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Goodby to '73 SB
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drs1023
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject: Goodby to '73 SB Reply with quote

Sold my '73 SB yesterday to a good friend of mine. I'll miss bringing it back to a better state, but it's for the best. My granddaughter wanted this car for her first, then everyone was starting to worry about manual brakes, manual steering, no a/c, no air bags, manual transmission. Man, you'd think she was all girly or something.....uhhh.....oh yeah.....she IS! I bought the car not running (bad engine the PO said) and no brakes, a hole the size of an escape hatch where the battery was supposed to be, and windows & door handles corroded shut.

The new owner brought over a new battery to install. Since it has been about 8 months since the car ran, the only thing I did to the engine after I got it running was change the oil. A short squirt of carb cleaner down the throat, and it took almost two engine turns to get it started. Purred well, and a new owner is (I hope) happy with something I bought as a basket case and put back on the road. His 18 year old son thinks it's gonna' be his, but the dad hasn't committed fully to that just yet.

He took all 5 wheels to get the tires redone, so I owe him a front seat install and a valve adjustment/timing set as a good will gesture.
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oldPSUguy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1973 the Super Beetle took a turn for the worse with modernization, a dash that looks odd and a windshield that doesn't belong. In bug history, it fails to stand out as a special acquisition. Don't weep too much, there are better bugs to regret selling.
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19super73
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldPSUguy wrote:
In 1973 the Super Beetle took a turn for the worse with modernization, a dash that looks odd and a windshield that doesn't belong. In bug history, it fails to stand out as a special acquisition. Don't weep too much, there are better bugs to regret selling.


Rolling Eyes
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1970 Campmobile [url=http://www.vw-mplate.com/mplate2-47260.png]Click to view image[/URL]
1970 Fastback 1600 TL
1971 Doka [url=http://www.vw-mplate.com/mplate2-14845.png]Click to view image[/URL]
1973 Super Beetle
1973 Westfalia [url=http://www.vw-mplate.com/mplate2-31892.png]Click to view image[/URL]
1974 412 Variant
1975 La Grande Bug
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RailBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to have to vouch for the 73 and later bugs, I like the fact I don't jam my fingers into the windshield when I get in and grab they steering wheel.....

I know, the little things, but use to do that all the time in my 71 Super.......
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wbrown45
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

19super73 wrote:
oldPSUguy wrote:
In 1973 the Super Beetle took a turn for the worse with modernization, a dash that looks odd and a windshield that doesn't belong. In bug history, it fails to stand out as a special acquisition. Don't weep too much, there are better bugs to regret selling.


Rolling Eyes

Funny, I don't see any request for an opinion on the sale? Confused
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vw_hank
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldPSUguy wrote:
In 1973 the Super Beetle took a turn for the worse with modernization, a dash that looks odd and a windshield that doesn't belong. In bug history, it fails to stand out as a special acquisition. Don't weep too much, there are better bugs to regret selling.

the 73 super has its faults! but when you consider the mix of old and new, the 73 super stands out as one of the best VW bugs ever made... same as with the 1971 bus Wink thy might not be as "cool" as A 56 oval,, but the 73 had the best performing motor!(without all the added crap), the best aerodynamics! well still maintaining the suspension of the earlier 71-72s still used the earlier bumpers, and so on...

PS: I say that as the former owner of A
1958 bug
1965 bug
1969 bug
1972 super(still own)
1973 super
1974 bug
1971 type-III
1971 bus
and if I had the chance to have the 58 or the 73 super back, id take the 73 Wink yes the 58 was "cool" but the 73 would out perform the shit out of it any day of the weak!!!!
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Cadaver
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FUN !
no air bags ( that is 1, beef)
the light car don't need power steering. no light car does.
can steer mine with a Popsicle stick. and can feel the road, tis better...

No need for power brakes, unless locking them up , every time you fart , works for you.
it's too light. yes. discs don't fade so easy, fix that;

air bags, if you like sitting in front of a shot gun shell, go for it.
the best safety 99% is driving awake. cell parked.

I like 71 year , older is better, but 71 parts are choice.

ok last , crumple zones. gee the whole car is one,
it's not an H2.
my bug is safer than the many motorcycles ive owned.

My local safety inspectors.
Have my list.
ask him half joking, why do i need windshield. (pops out like soda bottle cap)
answers:
so the mandatory wipers work. Rolling Eyes

I asked him, "must I have a rear seat?", he was not sure. legit.
Do i need safety belts on missing seats?. he's working on that.
found out rear belts are not required, nor are 3points. but the seat present, they dont know... yet....
but really they are all good, if you fix it up and drive it careful.
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dmshiveley
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldPSUguy wrote:
In 1973 the Super Beetle took a turn for the worse with modernization, a dash that looks odd and a windshield that doesn't belong. In bug history, it fails to stand out as a special acquisition. Don't weep too much, there are better bugs to regret selling.

