When I sold all my Type III stuff about fourteen years ago now, I really never thought I’d own another aircooled VW. Actually, I never really thought I’d own another vintage automobile. However, my soon-to-be twelve-year-old son has really gotten into cars and he has been asking for years now if we could get a project car to work on. Knowing the time, energy, and money that goes into such an endeavor, I’ve been delaying. He really wanted a Nissan or a Saab, but I knew money probably wouldn’t go far on one of those marques, and having dealt with the rarity of Type III parts back in the early 00’s, I also knew if we were going to get something, it would need to have plenty of cheap parts available, preferably from multiple sources. It also needed to be simple because I’m not a mechanic, and I’d need to be able to learn as I went (and so would he)!
So when the time finally came that I had to stop saying “no” to a project car, it looked like an aircooled Beetle would hopefully fit the bill nicely. Even if we needed to replace the entire wiring harness, it could be done. I knew we wanted a late model (post-’68) model. No collectibles. Our budget wouldn’t allow anything older. Also, if we were getting a standard Beetle, we didn’t want anything newer than a ’72, as the late Bob Hoover had informed me after my previous experiences with a hurting ’73 standard Beetle that the hammerhead pan in the later models was prone to twisting. We also didn’t want anything that needed new heater channels or pans.
We were visiting my folks on our summer vacation, and got to talking with my dad about it and he said if we could find something for a couple thousand bucks, he’d pick up the tab for it. We searched The Samba and Craigslist.
There were a couple cars on The Samba that looked promising. First was an orange Super with a sunroof that looked like it would be a good starter car, but looking in the forum of the user who posted it for sale, it was obvious there were issues with the sunroof that he didn’t disclose in the listing. Then there was a really nice, unmolested standard ’71 for a decent price. By the time I contacted the guy, the car was supposedly already sold (it is, however, still up on the Samba).
After that, I found a rust-free California car with a blown engine, but the seller apparently didn’t want to work with me to ship it across country. Maybe he thought I was a scammer.
Eventually, something turned up on The Samba and I was surprised to see the seller was Randy from OldBug, a site I had been aware of back when I was working on my Type III’s. I remember thinking back then that if I ever wanted to buy another aircooled VW, that would probably be the place to get it. Kind of odd that that’s where we ended up finding this car. We made Randy an offer, and he helped find us a shipper. Within a few days, the car was here.