generation by baby boomers who have sold out and become advertising executives’.   So, not only does the Beetle represent a time of free spirit, youth and fun, but can also represent modern issues.  Unfortunately, this new Beetle got smashed to pieces.  No original Beetles were harmed during the making of Fight Club.

Hey Rachael,

Great job on the article. I always knew that there where a few more famous Beetles other than Herbie!.




I'm 39 years old and have Muscular Dystrophy and always wanted to restore a VW bug. So a couple of weeks ago I acquired a 70 beetle. The car is in bad shape it needs new pans and heater channels, hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!!!!!!!!! I was lost until I found your site the articles on pan replacement and body removal was my savior before this I did not have a clue. I am ordering new rocker panels with new heater channels and everything already to install. So wish me luck I have been told this is a big job. But looking forward to the challenge, before I am unable to enjoy it, so yall pray for me and I love your web site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Jimmy from West Point Alabama

Hey Jimmy,

Glad to hear that Rick's articles were of help for you! You should consider picking up one of his videos when you get down to doing the work.

Take Care,



It's Sean Coleman from NC State..  We last spoke about two years ago when 'DaBaby' my navy blue '74 super beetle was featured on your site.

So- what do you get when you yield at a green light for an emergency vehicle crossing the intersection?  Rear ended by someone behind you with bad breaks.  Fortunately upon closer observation, only the bumper was damaged.  I will be purchasing a new bumper.

My questions for you:

1. Should I go ahead and buy a new impact strip as well, or keep the old one and install it on the new bumper?

2.  As a safety precaution, I would like to purchase the bumper mounting arms as well, but I'm mot sure where to find them (mid America does not sell them for the 74).  Do you have any recommendations for an online vendor?

Thanks for your time and help- has always been on of my favorite sources of info!

Warmest Regards,

Sean and 'DaBaby

My first question would be is the person that hit you paying for the damage? If so I'd put the new impact strip because it will always be pushed in where the impact is. I guess it all depends on how fussy you are but I would have to have it perfect. You are going to have a hard time finding new bumper brackets as they are not produced anymore so you may have to get used if you need one. Measure the distance between the bumper and the body and if it's not pushed in on one side your bracket should be good. If you have the original VW bumper produced in Germany you might want to get it re-chromed as most of the aftermarket stuff is not of great quality.

Wayne -

Hi guys,

I recently came across the article in the Idle Chatter section named "The Beetle and the Beatles, By Loren R. Knapp". The comments about the "Paul is Live" cover are incorrect. It is obvious that the Abbey Road scene is actually the same vintage as the original photo. For one, the tree growth is exactly the same, as well as several cars in the background. It is not possible these would have been unchanged some 20 odd years later. Any differences in the 2 photographs were likely airbrushed out, including the different VW license plate.

Rick O
15 years a 71 Super owner and Beatles fan

It looks like you are correct sir, thanks for the heads up on that one Rick! You obviously know your Beetles and the Beatles!
Wayne -

Why a VW Bug is Better than a Wife*
By Loren R. Knapp

01. Your Bug will never have a headache, although it may give you a few.
02. Your Bug will always respect you in the morning, although it may not start.
03. You can enjoy your Bug all month long.
04. You don't have to wine and dine your Bug to keep it happy.
05. Your Bug will always wait patiently while you play or watch basketball, football, pool etc.
06. Your Bug won't get jealous when you look at another Bug.
07. Your Bug doesn't demand equality.
08. If you change Bugs, you don't have to pay alimony.
09. Afterwards your Bug won't feel guilty, cry, or call her mother, your ex-wife, or her therapist.
10. Your Bug can't talk.
11. Another man will seldom steal your Bug.
12. Your Bug won't wake you up in the middle of the night to ask, "If I died, would you get another Bug?'
13. Your Bug isn't allowed in Macys, Bloomingdales, Neiman-Marcus or on the Shopping Channel.
14. Your Bug will never divorce you and take your trailer.
15. Your Bug will usually start every time without protest and requires only 30 seconds to warm up.
16. Your Bug responds to input quickly without complaint or an involved discussion.
17. Your Bug requires low maintenance and should run to 200,000 miles without a complaint.
18. Your Bug only needs four pairs of shoes…..really.
19. Your Bug is always waiting to go.
20. Your Bug won't run off with a younger Bug.
21. Your Bug won't have a fit if you leave the toilet seat up.