Love my 73.. just sayin. May not be the coolest or best looking of the long line of Beetles, so if I was going to build a show car I may not choose a 73.. but for a daily driver the "modernization" isn't necessarily a bad thing.
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drs1023
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the Supers always draw a mixed reaction. And when some of us were kids, amenities like p/s, p/b, a/t, a/c - well, they were almost unheard of. And while I agree that all the accessories aren't necessary, I think we all want to put kids in the safest vehicle possible - including an air bag. OK, so they will smear your make-up and leave some vinyl rash marks, but they still stand out as an excellent dash deterrent.

Thanks for all your replies.
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Joel
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldPSUguy wrote:
In 1973 the Super Beetle took a turn for the worse with modernization, a dash that looks odd and a windshield that doesn't belong. In bug history, it fails to stand out as a special acquisition. Don't weep too much, there are better bugs to regret selling.


Most old timers are allergic to technology but they are not usually so up front about it Laughing

Safety upgrades don't usually improve aesthetics but I reckon the curved windscreen helps the lines flow on a car where almost everything is curved Laughing .
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oldPSUguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't expect to draw so much comment. My old experience with beetles includes a brand new 1969 sunroof model and a 1966 surf blue 1300.

Admittedly there is an element of nostalgia that colors my preferences, and the newer beetles just don't feel the same. I will soon be putting a 1971 SB on the road, and I have a restored 1972 standard in the shop awaiting an engine. I picked it up on speculation, but I think someone else would appreciate it more, a West Coast, rust free specimen.

My concession to modernity is that I will probably keep the '71 Super Beetle and sell the standard, although the totally restored standard is a glistening white, with an attractive black and white tweed interior, all new seals and rubber, and is scheduled to get a brand new 1641 cc engine. The Super is a bit more rustic, with numerous cosmetic flaws, a few miles on the engine, even the wrong engine compartment lid for the year, but it has character, and feels like an old shoe. I hope to post some pictures after it gets repainted.

My apologies to anyone who has special attraction to the 1973 and later Super Beetle improvements.
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b1pig
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i bought my '73 super a couple months ago. when i told a few people that i was going to fix it up and let my kid drive it... i also got some mixed responses.

well. here's my view. we grew up just fine without all the technical wizardry. i never had a car with working air conditioning until i bought my own after joining the army. i didn't have the richest childhood.

in my kids case, he's a spoiled brat. he thinks he's entitled to everything. he "thinks" he's going to drive my '07 wrangler around. (no happening) to top that off, you should have seen the fit his whiny little butt pitched when we traded in the 2010 Challenger we had. (having babies changes things) he somehow assumed he would eventually get it.

since then, he has come around a little bit. he likes the car and has actually gotten involved in working on it. its an incredibly simple car to maintain... so he "can" get some experience maintaining a car. in my humble opinion, ANY Beetle makes a perfect "first car". not alot of crap to break down and i don't have to worry about my kid wrapping it around a tree at 100+ miles an hour.
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oldPSUguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It amuses me that people still want to use the VW beetle for daily transportation. It made sense when I was young, but today I view them as classics, deserving of some respect and care. That obviously is not the way many are treated, and it seems that a relatively small number are restored to anything like original condition. Still those are the ones that get my attention. Mechanically they are basically 1930's technology, and require a more labor intensive style to operate properly, shift gears with care and intensity, depending on traffic conditions. They are OK on the highway, but may have trouble keeping up with today's higher speed, impatient drivers. When I recently drove a repairable auction Super Beetle home from California, it strained going over the mountain passes, and I kept the speed down to 60 mph or less, not wanting to strain the engine. I had an oil change done before I left LA, replaced the tires and hoped for the best. I am sure it will do better with the new motor and other mechanical work, but I hardly expect to drive it at 75 mph over long distances, as one might in a newer car. To me, part of the fun is working through the gears and giving the car a chance to perform as it was designed. There are many newer small cars for transportation, as many who buy a bug for the wrong reasons discover.
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drs1023
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am fortunate to have never had to drive more than 10 miles or so to work over the last 40 years. That's the reason I trust most any old bug as a daily driver - no real strain on the car. I know a couple of guys who still drive VW's regularly - no trailer queens. One drives a fairly rough '68 most days, and the other one drives a '60 which pushes 175 hp at the wheels.
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oldPSUguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The 73 super has its faults! but when you consider the mix of old and new, the 73 super stands out as one of the best VW bugs ever made... same as with the 1971 bus Wink thy might not be as "cool" as A 56 oval,, but the 73 had the best performing motor!(without all the added crap), the best aerodynamics! well still maintaining the suspension of the earlier 71-72s still used the earlier bumpers, and so on..."

My comments had to do with styling only. I don't know what difference there is between a 1971 Super Beetle with a 1600 dual port flat four and a 1973 stock Super.

My first VW experience was about 1956, when a friend's mother bought a new rag top beetle. I recall it was a metallic bluish color. The family had an advance order in for a new model, called the Karmann Ghia, which would be long in coming. Climbing into the car, it was quite cramped riding in the back seat, but the car fascinated me, because of its novelty. Much later, it occurs to me that the car must have been extremely underpowered.

