by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
Welcome to the 2nd post in my Doodad series of blogs. These blogs are about my Volkswagen Beetles and my attempt to get them looking and running great (and possibly sell one or both of them).
My ultimate goal is to have a pristine VW Beetle. I’d prefer a Super Beetle but I would be OK with a regular one. For those of you who don’t know a regular Beetle has a narrower body. You can easily tell the difference between to the two by the way the spare tire sits in the trunk. A Super Beetle’s spare sits flat, horizontal where a standard Beetle’s spare sits upright. The Super Beetle was an upgrade that Volkswagen put out with a different suspension, wider body, and a few other upgrades. I have a 1970 Beetle and a 1971 Super Beetle.
The 1971 Beetle was obtained when I found it on Craigslist for $1,600 a couple of years ago. It was a patched together car but the price was right for a running Beetle. It was all the way out in Canton and I had to get my coworker Jonathan to go all the way out there (from Decatur) to help me get it. It had all sorts of issues like the car wouldn’t stay alive unless you were pressing on the accelerator, the brakes were soft, and camber was toe in on the back wheels (to name but a a few issues). I got it home and did some work on it like replacing all the break parts (except the lines), repairing broken turn signals, and replacing the windshield wiper motor. I was trying to get it ready for inspection. I took it to a guy nearby that works on imports and he adjusted the carb so it wouldn’t die and repaired a leak in the gas tank. For the most part that is all I ever did to that bug. I did get it inspects (barely) but the inspection is out now and the carb is messed up again. I will have to get some stuff working on it to get it re-inspected. I have this one listed online for sale btw… you can see it here.
The 1970 Beetle was a more recent purchase. You can read all about what I have done to it so far in the first Doodad blog. The 1970 was bought through someone at my work. She knew I was really interested in it but didn’t have the $3,500 they wanted for it. I guess they really wanted to sell it so that cut me a deal and let me just pay it out over several months. It was a modified Beetle that was customized for racing. It had this big tail pipe and was very loud. A little too loud for me. I am more interested in a stock version of the car so that was the first thing to go (which you can read about on the blog). I don’t see this car as being the ‘prestine’ VW of my dreams but it is a start. I hope to one day sell it (for more than I bought it) and upgrade to an even better condition one. From there I can upgrade again and so on until I get the car I want.
Since that first blog part I haven’t gotten to drive the 1970 much at all and that has caused me some issues. Now the brakes are REALLY soft and you have to pump them to get them to tighten up. The car will no longer stay started on it’s own (like the issues I had with the Super).
Last month I registered the car to myself and got the new tags. It had Antique Auto tags but I plan on driving it daily(ish) so I needed to get regular tags. I did that (to the tune of $200+) and am ready to go (sort of).
Next week I am having to stay home 2 days while carpet is being installed and I took the opportunity to ask my co-worker (who I bought the car from) if her husband could come over and help me adjust the carb and the maybe bleed the brakes. This will get that VW up and going and I think I can get it inspected.
I will post after I get him over to help me out with the 1970 and see if there are any pointers he can give me for the 1971.