*No disrespect meant to all of the woman that own a VW Bug or put up with their husband's hobby. We love you!

The Beetle and the Beatles
By Loren R. Knapp

If you look at The Beatles' famous Abbey Road LP Jacket, you will note there is an extra Beetle in the photo. Yes, I know what you're thinking. There are only four .... George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Star and John Lennon. But, look carefully. In the background, there's a 1968 VW Beetle parked up on the curb at the time the four famous Englishmen were photographed strolling across the street. Who could possibly have known the little white Beetle would be part of a classic Rock 'N Roll photograph and become entwined in an Urban Legend. All the Fab Four knew on Friday morning, August 8th, 1969 was that they were simply shooting another LP cover.

The Beatles were at a loss as to what to title their eleventh album. The number-one selling album was almost named "Everest" after their engineer Geoff Emerick's brand of cigarettes. The plan was to be photographed at the foot of that famous mountain in the Himalayas, but that idea was not very popular with the boys. So Paul said, "Hey, why don't we just have our picture taken as we walk across the crossing just outside here and call the LP "Abbey Road"? John contacted a photographer friend Iain MacMillan, and a photo shoot was arranged. At 11:35 AM, Macmillan stood on a stepladder and snapped six photos of the group walking across the street while a policeman held up traffic. Some time later, Paul McCartney studied the negatives under a magnifying glass and chose image number 5, which is now so familiar. The LP was released, and Abbey Road became known throughout the world. The little Beetle did not go unnoticed. As a matter of fact, it became entwined in a rumor that spread like wildfire .... "Paul McCartney was dead, killed in a motorcycle accident, and the man in the photo was a look-a-like."

The believers in the "Paul is dead conspiracy" used the "Abbey Road" LP jacket photo to bolster their claims. They point to hidden messages and clues in the photo. The photo obviously shows the Beatles walking across Abbey road. Note that John is dressed in white like a preacher. Ringo is dressed like a pallbearer. Paul is barefoot, out of step, and the only one holding a cigarette in his right hand .... when he is left-handed. (Supposedly, at some point in time in England people were buried barefoot.) George is dressed like a gravedigger, and the VW Beetle has a license plate that reads "LWM 28IF." The connection here with the VW Beetle is that, at the time of the release of the album, Paul would have been "28 IF" he had lived. The LMW indicates "Linda McCartney Weeps." Also, note the hearse parked on the right side of the street in the background. The Beatles, the record company and all concerned took no stock in the crackpot story, and really didn't care as it was helping generate sales. Years later, when asked about his lack of shoes, Paul said, "I had just turned up at a photo session, and it was a hot day in London, a really nice hot day... and I think I wore sandals. I only had to walk around the corner to the crossing because I lived pretty nearby. And for the photo session I thought, 'I'll take my sandals off.' You know, so what? Barefoot, nice warm day-- I didn't feel like wearing shoes. So I went around to the photo session and showed me bare feet. Of course, when that comes out and people start looking at it they say, 'Why has he got no shoes on? He's never done that before.' Okay, you've never seen me do it before, but in actual fact it's just me with my shoes off. Turns out to be some old Mafia sign of death or something."

In the '90's, McCartney would release the album, "Paul Is Live," with a cover parodying Abbey Road. This time, McCartney is tugging on the leash of his sheepdog, and the white Beetle license plate is 51 IS, telling us that he "IS" alive and 51 years old. For the shot, Paul stepped back onto the crossing and stepped back in time. Paul said, "This time I've got my boots on …. Veggie Doc Martens, by the way, so they're not dead either." The Volkswagen Beetle parked near the crossing walk belonged to a Swedish couple living in the apartment across from the recording studio. At the time of the photo session an effort was made to get them to move the Beetle, but they were on vacation at the time.

After the album Abbey Road came out, the license plate was stolen repeatedly from the car. In 1986, the car was sold at an auction for $23,000, it is currently on display at the Volkswagen museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. A great tribute to the little white Beetle in the foreground, as well as The Beatles, took place when the site was selected to début the new Volkswagen Beetle in a commercial with two new Volkswagen Beetles crossing the road. Volkswagen had tried unsuccessfully to get the Beatles to endorse their new cars. I suppose this was the next best thing.

Elephant into a Beetle?

Q: How do you get an elephant into a Beetle?
A: Open the right door, put the elephant inside, close the door.

