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Old April 14th 2009, 12:10
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oasis oasis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: timonium, md usa
Posts: 1,290
Saw My Old Car The Other Day

As some of you know, my '71 Super -- the one still listed in my siggy -- had an electrical fire in February 2008. The CliffsNotes version was (1) it was declared a total loss, (2) the insurance company eventually paid the correct amount, (3) its remains were sold back to me, (4) I sold it to the owner of the shop I have been going to for my VW repairs for two decades, and (5) I found out he sold it when I wanted to buy some components back off of it.

Since then, I have been looking for my GL replacement.

There was a RHD '74 "Big Beetle" 1303 in the UK that caught my eye. Not only was it a special edition not released to the states, it was a color (Moss Green Metallic) not seen in the US -- a lovely color at that. The young man selling it had a very nice specimen and the work needed was very well done by him. He had little trouble having it pass the MOT test, and it was very reasonably priced.

This started a search to find out what was necessary to get such a car imported to the states. There were two importers listed in my home state of Maryland. One was about 40 minutes away in the town of Halloween.

The CliffsNotes version of the Big was (1) I didn't need an importer for that old of a car, (2) that importer was no longer there (one step ahead of the law type of thing), and (3) the car was sold locally in the UK by the time I could line everything up.

However, on the adjacent lot to the business park that once had the importer shop was a shop that repaired Volkswagens. On the outside lot were a couple of Golfs and a beautiful mid-'60s multi-window Transporter. I couldn't tell what was on the inside as I was driving by but I did see a fenced back lot with a half-dozen or so air-cooled Dubs -- mostly bugs.

The car that caught my eye was a distinctive yellow one with a Kamei spoiler painted the same color.

I swung back to the shop to confirm it really was my one-time car. Sure enough, it was. He did a nice job fixing the rear and some of the interior (although he used a later model engine lid). I went inside and had a nice talk with the current owner. He's a good guy, a young guy, and one full of enthusiasm.

He's still got a ways to go with it. He bought it hoping to salvage much of the engine. Apparently, it sat outside of the shop I sold it to for too long and it received way too much water damage. It currently has a POS 1776 Type 1 engine. (It is a POS because it was built by a shop at the other end of the state that has a reputation of being real hit-and-miss with their work since the original owner left.)

It is an occasional use car at the moment and will get a new engine in its future. The current engine struggled to start and when it finally did, it was obvious why it was getting only 12 MPG on the highway.

At any rate, any sadness I felt was overcome by seeing the car up and running -- something I would have done if I had a garage -- and in good hands. It did my heart good.

This happened almost one year to the day. I would have reported it sooner but it was right around the time this site went into hiding.

Now, if I could only find the right candidate for myself ...
(2004-2008): 1971 1302 w/2056
Searching for a new project ...
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