Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Classic orange

 a neighbor's 1973 SuperBeetle

Bug. Beetle. Death Trap. The People's Car. Call it what you will, but whatever you choose, add the word popular to it. They were affordable and instantly recognizable with their familiar hump-backed shape. My sister had a black one where she crammed three little kids in the minuscule back seat and a few grocery bags in that teensy-weensy trunk under the front hood. If I happened to be riding with her, she would automatically slam me in the chest with her arm every time we came to a sudden stop. As if that would stop me from going headfirst through the windshield!

My brother had many Beetles, and then Rabbits, when they replaced the popular Beetle. He was an expert mechanic and everyone from miles around brought their Volkswagens to him to be worked on. Practically everyone I knew had at least one of them in their garage. Even my first boyfriend had one. (Yes, it is possible to make out in a Beetle!) His was a gorgeous metallic teal blue. In summer, I would sit on my front porch and listen for that distinctive sound of the air-cooled engine coming up the road. There was no mistaking that sound for any other type of car. It's what makes the new ones boring to me....they just sound like any other car. Although, they are much safer than the originals, so I guess you have to give them that. And they probably have decent heaters and A/C. I remember freezing to death in the winter and burning up in the summer in the old ones.

The car we recognize as the Volkswagen Beetle was inspired by the creation of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who was asked by Adolf Hitler in 1934 to design an automobile for his mother. Erwin Komenda, the Auto Union's chief designer, refined the design into the classic Beetle we think of today. It was one of the first to be evolved with the aid of a wind tunnel which improved airflow that increased fuel efficiency. If you would like to read the complete history of the Volkswagen Beetle, you can read here.

If you don't remember what an original Beetle sounds like, watch this commercial.


  1. My neighbor informed me that the car is for sale and the first $4000 takes her home. But first you will have to make a stop at a garage and have a new carburetor installed! lol

  2. At least you took the other view! Now we have both ends! I don't think I'd ever seen one in orange before.

  3. I remember the old ones, my friend dated a guy who drove a light blue one.

    cute shot

  4. I had a boyfriend with a Beetle, too - a bright red one...I like this orange one, though - great color!

  5. They were a popular car choice and even though the newer models of today are more expensive they're still very popular.

    This orange one is a nice vivid colour

  6. Oooh! I love this orange Beetle! What fun little cars.

  7. I heart Beetles. Love the color of this one!

  8. i love those old styles beetles! and wasn't orange just the most awesome color back int he 70's? so glad it is back in style today!

    and true confession time -- i still throw my arm out to protect the person in the front seat even when i'm alone!

  9. i love beetles and this orange one...well, it's perfect!

  10. I'd forgotten ALL about the unique sound of the old-time beetles. Thanks for the reminder - My 6-foot-three inch father drove around in one back in the day.

  11. What a wonderful post, Susie! Funny about being able to make out in a Beetle.

    I just love the chrome on the old ones.


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