Q: How do you put an elephant into a fridge?
A: Open the Beetle's door, take the elephant out, close the door, open the fridge, put the elephant inside, close the fridge.

Q: How do you get 4 elephants into a Beetle?
A: 2 in the front and 2 in the back.

Q: How do you know if there is an elephant in your fridge?
A: There's a Beetle parked in your driveway.

Q: How do you get 8 elephants in a fridge?
A: Put four in a Beetle, four in another Beetle, and then put the two Beetle's in the fridge. Surely a fridge large enough to hold two elephants can hold two Beetle's!

Q: What did the fifth elephant in the Beetle discover?
A: The retractable metal sun roof.

Q: The Lion gathered all the animals in the jungle for a meeting, all of them showed up except the elephants. Why?
A: They were still in the Beetle.

Q: How many giraffes can you fit in a Beetle?
A: None, the elephants are still in there!

By Wayne Dean

If you've been reading My Blog then you know that I take my Beetle to a shop in Toronto called Progress Motors. The technician that works on my Super Beetle is Emilio, and he has been a personal friend of mine for years. We used to work together and I found out that he was a factory-trained Volkswagen mechanic that used to work on the air-cooled Beetle back in the day. So you can see why I take my pride and joy only to him. During it's yearly check this summer, Emilio discovered a leak from the rear main seal. He told me I could let it go as most VWs do leak a bit of oil, or "Mark their Territory" as I've been told. But the sight of that puddle of oil in my garage and the clutch starting to slip led me to believe that I should get it done now, rather than later. While I was at the shop, I noticed a gentleman admiring my Beetle. His name was Peter and he was an older gentleman with a German accent. He told me stories about all of the Beetles that he had owned in Germany and here in Canada. He also told me about a letter that he had received from Volkswagen when his Beetle broke the 100,000 km mark. I had heard of this letter before but had never seen one. Apparently in the 1950's a letter of congratulations was sent to every VW owner that had taken good care of their car and driven over 100,000 kms without any major problems. That in itself is interesting enough, but the letter was said to have been signed by Heinz Nordhoff himself.

Heinrich Nordhoff (January 6, 1899 – April 12, 1968) was a German engineer famous for his leadership of the Volkswagen company as it was rebuilt after World War II. He is usually referred to as Heinz Nordhoff. Nordhoff attended technical college in Berlin, where he became a member of the Roman Catholic fraternity Askania-Burgundia and in 1927 began work for BMW working on aircraft engines. He soon went to work for Opel where he gained experience of the automotive industry. Following the war, he was appointed Managing Director of Volkswagen, assuming the position on January 2, 1948. Nordhoff became legendary by turning the Volkswagen Beetle into a worldwide automotive phenomenon. He pioneered the idea of constant improvement - improving the car's underpinnings while keeping the styling the same. He gave liberal benefits to VW workers and increased pay scales. Within six years after taking over Volkswagen, Nordhoff reduced the number of man-hours to produce a single car from 400 to 100, a 75 percent reduction. His commitment to improving the workmanship at VW made the Beetle famous for its bulletproof reliability.

A few days after my Beetle was serviced, I got a call from Emilio telling me that he had something for me. I couldn't believe my eyes. There, in a dark blue file folder was the letter to "Herr Fritz Muller" from Mr. Nordhoff! I copied the German text into an online translator and spoke to a friend in Germany, and got a pretty close translation.

Here's the text in German:

Dank und anerkennung. Der Volkswagen Hat mehr als 100000 kilometer. Ohne nennenswerte reparaturen zurückgelegt - Auf diese leistung dürfen alle stolz sein, die daran mitgewirkt haben: die vielen tausend unbekannten im volkswagenwerk und seiner organisation, die diesen wagen konstruiert, gefertigt und betreut haben,vor allem aber sein gewissenhafter, sorgsamer lenker und pfleger, Herr Fritz Müller, Der gute fahrer dieses guten wagens. Wir widmen ihm diese urkunde als zeichen unserer dankes und unserer anerkennung. Volkswagenwerk GMBH.

And in English:

Appreciation and recognition. The Volkswagen has done more than 100,000 KM, without major repairs. Of this achievement we are all proud. Who helped, thousands of unknown employees in the Volkswagen plant and organization, who designed and manufactured the car. Above all, it's careful driver Mr. Fritz. Müller, the good driver of this good car. We dedicate this document to him as appreciation and recognition. Volkswagenwerk GmbH.

