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One of the strongest components of the old car hobby is the survivor vehicle.


The interpretation of what constitutes a survivor vehicle has been subject to plenty of debate over the past few years.


We at MyStarCollectorCar view the survivor category in pretty basic terms: the KISS Principal.


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For those who are unfamiliar with this term, the acronym is short for “Keep it simple stupid”– and nobody embraces the simple philosophy better than us at MSCC.


We believe that a vehicle can only be called a survivor if it has never been mechanically altered, painted, or cosmetically changed in any way since it left the dealership. The vehicle must wear its history in every dent, paint chip, or upholstery tear inflicted upon it over the years.


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We concede tires because nobody in their right mind wants to hit the road on worn and cracked bias tires from yesteryear. We also concede windshields in our survivor rules, but we love to see the original windshields with their decal histories.


We found an original 1959 Volkswagen survivor at a show and connected with its owner, Terry McBride. It was clear his VW was an original survivor in the strictest interpretation of our MSCC rules and we wanted to find its owner.


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The beauty of a small town show is everybody knows everybody, so we found Terry pretty quickly once we put the word out on him.


The car was originally purchased brand new by Terry’s wife’s aunt and she kept the car until she passed away many years ago. The Beetle was stored for 25 years in a lean-to and even had a small tree growing between the front hood and wiper.


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The VW faced a losing battle with nature until Terry stepped into the game about 6 years ago and decided to resurrect the car before it became a lost cause. He changed the distributor cap, points, condenser, spark plugs, spark plug wires and fuel in order to start the Bug.


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Terry said the car fired right up and he was back on the road. The beauty of the Volkswagen Beetle was its simple reliability and Terry’s story proved that point with his Bug.


Terry and his wife made a decision to leave the car in its original condition because of its connection to the aunt. The dent in the right side rear fender came from the woman’s first year with the VW when she backed into the car into the garage door upon exit.


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The other historically significant connection to the aunt was the worn paint on top of the left rear signal light. She used to place her purse on top of the light while she let it warm up in the morning and the engine vibration eventually wore off the paint surface.


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These are the personal legacies that are unique to the car and Terry wants to leave them on the VW because they remind Terry and his wife of the beloved first owner.


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We like Terry’s attitude from front to back about the car because he also drives it to work during the summer months and loves the little Bug “better than my new truck”, in his words.


A survivor 1959 VW Beetle is a good story every day of the week.


A survivor 1959 Bug with its entire history in one family is a great story.


Jim Sutherland

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