The trip that almost wasn’t (Camping at French Creek State Park, PA)

The June Bug Classic VW show is held annually at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania.  The last time I attended this show, I was a high schooler fresh into the VW world and as I remember, it was a great show.  Unfortunately, it was also a show that fell by the wayside as I focused on other shows and life distractions.  Now that the Bug Out VW show seems to have moved to a permanent home in North Carolina, I began searching last April for a replacement closer to home and rediscovered the June Bug Classic.  The Maple Grove based show is one of three events (including Bug Out and VW Nationals) that hosts VW drag racing events, a sport I really want introduced to the kids.

As luck would have it, both Monica and Tom were available that weekend and interested in making the journey.  In the weeks leading up to the show, we put together Continue reading


Sliding door R&R (long and a bit photo heavy)

At some point early last summer, the sliding door began uttering a horribly loud screeching sound when closing the door.  Despite new grease and varying speeds of closure, the stubborn, campsite awakening sound remained.  As a result, we began leaving the door open as much as possible, but obviously, though the mosquitoes thought it ideal, this was not a great solution and the problem landed on my winter hibernation to-do list.

Upon her purchase, Moby’s sliding door striker plate was too high and the latch hit the bottom of the hole in the striker every time we closed the door.  Adjusting the striker plate as low as possible solved the issue but this left the plate with no additional downward adjustment.  When I then examined the bottom door rollers and sliding door track, I discovered what appeared to be a groove worn into the track bottom which might account for some, but not all, of the drop required at the striker plate.  Subsequently, during this winter’s preliminary examination, I noticed that the sliding Continue reading

Great day for an oil change

Not that it really matters what the day was like.  It’s just good to be getting the hands a little greasy along with the arrival of spring weather.  Moby is almost back on the road! Just a few more items to tackle, most notably a problem with the back, right-side wheel hub.  Are they supposed to smoke? 😀

Draining the oil

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