Saturday, April 28, 2012

Remembering my little blue bug.

I've always had a special place in my heart for the Volkswagen Beetle... I owned a blue 1966 Bug back in the early 70's, in fact it was the very first car I actually owned. Not many perks but it got great gas mileage and was fun to drive. I ran into this red 1970 VW at Fry's in Renton, WA.

1970 VW Beetle
Very straight and cute 1970 Volkswagen Beetle in Fry's parking lot, Renton WA.

I was attending Green River Community College then and drove to Auburn from Renton. Then after classes to Enumclaw to teach guitar lessons at the Stan Boreson Music Store. Those were long days and finally around 7:00 or 7:30 pm back home to Renton via Maple Valley. That was a little over a 65 mile round trip everyday, yet a tank of gas lasted all week.

I loved the Beetle's simplicity. It was reliable, low maintenance, and with a little imagination it drove like a sports car. One drawback however was the internal heater worked off the air cooled engine. I remember a lot of cold wet winter mornings jamming for an 8:00 am class with foggy windows and your breath freezing on the inside of the windshield.

The drive from Renton to Auburn was straight down the valley and flat. It wasn't until the last 2 miles or so when I had to gun it up through Lea Hills to campus that it would finally heat up. Then, as if by magic, the windows cleared and you were now in an oven rolling the windows down gasping for air.

I put a lot of hard miles on that little car before it needed some engine work. If memory serves me, it was rings. My friend Steve Johnson, unlike me, had mechanical skills and we decided to pull the motor and do the repairs.

We rented a jack to hoist the engine and with me on top and Steve lying on the ground we unbolted the motor when it slipped off the jack. I'll never forget Steve bench pressing it up through the engine compartment grunting, "Here!" Thanks to Steve we got it running again and I was back on the road.

Good memories and many adventures... remembering my little blue bug. It was very good to me.

1 comment:

  1. I got a 1968 Bug in 1980. I only had it a couple of years, maybe not even 2 years. I lived in WI and IL during that time. The heater was not adequate but I loved it when it was warmer. My Bug was yellow but it had been a dark blue bug, you could see the blue in a few places.