A little over a week ago, I happened upon some free time with which to escape from the regular routine for a bit. With not enough time to delve into one of the many projects awaiting Moby and me, I found myself standing in the midst of my reserve of VW parts. Like most people entangled in this hobby, over the years I stashed away various parts from shows, junkyards, previously owned VW’s, and any other source I stumbled across. As much as this current collection amuses my wife, it is but a small fraction of what it was once upon a time. During the 10 years of busless life, forced by various moves to new homes, the cache of parts gradually thinned. I cringe at the thought of the now hard to find parts I either threw out or gave away. Still, it is not a bad collection; most of which waits for a future project or the inevitable failing of a part currently in use. For example, I have enough tail lights to outfit at least three buses if not four, heads for four engines, and, for some odd reason, transmissions for two squarebacks..
With the time at hand, I decided to go through some of the parts, organize them in their relatively new storage shed, weed out some of the junk I got in a recent collection, and generally remind myself what I have in stock. Needless to say I did not make it very far, for one must always pause to contemplate the history and use, or future use as the case may be, of the assortment of parts. Getting lost in one’s treasure trove of VW paraphernalia can be as much fun and just as therapeutic as working on the car itself.
The one part in my collection which stands out from the rest is an engine lid from a 64-66 (I think) beetle, which hangs prominently on the shed wall. Obviously my memory for the years that bugs had certain parts is a little rusty (pun intended) as I have not really engaged in beetle work for quite some time but the model years the engine lid fits is not really the point of this post. This engine lid has been in our family since my father plucked it and a 58-63 (I think) engine lid from someone’s curbside trash when I was a little boy. Not exactly an act of which I am particularly proud, Dad insisted at the time he could not let two perfectly good engine lids end up in a landfill despite the fact that at the time we did not own a VW to which we could attach our newly acquired accouterments. The early lid is green and not really note worthy except for the fact I hauled it around with the rest of the parts, if only because I am afflicted with a particularly bad case of hoarding. The younger lid, however, developed into something of a family joke and became affectionately adopted as one might adopt an actual VW into one’s family. The reason this part became so special was simply because of the interesting paint scheme it sported. This scheme, consisting of alternating red and white vertical stripes and a horizontal stripe of blue along the top which houses four white stars, reminded my father of the shield carried by Avenger team member Captain America. So the engine lid became lovingly known as the Captain America lid and has hung in our parts sheds ever since the day my father brought it home.
As a boy, and quite honestly even today, I dreamt of finding the matching bug to go with the lid I eventually inherited. But I have yet to see a beetle that wears such a pattern; though the search will continue I am sure. Every time I visit my supply of VW goodies, I ponder possible uses for my little work of art but so far my suggestion for hanging it above the fireplace has not met much enthusiasm from a certain party with a controlling interest in what hangs on the house walls. Though it would be nice to visit Captain America’s lid each day when I check on Moby to make sure she is happy, I have no remaining room in the garage for such decorations. I suggested hanging it above the bed; the response received was not very encouraging. Hanging it in one of the children’s bedrooms strikes me as a great idea where not only can I enjoy my piece of history but the children can as well. But the problem becomes which bedroom as the child without will surely feel slighted and I have no other part as interesting to offer the neglected child. How would you hang a bus dashboard anyway? Westy icebox complete with sink anyone? Perhaps a few of the 923048230984 hubcaps in the stockpile might work as a substitute? I guess only time will tell where the lid might end up but in the mean time I think I might have the perfect accessory for next Halloween’s costume. But then again I am not sure I could pull off the rest of Captain America’s outfit!