JUNE 28, 2012 (JULY 2012): 1970 VW BEETLE – STYLE, HISTORY, AND FUEL ECONOMY…AND A $50.00 PAINT JOB DEFINE DNA

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VW Beetle owners have had a common bond since Day 1 – DNA steeped in sound fiscal policy.

 

They bought Beetles because they were extremely affordable and bulletproof…that’s what fiscally responsible guys do when the question is “reliable and economically sound” purchases.

 

Bryan Baxter is clear evidence that the Beetle owner fiscally responsible DNA thread is alive and well in 2012.

 

 

He’s owned a Volkswagen Microbus in the past but this is his first Beetle. Bryan spotted it in an online ad and he decided at the time that the price was right and the car would be economically feasible as a summer collector car/daily driver. That’s how 21st Century Beetle owners rationalize a car that might be a little dated after 75 years…a practical use for an antique car.

 

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Bryan didn’t stop at the welcoming purchase price for this VW icon because he knew that it needed some cosmetics and he had to fit that dilemma into a tight budget. He found the solution online when he did some research on “rattle can paint” jobs.

 

Reviews are mixed on the end results of any car finish that comes out of a paint can but Bryan was determined to bring this job in under cost. There’s no question that he handled the cost of materials issue with flair but this car won’t be a best of show winner in most shows. It is, however, a solid 20-footer so for 50 bucks, Bryan accomplished his task.

 

He explained, “ It’s actually under 50 bucks, I put on two coats a day and sanded it with 500 grit. I know you’re supposed to take it up to 2000 grit and do a lot more sanding but that stuff is pretty expensive”. Bryan accomplished what he wanted as he added, “ There was a little bit of rust in front of the door and I stopped that”.

 

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Bryan explained, I wanted to drive it on nice days, if I started work on it I’d have to park it for a year and I’m really having fun with it. I take it to work any chance I can and anytime the streets are dry, I drive it. It runs great at 60 miles per hour on the highway, anything more is bit of an adventure”.

 

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The Beetle is like most cars over 40 years old because some features simply don’t work in the 21st Century – the sunroof is on the list as Bryan explained, “ I’ve never opened the sunroof and it costs 600 bucks to fix it”. That kind of cost simply wouldn’t fit within the budget of a Beetle guys because sunroofs are options, not necessities. A new battery wouldn’t come under similar scrutiny.

 

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Bryan is the third owner of this Beetle and if history and DNA are accurate measurements, the next owner will be another fiscal conservative.

 

Jerry Sutherland

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