You can click the small copy of the letter to see it full size. So because of a rear main seal leak at just the right time I came across a document that I might have never seen in my lifetime. Thanks to Emilio and Peter.

Detailing your Beetle
By Wayne Dean

We get a lot of email at SuperBeetles, and one question that pops up from time to time is, "What is the best way to keep my Beetle looking good?" For starters, washing and waxing your VW will keep it looking new for years. Some people say that you only have to wax your car once a year, my opinion is that you can't wax it enough. I had my Beetle painted over five years ago and it still looks as good as the day I brought it home.

Start out by rinsing your Beetle with cold water to get the loose dirt and dust off. I use a pressure washer but you can use a garden hose with a spray nozzle on it. If you do use a pressure washer avoid spraying directly at the door, trunk and deck lid seals as you may damage them and they may start to leak. Start at the roof and rinse your VW from top to bottom. This way you will have less of a chance of any dust remaining on the surface that could scratch the paint during the washing process. Spray underneath the car and in and around the wheels, behind the bumpers and other potential hiding places for dirt. Mix up a pail of washing solution like Turtle Zip Wax Car Wash. This product doesn't actually wax your car but it does make it easier to dry and the extra wax that is in it can't hurt. Dip a car wash mitt (I wear one on each hand) into your pail of warm soapy water and start washing from the top down. Make sure that you rinse the wash mitt frequently in your pail to avoid leaving grit on it that could scratch your ride. Work around the vehicle, washing downward until you reach the bottom. At that point you can use the mitt to wash the wheels. Rinse your VW with clean water, top to bottom, and dry it with a chamois. PS: Throw your wash mitts in the laundry to get them ready for next time.

When you wax your VDub you should make sure that it is parked in a cool place away from direct sunlight. You'll want to keep the surface of the vehicle cool to make it easier to apply/remove the wax. Use a liquid wax, such as Meguiar's Cleaner Wax, as it is easier to use and remove than a paste wax. Starting at the top, apply the wax with a damp clean cloth (or special waxing sponge) to the roof. Apply in a circular motion and overlap the strokes to make sure that you don't mix a spot. I apply the wax to my chrome for added protection from the elements. Use another clean cloth to remove the wax that you just put on after it dries to a haze. Turn the cloth frequently for best results. Wax another section, like the hood, remove the wax, and repeat the process, working your way around the car and downward. Keep the wax away from the glass, rubber and other areas that are not painted. After you've taken all the wax off, give your Bug a once over with a clean cloth to make sure that you haven't missed any wax. Be sure to read all of the instructions on the particular products that you use as they do vary.

After that clean the windows inside and out with glass cleaner and another clean, dry cloth. Once you wipe the glass cleaner off with a cloth, finish them with lint-free paper towel to avoid streaks. Vacuum the interior and mats and finish the job by protecting your vinyl interior with a product like 303 Aerospace Protectorant. This product is like SPF 40 sunscreen for your vinyl and gives 100% prevention of UV caused slow-fade with regular use. Once you've followed these simple steps your VDub with be ready to win "Best of Show" at the next VW event!

What We Have here is a Failure to Communicate
By Loren R. Knapp

Most of the time my Bug seems to ignore my whimpering pleas. So, I thought maybe…just maybe if I spoke the VW mother language. I mean after all it was designed and built by Germans.

For instance:

01. Oh Mist! Nicht (schon) wieder! - Oh Crap! Not again!
02. Komm schon, komm schon, Du schaffst es! - Come on, come on, you can do it!
03. Das muss ein Scherz sein! - You got to be kidding me!
04. Bitte, bitte spring an! - Please, please start!
05. Komm schon Baby, lass mich jetzt nicht haengen! - Come on baby don't quit on me now!
06. (difficult to translate) Du wirst mir das nicht schon wieder zumuten, oder? - You're not going to pull this on me again. Are you?
07. Also sitzen wir hier (fest) ohne Ueberbrueckungskabel. - So here we sit with no jumper cables.
08. Toll! Einfach toll! Jetzt muessen wir uns anschieben lassen. - Great! Just great! Now we have to get a push.
09. Es ist eiskalt! Mach es bitte ein bisschen warm! - It's freezing! Please give me some heat!
10. Du benoetigst (schon) wieder Oel?? - You need oil again?
11. Lieber Gott . bitte lass uns ankommen. - Dear God ... please get us where we're going.

