October 15, 2011

A People's Car

The Captain and I regain our pasts. Ya gotta laugh.

There are those who still vilify Volkswagen's because of their beginning. There are those who remember them as funny round cars when they first arrived in America, and there are those who had a couple and won’t own another. Then there are those who love VW’s and restore them with great verve. Last night’s show at the San Diego Auto Museum gave us a good glimpse of the history of the VW, and the passion of their restoration.

Left: One of the last VW’s made in Baja California. Right: It looks like a meek Karmann Ghia, but it’s really a race car.

As we headed out to the dinner, a traffic announcement almost froze us in our places. There was a jumper over Highway 163 through Balboa Park, and the freeway had been closed both directions. Traffic was on a standstill throughout the city on all our freeways with only 5 north moving freely. We took city streets to the park and were greeted by an upset Captain Poolie. I don’t blame her. All her guests were frozen in traffic unable to attend.

One day mother took me to a dealer and strongly suggested that I trade in my battered sports car for this VW hatchback. I did. I’d spent all my worldly pennies keeping that sports car running, and it didn’t.

The hatchback was just the right vehicle for a single mother with two kids. Roomy, zippy, and easy to drive powered by all the latest in technology. It rolled down a hill one day, and it hit a pole. From then on, it’s demise was preordained. It was run by a new computer, and VW didn’t have a handle on their 1960’s computers.

While I was struggling with my computer, everyone else was adapting their VW’s….with great love and verve. Eventually I found my way back to a Datsun 510…which had been raced and was ten colors plus rust, and I was still driving it when I met G.

By then VW’s had adapted to the changing times. My friend Jo bought a rabbit, and the rabbit kept adapting. Now in Germany, Volkswagen is producing direct competition for the Mercedes in the form of the Phaeton. Yes, it’s lovely, rich, and would be a delight to own and drive, but I think I will stick to my paid for old truck.

As we headed home, we could see the freeways were beginning to move again after six hours.

Please send good thoughts and prayers this way as my sponsor has been hospitalized. She had lung cancer, and her lung has begun bleeding from the spot where her cancer was. Thank you.


  1. Love and prayers to your sponsor.

    I loved my little beetle. Funny, I was just mentioning that to David last night. I drive a Toyota Matrix now. I have always loved foreign cars I suppose.

    VW = A great little car.


  2. I would never drive a beetle. No power, hello! lol.

    Prayers for your sponsor. God bless.

  3. Hubby and I had and old VW that with a broken starter when we were both graduate students at U of H. We always parked it on a hill and then jump-started it or he pushed and I popped the clutch. So, so, very sorry about your sponsor. Life is so shi**y unfair and those who are better then us face difficult challenges.

  4. So sorry to hear about your sponsor. That sucks enormously.

    Glad to see you last night, you hippie you!

  5. I'm sorry about your sponsor's illness. That is so hard to handle.
    I've had two VWs in the past 15 years....loved them both. In fact, I gave the first one to my DIL and she is still driving it. If I had a chance to buy another, I would. Not sure about the new shape of the current Beetle though...there's something about that little bubble car that I love.

  6. We had a Beetle. The heating didn't work so it was pretty uncomfortable in winter, but we loved that car. We sold it once Tiffany was born.

    Again... I'm so sorry about your Kay.


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