^^^ Great (that's what it's all about!!!!)
With my car.
I moved home to Arizona in June of 07 with my lovely wife and two kids intent on having another daily driver Bug. I'd had a 68 & a 57 while we lived in Minneapolis, but the winters were too hard on them and I hated having a part time car. It had been a few years since a Bug graced my driveway and I began the hunt.
Fast forward to April of 08 and I found a really nice lookin car on craigslist. It's a 66 with a 1600 single port in it, two tone. The kid's dad was a hot rod guy and at some point they restored the car. It had air-shocks in the front with a little plug-in air compressor under the hood. The car was located in Cottonwood, Arizona, a couple hours north of where I live in the Valley.
We made the drive up with the kids and a friend and made a day of looking at the car. I checked it out, took it for a drive and fell in love. The air-shocks leaked, but she didn't leak any oil. The 'restoration' meant a respray of Bahama Blue and some kinda green over a LOT of bondo. Looking at the underside, though, he was clean, rust free and nothing was horribly bent. So I took her home.
We drove home over the backroads, rather than the interstate, and that meant going over Mingus Mountain and back down the other side. My wife had the cutest white knuckle grip on he handle over the glove box and we still remember the kid's dad saying "Don't be afraid to pump that brake pedal once or twice".
We had no trouble getting home and I was thrilled to have another Bug. Since then she's been my daily driver.
I've put on a new beam because I bent the old one on a very tall railroad track, the air-shocks were removed when I broke off the pass side lower shock mount on an expansion joint on a bridge. She's got a 1500 in her now with a fresh-rebuilt long axle 67 Ghia trans. I've been through a couple different wheel & tire choices. Had to replace the front fenders when I hit a crosswalk sign. I've been through a few carbs, but I like the 30/31 I have on there now.
I used to work at the VW Proving grounds out in Maricopa, about 60 miles from home, and the German guys would always come in and comment on my car whenever they were in town. I worked a job way up in North Scottsdale and my wife & i used to commute everyday in my car, even though hers had air conditioning.
My wife has always been very supportive and loves to go on cruises and to car shows with me. The kids love rolling my Bug, but they don't fit in the backseat anymore. This summer I'll be teaching my son to drive her.
Everyone in my club loves my car. She's mis-matched and needs paint & bodywork, but they say she has the best 'personality' and she sits just right.
Someday I'll get to work stripping all the old respray and bondo off and having a proper paint job applied over proper body work. Someday I'll get nice new fenders all around. Someday I'll strip my wheels down to remove the paint and end up with original looking teledials with center caps. Someday I'll get the headliner put in, gets the seats upholstered to match and get the backseat out of the 90s(teal & black). Someday I'll have the original rubber floor mats replaced and maybe add some coco mats for fun. All this will happen someday.
I'm just having too much fun driving her.
Hey Sid! Thanks for posting up. I read your posts and info all over the Vortex and the Chirco boards. It's nice to have more of your history.
Raise it back up a little for a cushier ride! ,we're gettin' old bro! .
You just described my bug. . It's not the prettiest nor the fastest but gets all the attention when I drive it.
Especially here in Orange County, it seems that every bug I see has a 1915cc or larger and is fully restored.
I daily mine. If I restored and threw in a large displacement engine, I don't think I would daily drive it, and enjoy the experience as much.
I have a couple road trips lined up this summer with my family with it too. I'm going to drive it all the way to La Paz/ Cabo with my son and GF.
1964 VW Beetle
2003 VW Jetta GLS 1.8T
2005 Honda XR650L
2006 Honda CBR 600RR
And just for those who wonder:
Front is narrowed 5.5". the adjusters welded in 'too low', EMPI wide 5 disc brakes with drop spindles and adapters to run the Porsche wheels. No shocks. 195/50/15 Kumho Ecsta tires. The front rims are narrowed to 5" wide. I can drop the front end an additional 6" down from where it is now.
The rear is lowered one notch with KYB gas adjust shocks, which compress more than EMPI lowered shocks, running a newly rebuilt long axle/long spine trans from a 67 Ghia. The rear uses 4 lug drums and spacer/adapters to run the Porsche wheels. The rear are stock 7" width wheels. Right now I'm running 195/65/15s on the back, but have run 205/60s in the past and may try matching 195/50s next go around. That would bring the rear down another couple inches.
I love the ride now. I have the beam adjusted so that the front control arms are flat parallel with the ground when I'm in the car with a half tank of gas. She handles really well and all cornering is really fun. With the wide tires front and back I can really sling her into corners and never worry about losing traction. As a practice, I release the clutch and FLOOR IT mid-apex and let her run quick as she likes. I ran 135s in the front for a while and the difference is hugely noticeable.
The only thing I can't seem to get just right is the front alignment. I've tried rulers and jack stands & measurements and string and a couple other methods, but I just can't see to get it quite right. I wear through tires a bit unevenly, but it's not horrible. No bump steer, no surprises. When I have my buddy in the car (we're both 300lbs) I don't do much 'sporty' driving, but that's pretty rare now.
I know folks are always asking for advice and combinations for ride height, tires, etc...