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Old 08-23-2016, 03:24 PM   #1
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Fifty Years Ago Today

Fifty years ago today I bought my first new car. A 1966 VW beetle with a 50 HP engine. Color = Sea Sand, black vinyl interior, sunroof, opening rear windows and an AM radio!
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:47 PM   #2
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One of the best years for Beetles. I owned a '66 Beetle too..... built my own high performance motor in my apartment. That was the last model year before they went 12 volts... with lenses over the headlights and with the small tail lights. I converted mine to 12V during the rebuild..

Oh yeah....mine had the crank sun roof too.

Awesome vehicle, until it was stolen one day, many many yrs ago....

Do you still have it?
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:57 PM   #3
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A Bugger! My very first car was a 1970 VW Super Beatle in bright orange with black interior. It, too, had a sunroof with the vented rear windows. Good car, good memories.

I don't know if they offered the optional "standard automatic" when you bought yours, but it was available when I bought mine for an extra $129. It was also an extra $129 for an AM/FM radio. I had never driven a stick shift with a clutch before, but I figured I could learn a whole lot faster than I could wire a car for a radio. A friend went with me and my Dad to get the car, we all ate dinner, and then Mike took me to the shopping center up the street from my folks house to teach me how to drive it. The next day I drove it to work in downtown Cleveland and never stalled once. I rocked that standard shift!

Do you remember what you paid for yours, Andy? I remember mine was $2450 and change. That isn't even a down payment on most cars these days.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:01 PM   #4
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One of the best years for Beetles. I owned a '66 Beetle too..... built my own high performance motor in my apartment. That was the last model year before they went 12 volts... with lenses over the headlights and with the small tail lights. I converted mine to 12V during the rebuild..

Oh yeah....mine had the crank sun roof too.

Awesome vehicle, until it was stolen one day, many many yrs ago....

Do you still have it?
Oh, no. It's long gone. After I dropped a valve and had the engine rebuilt and put 103,000 miles on it, I sold it.

In the mean time, it was the most fun car I ever owned and I did everything and went everywhere in it.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #5
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My uncle went with me to negotiate a price. Back in '66 that was a 'loaded' VW with both the sunroof and opening rear windows. It had the 4-speed manual transmission. I paid $1,893. for it.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:04 PM   #6
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Fifty Years Ago Today

Cute car! Two of my old boyfriends in college owned Beetles around that vintage, as did DH. I'll have to ask him what year his was. He had his front seat stolen, and had to drive home sitting on a case of beer. One boyfriend had to have someone push his VW in order to get it going (guess who got to do that?), and another had the floorboards rusted out so you could see the road.

DH says his was a '68.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:08 PM   #7
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I remember gleefully plowing through snowbanks, sandy beaches and into the woods in that car. If I got stuck, I could pick up the front end and move it. I had to push start it more than once.

I used to do tune ups with a few simple hand tools and an electrical tester to set the timing. Four spark plugs, points, rotor and distributor cap and static set of the timing and I was done in no time.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:11 PM   #8
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We had a '71 Super Beetle when we lived in Denver; when we got passed by a guy on a bicycle in the mountains, we traded it in on a '78 El Camino.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:28 PM   #9
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My mom had a VW Bug when I was little. It was Army green I don't know what year it was - I'd guess '67 or '68. I remember riding in the very back, looking out the rear window. Can't get away with that these days She eventually sold it to my friend's older brother.

In 2009, DH and I celebrated our 25th anniversary by visiting my dad in California, then we borrowed his wife's new Bug to go wineries in Sonoma County for several days. Bright yellow with a black interior. The interior LED lighting strips are fun 🎊
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:51 PM   #10
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We had a '71 Super Beetle when we lived in Denver; when we got passed by a guy on a bicycle in the mountains, we traded it in on a '78 El Camino.
You had to learn anticipatory driving with a Bug. The you're on the highway and you see a hill up ahead yo floor it to gain speed so when you hit the hill you can get to the top at a decent speed. I spent a lot of time in 4th gear with my foot to the floor and just steering as needed.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:57 PM   #11
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Went on my first date in one of those. Double date with my best friend driving.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:29 PM   #12
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In the mean time, it was the most fun car I ever owned and I did everything and went everywhere in it.
Actually, my first Beetle (before I owned the '66) was a brand new '74 Luv Bug which I paid $2,495 for. Bright orange with cool black trim and bumpers, my monthly payments were $29, if I remember....
In 1976 I drove that thing clear across the country, from L.A. to Bangor, Maine and other parts of New England to visit relatives.
I kept that orange beetle for almost 4 years before I traded it in for something else...
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:56 PM   #13
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One of the best years for Beetles.
Not to mention THE BEATLES. 1966 was a pretty good year for those guys, too.

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Old 08-23-2016, 07:48 PM   #14
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You had to learn anticipatory driving with a Bug. The you're on the highway and you see a hill up ahead yo floor it to gain speed so when you hit the hill you can get to the top at a decent speed. I spent a lot of time in 4th gear with my foot to the floor and just steering as needed.
In the Rockies, the mountains are so tall your running start dies 1/3rd of the way up.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:00 PM   #15
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In the Rockies, the mountains are so tall your running start dies 1/3rd of the way up.
I can understand that, we don't have Rockies here.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:06 PM   #16
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We had a '71 Super Beetle when we lived in Denver; when we got passed by a guy on a bicycle in the mountains, we traded it in on a '78 El Camino.
Himself corrected me - I had a '71 Super Beetle. He said whatever engine, etc was in mine had plenty of power to climb steep hills - we drove it a number of times between FL and OH the first couple years we were married. I-77 wasn't completed yet, and we drove quite a few state routes through West VA. Meanwhile, the Datsun 200 we rented when we flew into Tampa barely made it up the entrance ramp to I-75.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:17 AM   #17
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one thing good about VW's......it sure beats walkin'...
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:37 AM   #18
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one thing good about VW's......it sure beats walkin'...
I am not to sure about that. Read back and there seems to a lot of stories about having to push, getting a running start, not making it up hills, etc.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:39 AM   #19
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The Super Beetle was great for getting around town, loved it. I did lose it a couple of times in mall parking lots, something big always seemed to park next to me. And you are right, sure beat walking.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:42 AM   #20
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They were not hills, Addie...we are talking a Mile High at the start and climbing another 2000-3000 feet on steep grades.

At those altitudes, the VW had a hard time getting enough air to breathe.
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