Monday, July 07, 2008

Summer Project: 1965 VW Beetle - Part 1

Driving down Detroit Avenue, like we have hundreds of times before, a tell-tale hump-back caught my eye. Barely visible behind an old factory, surrounded by junked cars, a sea blue Volkswagen Bug sat in the weeds beside to a body shop on the next block.

"Look! An old Volkswagen!" I exclaimed
"Let's check it out." Tom circled around the block.

Hey! Not too bad for a 43 year old who'd been sitting on a back lot for four years. Someone had been playing bumper-cars a few years back, so the little blue bug had some damage to the hood and the engine cover, but the car was basically solid, the interior looked like new, and with a little help from a battery charger and a splash of gasoline, the old engine started right up with a classic "put-put-put" . Much to every one's surprise - except for Tom, the eternal optimist.

We called the owner and made the deal. Six hundred and fifty dollars later the '65 Volkswagen Beetle was ours. The next week Tom drove the little bug off the lot and down the Shoreway, headed toward the East side. I followed behind in the Toyota. You know...just in case. The ride was a slow one, he was afraid to push the little guy too fast.

"Hm-mm" I wondered "What are those little black chunks flying out from underneath the car?"

The Optimist has spent the past few days disassembling the sea blue bug, and surfing the Internet pricing out the parts. Pulling up the carpet revealed a floor pan and heater channels in far worse shape than originally anticipated. Now I know what those black chunks were that came flying off the car on the highway. Thank God the seat didn't fall right through to the asphalt. Two huge holes on both sides. The whole bottom of the car needs to be replaced.

"No problem" says The Optimist. He has already ordered the new one.

I've now dubbed the old Volkswagen "the flintstone mobile". I'm even thinking about naming it "Barney"

To be continued

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