1968 VW Bug

David Sanders

Picture is my 1968 VW Bug. I have been a hot rod and classic car fan since my big brother introduced me to the culture when I was a young boy. I have own a few old cars and trucks, none that would be considered classic as far as the industry was concerned. For various reasons, I parted with all these older vehicles and about 2 years ago, our second car had a major breakdown. I started considering what to buy to replace it and somewhere in the back of a dusty file of my brain, I recalled that I always wanted a bug.

Months passed as I saved money and searched the internet. I found several possibilities, but stumbled across a Blue 1968 Bug about 2 hours south of my home. I contacted the seller and explained I didn’t have enough money saved up yet, but I was really interested in her car. What caught my eye was the Cragar Wheels and the fiberglass flared fenders. This was the style I grew up with and thought this must be the one! Two weeks later, it was marked sold. I had missed my opportunity, or so I thought. 2 more months of searching and saving passed and suddenly there was my bug for sale again, only this time it was 20 minutes or less from my home.

The person who bought it and driven it back to my local area had put I up for sale, so I contacted him and asked to come see it. He explain that his wife had wanted it (he already owned another classic bug) to place advertising on to promote her business, which incidentally was what I was planning on doing. After getting it home she asked her husband where the air conditioning and power windows were. He explain that these cars didn’t have any of those extra features and she said, “Well then, I don’t want it.” I offered him all the money I had saved, that was somewhat less then he was asking. His head dropped and I thought I had lost the car a second time, but he looked up and said, “I will be taking a loss, but I just need to get it out of here.”

I came back the next day and made the deal. The car ran, but not well and I soon discovered that my wide shoes were not friendly with the little pedals at my feet. The car died at every stop light, but I knew I could get it fixed, so I started keeping a list of all the things that needed repair to make it reliably drivable. After saving some more money, I contacted a local VW Bug expert and set up a time to bring out to his garage. By then I had reverse gear and the shifting was super sloppy. Number 1 on the list. I dropped off the car after a 20 mile adventure driving it with a friend following behind in case I didn’t make it and to bring me home. We only had to stop once to pick up my headlight bezel that fell off going around a corner.

8 months later (longer story), I was on my way out to pick it up. The mechanic informed me he had brought this car back from the dead, but he had completed my long list and it was now dependable and safe to drive. He also informed me that my transmission was very special and worth more then the whole car. He went on to explain that the reason I was losing gears is because the transmission was repaired incorrectly by a previous owner. It was setup as a typical 4 speed, but this car had been upgraded with an aftermarket 5th gear. I could barely get up to 60 mph on the way out to the garage, but on the way home I could easily get up to 70 mph. The car is being kept in my single car garage and doesn’t see rainy days because rust never sleeps! It now sports my business logo on magnetic signs and turns heads everywhere around town.