This post is about something that happened bdc*

*bdc – before digital cameras.

Maybe, I should have said before Smartphones, because these days, I am comply lost without my Smartphone. But, I digress.

A work colleague had recently moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town and needed to make one final road trip to Johannesburg to fetch his other car, a Beetle. A road trip, sounded like a good idea, so I went with.

So, one Friday evening, we climbed into Tom’s Toyota Corolla and headed north.After having been on the road for a while and having stopped for something to eat, we stopped and I took over the driving. I found my second wind and was comfortable just driving whilst Tom tried to get some sleep. Now, here is the thing, the movement of a travelling car normally helps you to fall asleep, but not Tom. He could not go sleep whilst we we moving. So I pulled over, so he could sleep, but I was too wired and sat staring into the darkness until the sun made it’s appearance.

Needless, to say the rest of the day, I made a good imitation of a Zombie. Then we discovered there were no car trailers available (the engine was in pieces)and we had to make another plan. We managed to get our hands on a frame that we could attach to the Corollas tow bar and bolt onto the Beetles body. So with the engine loaded into the boot (trunk), we had an early braai (barbecue) and made arrangements to get woken at 2 a.m the next morning.

Except, every time Tom’s mother came to wake us, I would get out of bed and Tom would mutter something and go back to sleep. So we left long after the sun had risen.

What should have been an uneventful trip turned out to be, well, let’s just say interesting. The Beetle’s Engine and everything else that was going back to Cape Town took up the whole of the back of the hatchback even with the back seats down, making it impossible to lower the front seats. So, no lowering the seats.

Because we had left later that we should and taking into account we were towing a car behind us, we kept to the speed limit and found ourselves quite a way from Cape Town when the sun went down.

And of course, because God has a wicked sense of humour and because we had no spare, the Beetle got a puncture in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing for it, we had to just leave at the side of the road and continue back to Cape Town.

I got home at 2 in the morning and later that morning found myself telling the boss why Tom was not going to be at work.

 

The Volkswagen Type One Beetle in South Africa

From Volkswagen South Africa’s Web Site:

1949 – 18 February

The official opening of South Africa Motor Assemblers and Distributors (SAMAD).

1951 – 31 August

The first Beetle is produced.

1956

A controlling interest in the Company is bought by Volkswagen AG.

1966

The Company is renamed Volkswagen of South Africa.

1974

Volkswagen of South Africa becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG.

1978

The Volkswagen Golf is introduced.

1979

The end of the Beetle era as the factory ceases production of this iconic vehicle.

Volkswagen was (and still is) responsible for some of the best TV adverts. These two Nostalgic adverts are my favourites

 

Suv or Mini Bus – Volkswagen Type Two

A firm favourite with the Hippies in the sixties, the Type Two has been call by a variety of names, including; Microbus and Kombi. Originally released by Volkswagen in 1950 as a Panelvan.

Volkswagen Type 2 Panel Van

Volkswagen Type 2 Panel Van

Looking at the Type 2, it is obvious that it will easily convert into a Mobile Home and with the same robust reliability that the Beetle has, it could go just about everywhere.

The Type 2 became a firm favourite the Hippies in the 60’s. During a time of experimenting with drugs like LSD, the Sexual Revolution, the rebellion against authority, the Volkswagen Microbus gave people the freedom with move around.

Even today, it fits into the gypsy lifestyle of modern day travellers. You can follow a group of modern day adventurers at they travel by Kombi from Chile to  Alaska and see the videos here

After more than 70 years…

Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle

Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle

From the time in 1934 when Hitler tasked Ferdinand Porsche to build a People’s Car to the time the last Beetle came off the production line in Mexico in 2003, the Volkswagen Beetle has become an Icon.

Type One Beetles have been driven by students as well as celebrities, they have starred in their own movies, they mutated into other vehicles.

They have spawned two new generations, one cute and one more keeping with the original Icon.

During the production, the basic design remained the same with minor cosmetic changes here and there. The size increase some, but throughout the production, the shape remained the same. Most vehicle models will get a complete makeover every few years, but the Beetle stayed the same.

So who would still drive a Beetle? Well, fans like me and anyone wanting a inexpensive and reliable vehicle. Students still drive them, and even celebrities still drive them!