VW’s Type 1, aka the Beetle, used to be ubiquitous in traffic. Many was the time I finished a road trip battered from “punch buggy” beat downs thanks to the sales success and longevity of the great Type 1. I believe this one is an early 1960s model – most likely a 1962 as stated by the license plate.
I cut my driving teeth in a 1964 Type 1 with 1300ccs of raucous power. Ours looked very similar to this one, seeing those white seats and that dash really takes me back to that car. I can almost smell the interior.
While not fast or nimble, these are fun cars to drive. They can run through corners much faster than most would think. When the handling limits are reached, the car hops into controllable oversteer. It really would hop; the back of the car bouncing loudly – bangbangbang. Then the transmission would pop out of gear. I never spun that car (unless I meant to on ice or dirt) as it was so easy to reel the tail back into shape.
The running boards of the Type 1 have always been one of my favorite design features. They give the car a tie back to the 1930s, when this design came to fruition. We’ll leave on the table the drama about Hans Ledwinka and engineering of the rear engined Tatra being shamelessly ripped off by Dr. Porsche during the development the Type 1.
Somehow, my family managed to survive carting children around in a VW Beetle. Today, my family would need at least an SUV, if not two, to even begin to keep up with societal expectations.
The front trunk on our VW made a great sound when opened. My imagination had me believing that was the car saying “Ahh” as it opened its mouth – the spare wheel being its tongue. Yes, I was a weird kid.
I’m happy to see more nice looking Type 1s than high schooler driven rats these days. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate Baja Bugs or hot rodded sleepers, more that I appreciate the canvas as well as the art. This bone stock looking Bug just does it for me.
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