One person’s treasure…

In my post the other day about a customized bug I saw for sale, Tom made a great comment that, when responding to, drew me into a new post.  His comment fits into a larger debate (Pandora’s Box?) about the value of classic cars in terms of the type of work done and how this work fits with the often-overused term, restored.  Note: the debate about the value of the bondo-filled, rust-bucket someone is trying to sell for $10,000 is an entirely different issue.

I know there are lots of opinions out there and that a definite answer does not exist, eye of the beholder and all, but I still enjoy listening to the various sides of this debate because I never fully made up my mind.  I do appreciate all-originals the most, but also really enjoy some of the unique twists that come out of customization.  However, in Continue reading


1969 Beetle – For sale

This bug appeared along my commuting route a few weeks ago.  She sits for sale among a few other classic, though domestic, rides in the yard of a local auto repair facility.  I finally had a time to stop last week to check it out.  From the information provided, this is a “ground-up restoration”.  Although I did not have time for a more detailed investigation, the bodywork appears to be of good quality, the interior very-well done, and everything in/on the engine sparkles. See for yourself below!  Alas, at $20,000 she will not be seen in my garage.

Looking good, but not a stock ’69. The front fenders and headlights are pre-67 style. She’s been dropped and sits on a narrow front beam. Upgraded to Porsche disk brakes as well.

Continue reading

The love & hope VW bus (puzzle)

Every once in a while, Martha and I (sometimes with the kids), tackle a jigsaw puzzle.  Bus puzzles are, of course, my favorite but we always have quality family time no matter the theme.  This is our latest, a 1000-piece bus puzzle from Eurographics Puzzles entitled “The Love & Hope VW Bus” .  A part of the American Classic Series, this puzzle showcases a 1963 samba on the beach reminiscent of the 1960’s.

love and hope bus

Pardon my smoke

Rain, snow, freezing temperatures, blistering sun, dark of night, or even pleasant weather, owners of old VWs experience it all while trying to troubleshoot the unexpected malfunction.  A lot of these incidents make for great stories and are often told time and again around the VW show circuit or campout fire.  “Remember the time when…. used bubblegum to…. repair lasted for…. miles.”  “Had to drive…. hours…. head out the window…. eyebrows frozen…. then had to go all the way back home.”  We all have heard them, laughed at them, stood amazed at the luck or lack thereof, or shook our heads in bewilderment.  Maybe we even filed some tidbit of information away for potential future use to save our own bacon.  “Well if that ever happened to me….”  The odd tale, here and there, becomes legend, taking on a personality of its own as it spreads not just by the person front and center in the story, but by people who heard the story from a friend, who heard it from their friend and so forth.  For me, these anecdotes are as enjoyable within the VW community as are the barn find narratives or the technical discussions.  They demonstrate the ingenuity, humor, patience, and persistence that we all must possess to deal with such old machines.  If nothing else, these accounts tell me that I am not alone and that, yes, others “suffer” too – there is comfort in company.

As it turns out, our latest such misadventure occurred last October, during our biannual Civil War-related campoutContinue reading

VW Bus key holders

With the holidays now behind us and my computer troubles (I swear this thing is more finicky than a VW!) now resolved, I hope to get back to posting a little more often.  Got some great stuff to catch up on and some winter bus projects in the making plus some good travels on the horizon.  But for now, I will start off with a shout out to my daughter, who knows exactly what to get her father for Christmas – official VW key covers!  I only have one question:  Why are they titled T1?  Should they not be T2?  In any case, they are pretty cool!

Key covers (1)

Perfect fit for my work keys.

Key covers (2)

Backside. The key slips into the top and the key ring clips through the tab at the top. Not sure how well the tab will hold up over time, but I’m 4-weeks in and all is well.

Shepherdstown, West Virginia

When the time presents itself, one pastime my wife and I always enjoy involves weekend or day long visits to the small, quaint towns that dot the region around where we live. Usually, these trips are not planned, but rather happen as last minute get-a-ways from the normalcy of the daily routine and often the end result of “we need to get in the bus and go!”.  As the kids become older, we find the opportunities for such luxuries dwindle and require more effort to pause and release ourselves from the pull of chores, work, and responsibility in general.  It is for these fortuitous expeditions, Continue reading