In 1968 I bought a 1966 VW 1300 secondhand with 13,000 miles on it. I drove it about 40,000 in one year of ownership. It never seemed too underpowered. It's reliability was excellent. I foolishly traded it off for a 1968 Fiat 850 roadster, a brittle machine, and quickly regretted my mistake. I bought a new 1969 VW Autostick, and felt that I had been rescued from Hell. Unfortunately, the semi-automatic proved sluggish, especially on cold winter mornings, trying to merge with rush hour traffic. My next VW was a 1970 four speed, which was much more peppy, and I drove it part time, until about 1982.

Confining this discussion to beetles, since I had other models, I generally feel that any departure from the standard model has changed the identity of the car. When the Super Beetle first came out, it looked rather odd, and was commonly described as 'pregnant'. I never tried one out at the time, but I felt the design had been compromised in an unflattering way. By now, cars have changed so much that any beetle stands out as unique, and the differences among models of the original design seem quite minor.

The newly restored 1971 Super Beetle will soon be out of the shop. I am looking forward to some long drives and a chance to reflect on the times when a beetle was essentially my meal ticket, working as an itinerant as I was, relying on the car to keep me employed. The fact that I expect to be driving a Super Beetle is secondary, although I note it has more trunk space, and supposedly a more comfortable ride with the McPhersons up front. It will remain a pleasure use car, I don't want to wear it out.
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Joel
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OldPSUguy, you won't get any arguments from me that earlier beetles have more visual character.
But I tend to buy cars for what they drive like rather than what they look like so plain looking but nicer to drive wins it for me every time,
The Mcstrut front end and IRS rear is light years ahead of the old 1930s torsion bar/swing axle in terms of ride quality but yes the later bugs particularly in stock form aren't much to look at, espeically the later 70s US bugs with those big bumpers and turn signals.

I think the European and Aussie 74+ 1303 supers with the smaller old bumpers and turn signals in the bumpers scrub up well when lowered and some decent rims but then I'm biased Wink
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oldPSUguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Joel,

When on my one trip to Oz, I did notice that drivers tended to drive on the wrong side of the road, so I figure they have little time to notice what looks nice on a car... Very Happy

I think there are different schools of thought. As a high school student, automotive design was a big career idea with me. I even won a prize in a GM sponsored contest. In my twenties, I think someone commented on the odd look of my VW. My response was, "Where else can you find a new car with clam shell fenders and running boards?"

The VW combines elements of a 1930's Chrysler Airflow, an early example of aerodynamic styling with the simplicity of a four cylinder Model A Ford, and the air cooling of a Franklin automobile. Both aesthetically and in engineering terms, the beetle stands out as a unique combination. It is a real trip to actually own such a throwback and be able to drive it on modern highways, with relative ease.

The car has a lot of symbolism for once young Americans of the 1950's and 1960's as it was the car of choice for Bohemians and later Hippies, counter culture types who, to some extent, thumbed their noses at society, and wanted a car that stood out as different, maybe a somewhat sophomoric social statement.

To others, none of this may matter, they just see a cute little car that they can drive, customize or simply use for basic transportation. I would never choose a beetle for essential transportation now, because of have other vehicles that are far more useful in that respect. But I have longed to regain a piece of my personal history, and the beetle helps to fill that void.
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b1pig
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beauty is in the eye of the beholder....


and. all of the beetles (and other VWs) are beautiful cars. each lends its own credits... and discredits.
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oldPSUguy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

b1pig wrote:
beauty is in the eye of the beholder....


and. all of the beetles (and other VWs) are beautiful cars. each lends its own credits... and discredits.


And when you get old, the cars of your youth may remain favorites. When I drive my 1971 beetle I feel like 27 instead of 67!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting discussion. Most people (general public) could never tell a Super from a Standard. I happen to like the look of a Super just fine (although I'm biased due to ownership). I acquired my Super because it was in excellent all-original condition. If it was a Standard, I would have been just as thrilled. I can see why they made the changes. Were they supposed to market a 1930s design forever, surviving on nostalgia and hippie sentiment? One could argue that the design changes were a last gasp in a modernizing world. Heck, they abandoned the Beetle in 1st world markets less than 10 years later for the Dasher and Rabbit, right? The windshield was out of necessity (in the US), and the struts just made sense. I like the dashboard, although clearly it doesn't have the charm of the previous one. My 1973 handles like a dream. I find it interesting that they kept making the Standard in markets where they had rolled out the Super. Even more interesting is that they made the aircooled VW in Mexico until the early 2000s. I could never figure out if that was Standard or Super... I think it was Standard, but was the windshield curved? Purists have every right to their opinion (I'm sort of a purist in regard to leaving things original if possible, even if they are tattered Wink ) But, let's try to agree that ain aircooled VW is and aircooled VW, and they get more rare as the days go on. As far as daily driving goes - I respect the cars and acknowledge they are classics. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable driving mine daily for more than 10 miles or so, but I know a few people do. In Houston, I RARELY see them on the road. My car keeps up with traffic fine, and I like to gun it when people scramble to try to get around me, assuming that I'm slow. I don't care for the vinyl seats in Houston, but the window vents keep things tolerable except in traffic. I guess daily driving works better for rat rods in cooler climates. Interestingly, my heater parts are all there, and I can use them a couple months out of the year.
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