View original topic: I want to buy a Beetle (1st car) Advise?
[email protected] Tue Sep 17, 2002 3:42 pm

I have a Beetle question, and you all being owners, I figured you could help clear some things up for me. I've posted this on a few other forums and websites 'cause I'm trying to compile advise and info, so some of you might have already read this somewhere else. Here goes...
My grandmother has offered to buy me a car at a reasonable price($2000-$5000 I think) and my dream car currently is an old VW Beetle. I know that they have a reputation for being total death traps, but I figure that I want either a car that is totally safe like a Volvo and looks like crap, or a car that will kill me, but is really cool. At least I'll go out in style...
I have been slowly combing the Want Ads and online ads and have seen some pretty cool cars. I know that Beetles are great for traction in winter driving, but that they also have rust problems in the winter. I will be driving it in the winter so rust might be an issue, but I figure I'll worry about that when it comes up. I also know that they have some heat and defrost issues, but I'm not really concerned about that. I can always find one of those gas heaters that I've heard you all talk about and I've got a good L.L.Bean winter coat.
I've asked various people's advise on getting a Beetle, and some say they would be a great car that will last forever and that I will be able to keep them up for reasonably cheap, and others (mainly my father, but he doesnt know cars anyway)say that they will suck up all my money in repairs and will break down on me all the time. From what Ive heard from alot of you that have responded to this letter, the former is more truthful than the latter. I am also told not to buy an automatic and anything made after 1973 'cause of the EPA changes that the car was subject to. But people on some of the other forums I have posted on say that I should really look at post '74's 'cause of a fuel injector thingy that was put in the engines after that. Which do you guys suggest? I am not looking for an old junker that will need a total overhaul. I've already been able to find some really nice cars in great running condition. That said, I am totaly willing to work on the car if it needs it (learning can be fun! :p )
I really don't know much about cars, so I might be totally wrong here, but my understanding is that VW Beetles are very simple cars. Yeah they are old, but I've heard that they still make the cars in Mexico, so I assume that the parts fairly easy to get? And if these cars are so simple, wouldn't I be able to learn how to easily do the repairs myself? (With the help of that "Keeping Your VW Alive" book, naturally!)
So would you recommend these cars as a good car, or am I gonna be getting myself into a lot of trouble? What cars other that this, that are really cool, would you suggest
for a kid with my level of auto ignorance if you think the Beetle is not a good Idea?
Thanks a bunch!
A hopefull future VW Enthusiast,


[email protected] Tue Sep 17, 2002 5:30 pm

I would recommend a '74 or earlier NON-INJECTION motor. They are simple to work on and there are many qualified mechanics who can service the Beetle, if you require. I started as a total non-mechanic and now do all my own tune-ups, engine rebuilds etc and the Beetle is a very simple car to operate. Keep the oil changes on schedule and do your tune-ups. You will probably face some electrical problems with such an older vehicle such as replacing starter, generator, voltage regulator from time to time, but new or remanufactured replacements are readily available. I would recommend that you talk to some local VW enthusiasts and service garages...also what type of climate do you live in? I live in Canada where winter can certainly keep you on your toes as far as vehicle maintenance goes!

[email protected] Tue Sep 17, 2002 7:33 pm

Hey, I am 17 and i got my first beetle back in Feburary of 2002. When i got it i knew nothing about cars but with the help of a friend(lots of help), we/he got it going great. When i got the car i had my doubts on whether or not i made the right i am so glad i bought it. I love it and i have learnd so much. if you have a good manual and use the samba forums then you can totaly do it. If i were you i would go for it. they are so much fun and are really not all that unsafe. If i were you i would go with and older beetle. Newer you get the more complicated it gets. Mine is a 65,I think the latest i would go for is a 68.....however that's just my personal oppinion.

79SuperVert Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:41 am

I was crazy about cars as a youth and gradually got discouraged as cars got more complicated. But now that I'm an old fart I got myself a 79 beetle and find they are satisfying to work on. If you're a logical, methodical and meticulous person when it comes to mechanical work you can work on a beetle with just a book, some tools and the advice from people on this website. I found the following site very helpful in deciding whether I should buy a Beetle and what kind:
There is a section there on how to buy a Beetle. Good luck.

gt1953 Thu Sep 19, 2002 6:37 pm

Buy mine I sent you pictures so come on out and pick it up and drive all the way across country home. You can find one for about 3k and save to other 2k for the unknown stuff that will go wrong. Now if you buy mine there are no unknowns about it.

ice baller Fri Sep 27, 2002 11:35 am

when buying a car u always have to have extra money, so yeah buy a car thats about 3k, and the rest for other things u want to add,Im 17 and im restoring my firts VW 73 beetle(not fuel injected)i think its the funnest thing to do, yeah i spend all my money on it , but how many 17yr old u know that have a restored classic VW?GO FOR IT DUDE, (I paid $1,200 if that helps and no rust, check that out to, NO RUST)

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