Jetzt koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen - Now you can "Speak in German"

Bodengruppe - pan.
Bremsen - brakes.
Brezelfenster - pretzel window - nickname for splitwindow Bug.
Bulli - German nickname for Bus.
Fahrvergnuegen - enjoyment from driving.
Faldach or Stoffschiebedach - ragtop sunroof.
Fliessheck - fastback.
Fridolin - a special mixture of types I, II and III for postal service work.
Halbautomatik - auto stick.
Kombi - station wagon.
Kaefer - Beetle/Bug.
Kuebelwagen - bucket car.
Kupplung - clutch.
Nasenbaer - type IV (literally: Coatimundi)
Samba - nickname for the pre-1968 deluxe bus.
Schalldaempfer - muffler.
Schwimmwagen - swimming car.
Stufenheck - notchback.
Variant - squareback (type III and IV).
Vergaser - carburetor.
Vierganggetriebe - 4 speed transmission.
Volkswagen - car of the people.
Winker - semiphores.
Zylinderkopf - cylinder head.

Das Ende - "The End"

Doctor John
By Wayne Dean
Photography by John Spironello and Caroline Dean

It's Friday night and I'm getting my Super Beetle ready for the June Jitter Bug VW Show that's being held on Sunday. This is one of Canadas' top VW events and draws well over 250 Volkswagens every year. It’s held in Niagara Falls Canada, which is about and hour and a half drive from our home. My wife and I look forward to this event every year and I made myself the promise that no matter how busy I am at work, “NOTHING would keep me away.” The detailing of my gold '75 La Grande Bug was going pretty well, I washed her, waxed her, cleaned her windows and vacuumed the carpets and seats. At that point it was time to load all of the "supplies" into the trunk for Sunday. We bring along a blue folding picnic table, two blue and white lawn chairs, a blue and white umbrella (notice the blue and white VW color scheme we've got going on here) and a bucket of cleaning supplies in case the Bug meets with a few bugs on the way to the show. I pulled my trunk release, which has always been a bit temperamental, and after a few tugs it popped open. Since I wanted my ride to be "pristine" at the JJB I took out the spare tire and the trunk lock and adjusted the cable, hoping to solve my problem. Okay, the release cable and lock are lubed, the striker is lined up, the spring adjusted, now I simply shut the trunk, pull the lever, and re-open it. Nothing. I was in shock. What did I do wrong? Well maybe I need to pull it some more. Nothing. Okay I'll pull it and my wife will simply lift the trunk open. Nope. Then it must need a bit more force on the lever. And that was the last straw as the release lever went loose in my hand.

Now here's where the depression and self pity set in. We couldn't go to the show because we couldn't fit all that stuff in the back seat, and I wouldn't want to take my SB all the way to Niagara Falls if she wasn't perfect. So that's it, we're not going. My wife Caroline kept telling me that we would find a way. We'd call our mechanic Emilio and he could fix it Saturday morning, we'll search the forums and find a solution. She was all about going and I was all about giving up. I emailed my friend Brad to tell him that I wasn't going, content to stay at home while all of our friends would be having a blast. I would sit in a snit and watch the weekend go by, upset that the 31-year old trunk cable had given up the ghost. How dare it? And after all the care that I've given my 1303. Nothing but the best, and this is how you reward me? Just then I got and email back from Brad who quoted me from my blog at, just the week before I had written "NOTHING would stop me" from attending the June Jitter Bug VW show. And you know what? He was right.

I got on the phone at 10pm to leave a message for John, at John's Bug Shop. John has put on the June Jitter Bug for the last 20 years and is one of the nicest VW people that I know. Once I heard the beep I left my sad story on the answering machine and asked if John could call me back in the morning and give me some advice. 9am on Saturday morning the phone rings and John, who is in the middle of loading his tractor-trailer for the show on Sunday, tells me to come on down to his shop in Niagara Falls and he'd take a look at. I was ecstatic and so thankful. I couldn't believe that he was willing to take the time to help me out when he had so much to do. Ten minutes later I was on the highway filled with that same feeling as when I first got my VW. Along the way I came up on a silver dune buggy with a matching trailer that was one the way to Niagara Falls for the show. I looked in the back window of the buggy and there were two little girls flashing me the "peace symbol". I honestly thought that I was going to cry. This is what it's all about. Peace, love and helping one another. And these two children were the extra dose of medicine that I needed.

