OCTOBER 2015: HE CAME HOME IN ONE—’63 VW A LIFELONG ATTACHMENT TO A BEETLE

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There are few challengers to the Volkswagen Beetle in the warm and fuzzy department.

 

 

“The cars have been embraced for decades by young and old alike because they could give puppy dogs a run for the terminally cute crown.”

 

The Beetle was also known for its reliability.

 

 

They would start in any weather and go through areas where other cars feared to tread, including brief interludes on water because of their body design. The Beetles were not completely water proof, but they were able to stay afloat long enough for passengers to make a wise choice not to go down with the ship.

 

 

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Beetles had traction advantages over other cars because of their design: a light front end and rear engine meant the cars were able to concentrate their weight on the rear wheels and dig in, while the front wheels road above the snow or mud and acted like skis for the little cars. One of our older car buddies told MSCC used a Beetle to get down horrible roads on his way to oil rigs decades ago and was able to go farther than four wheel drive trucks on some of them.

 

 

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These little German legends were once very common on the roads but they have largely disappeared after the last one destined for the North American market left the factory decades ago. We came across a 1963 Beetle at a car show earlier this year and knew we had to talk with the owner.

 

 

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Owner Jason Spicer has a lifelong attachment to Beetles. His parents owned one and he was driven home from the hospital in their Beetle shortly after his birth. This early imprinting was a big influence on Jason and it is no surprise to see why he owns one in 2015.

 

 

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Actually Jason co-owns his Beetle because he is married and his wife teaches automotive classes at their local high school. In fact, she drove the Beetle to school during the winter and shares his affection for the little car. Jason and his wife also understand the heating deficiencies of the air-cooled VWs so they dress warmly in order to drive it during the winter months.

 

 

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Their Beetle has a few upgrades, including a larger engine to improve its speed one the open road. The car can hit a steady 65 mph (105 km/h) on the highway and gets reasonable gas mileage around town. They use the car mostly for short trips around town and their longest road trip was a couple of hundred miles, according to Jason.

 

 

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Jason put a luggage rack on his Bug, mostly because he likes the look. Overall, he said his Beetle was “not mint but very cool”, and few people would debate that point. Jason is also co-owner of a VW microbus and told us his wife is a car girl who would not put the brakes on another VW if he wanted to bring one home with him.

 

 

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A wife who is a certified mechanic and loves old cars? We at MSCC salute Jason Spicer because he married the perfect woman.

 

 

Jim Sutherland

 

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