Air Cooled VWs

CraigB

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After watching the latest Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee I've decided I really want an air cooled VW truck or bus in my life.

Who has had these and what did they think of them?
 

eizbaer

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A friend of mine actually has both... I think.. although his bus might have been the later generation where the engine was watercooled. definitely drives a beetle though and he seems to be quite happy with it. it's a 1965, he payed ~3000 euros for it and it seems to be in good condition apart from a few little rust spots. he had to do a little work on the engine, but that was just because the previous owner disregarded regular checkups a little bit.

to sum up: he seems happy with it, i haven't heard any horrorstories despite the age of the car. he's only had the damn thing for about a year though.

next up: doesn't haz have a beetle? maybe he can give a little bit of an insight.
 

Shawnw

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I've had three. A 1965 Beetle and 1969 and 1979 Westfalia campers. The busses were great fun for camping and were very reliable with regular maintenance. They aren't made for modern traffic though; if you are sticking to back roads and taking it easy you'll be fine but on the highway every gust of wind or passing truck makes you feel like you're about to tip over, not to mention the lack of power, even with the 2.0. Everything can be upgraded but if I felt like an air cooled vw again (and the rust that comes with them), I'd probably look for another Beetle.
 

CraigB

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If I had one it would only be to drive to town on occasion and possibly take the worlds slowest road trip.

I really like the idea of a truck over a bus, but those double cabs are so expensive.
 

CraigB

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Tractors don't make the best road vehicle. They ride like a, well, tractor...
 

Interrobang

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Imagine the neverending que behind them ... I?m not surprised they managed the whole 2000km ... I am surprised nobody shot them ...
 

argatoga

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The old VW are easy and cheap to rebuild from what I have heard. Just keep them away from fire. :p
 

ninjacoco

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< Ahem.

Ze Bunnywagen was notoriously hard to kill (unless you read-ended it and jammed things loose).

So, get a Type 3 and shove a Type 4 motor in it. Will decorate cars for a LeMons seat?
 

Censport

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My parents bought a '66 Beetle new, and I've had a '60 and a '68. I also borrow the 2003 "Mexi-Beetle" from the museum where I work when the opportunity presents itself.

Just driving one puts a smile on my face. I don't have to drive them to the limits of their performance to enjoy them, which I can't say about any of the three Porsches I've had (two 944's and an '83 911 Targa). But they can nickel-and-dime you to death. Finding quality parts, especially things like trim or fenders, can be difficult. The heaters only work when moving, so you have to remove the backseat and install little heater fans in the tubes. Rust, although fashionable in the current scene, actually is not cool, but rather something of a problem. Wiring harnesses that are 40-50 years old can be a pain. The fuel line get be cut by a metal edge between the engine compartment and the body, resulting in a fuel leak or fire. And 65 mph is about as fast as you'll really want to go in one.

There are those of us who will tolerate such faults because they hold a special place in our hearts. They're not for everybody, but then nothing is.
 

CraigB

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Interesting points. Thanks!
 

Canadian_Stig

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I suppose you can make them perform, but in my day air cooled meant noisy, slow and you occasionally caught fire. Every one I knew who had them in the 80's ('70 Type 3 VW Squareback, '72 Type 3 Fastback, 65 Beetle, 72 Westphalia) fit that profile.

The Squareback caught fire whilst I was a passenger...he had a heavy box on the rear seat, he went over a bump and somehow sparks and unburnt fuel met. I told the owner to keep the black marks at the back and say that's when the afterburners kick in.

The Grateful Dead aren't touring anymore, so there goes my retirement plan of getting a Bus and following them! :D
 

haz

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Let me know if you want some buyers info on old bugs
 
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