When I got to John's shop he dropped everything and got my Bug up on the hoist. He tried to "persuade" the trunk to open by rocking it back and forth and pulling, but it wasn't going to give up that easy. According to the VW shop manual the only way to open the trunk in a situation like this is to cut the handle and then spin the pieces off. John decided that this wouldn't do. He didn't want to cut the handle and perhaps damage the paint. He thought that there must some other way. We took a look at a scrap Super Beetle that was sitting in the back of his property and John noticed a 5" access plate in the bottom of the spare tire well. If only the trunk was empty...but wait, it was! I had taken everything out while I worked on the hood lock. We put the Bug up in the air and popped the access plate open. However, due to the frame head, you couldn't quite get your hand in there to do much else. John grabbed a light and a mirror and could actually see the bottom of that lock that just wouldn't let go. We tried to come up with ideas on how to get inside when John noticed that a factory drain hole in the frame head lined up perfectly with the trunk lock. You could actually look through the hole and see the bottom of the latch! John grabbed a two-foot long slot screw driver and after heating it with a torch, bent the tip to a perfect 45 degree angle. Then, with the skill of a surgeon, and working backwards with a light and mirror, popped the trunk lid open. What a guy!

Once open, we found out that the casing on the cable had been slowly cracking away. The previous owner had incorrectly routed the cable when the gas tank was out for repair and that was the reason for it binding. John disconnected the cable, took the casing off and reversed it, putting the "good end" at the lever. He then re-installed the lock, made a few adjustments, and it was working as good as new. Now all of this had taken at least a couple of hours of John's precious time so I volunteered to help finish packing the trailer for tomorrows show. An hour or so later, John and his VW parts were good to go.

Thanks to John Spironello we'd be at the show on Sunday and my faith in the VW spirit of helping one another had been restored. I went to "settle up" with John for all of his hard work and efforts on that hectic Saturday and he told me to forget about it, because "Saturday is his day off."

You May be a VW Bug Owner if...
By Loren R. Knapp

01. Your windshield wipers have two speeds, slow and slower.
02. Your heater has three temperature settings, off, high and none.
03. Strangers come up and say, "I had one just like this way back in..."
04. After a hard left turn you and your clothes both smell like gasoline.
05. You find straw under your seats.
06. Children slug each other when you drive by.
07. Your wife slugs you when you try to get her into the car.
08. Your air-conditioning consists of two windows down.
09. Dogs bury your car in the yard.
10. A bug hitting the windshield slows you down.
11. You can roll up the passenger window from the driver's seat without outstretching your arm.
12. The sound of the motor reminds you of your mother's Singer sewing machine.
13. The full service gas station attendant stands at the front and asks you to "pop ...the hood."
14. Your children are embarrassed to be picked up from school.
15. Oil spots accumulate readily under the engine no matter how short the time it's parked.
16. You know your mechanic's phone number by heart.
17. Children point and giggle shouting," Herbie!"
18. Your wife points and shouts. "Spare me!"
19. Your windshield washer system consists of hanging your head out of the window and spitting.
20. When you floor it, old ladies with walkers pass you.

21. People yell at you, "Get a horse!"
22. You have to use the owner's manual to find the battery.
23. The horn sounds like a duck with a sore throat.
24. Your VW mechanic named his first born after you
25. You have a bumper sticker that reads "Don't Honk, I'm Peddling As Fast As I Can!"
26. You pray for a strong tail wind and say three Hail Mary's when trying to merge onto the interstate during rush hour.
27. You don't have a clue what a radiator is.
28. You can't fully unfold a map in the car.
29. When someone asks you what kind of car you have, you lie.
30. When driving through curb high water, you have to pump the brake pedal and throw out an anchor to stop.
31. When at speeds between 40 and 45 MPH. the steering wheel and front end begin to shimmy and wobble like a washing machine out of balance.
32. Your local fraternity pranksters set it high atop the library steps.
33. You can see the road through the floor.
34. Your mother-in-law keeps asking, "Do you like this better than a real car?"
35. Your owner's manual is two pages double spaced.
36. The junk in your trunk is in the front.
37. It's adorned with peace signs and "Grateful Dead" decals.
38. Gusty winds decide which lane you'll travel in.
39. Your window defroster is your shirt sleeve.
40. You wouldn't trade it for the world!

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