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1968 Volkswagen Beetle (Rose)

Last updated May 18, 2016  

Photo of a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle (Rose)

About

For many, Disney's "The Love Bug" is where many Volkswagen owners' love for the beetle came from. I'm no exception to this crowd. Seeing it on one particular day in 1998 on syndication, Herbie easily jumped into my place of favorite movie and television vehicles, right next to KITT from Knight Rider. But whereas KITT represented the awesome nature of a Pontiac Trans Am Muscle Car with sci-fi gagety, Herbie further expressed the kind of personality volkswagens have. Shortly after watching that movie, at the age of 13, I made my mind up that when I turned 16, I had to get a Beetle. It was the perfect car for me.

As chance would have it, a week before my 16th birthday, I managed to find one. Driving down one of the roads near my relatives, my great grandmother and I spotted a shiny 68 VW Beetle sitting in a brake shop with a for sale sign on it. When we inquired about it with the mechanic there, we were allowed to check it out. Sitting in those old seats, starting the engine, getting the feel of the car... it was an experience unlike anything I ever felt with any chevy or buick I ever sat in. This was definitely german engineering. And I loved it. I decided to name her "Rose" because to me, it was like finding a red rose in a barren area.

When we bought her, I had plans to try to fix up the wiring, among other things. I dreamed so much of what I could eventually do that I eventually wrote stories that focused on my character and her taking on various racing challenges and just experiencing things in many multiverses.

However, with me being 16, at a time where I didn't need to drive much because I was always offered rides and not understanding the value of owning and maintaining an older vehicle, I only drove her around a handful of times and never did the maintenance she needed to be fully street legal. Eventually, after I bought my Miata in 2005, I was heavily encouraged and pressured by my family to sell Rose in 2007.

A friend of mine took up the offer and we exchanged titles. The second she drove off our yard, I immediately began to realize the mistake I made. Here was a car that I was so hyped into getting back on the road, yet I was so lazy and distracted by other things in my life, that I just passed it down to someone else. It didn't help any that literally as it drove off, it began to rain...

Years passed and after losing Mia in 2012, using public transit for 3 years and eventually netting a well paying job, I decided to go ahead and hunt down another car. During that time, I lost contact with my friend and even thought I lost her number. However, by a miracle chance, I somehow had her cell number still on my PC. I decided to give my friend one last call to see if she would reconsider selling Rose back to me. After some deep consideration, she accepted to sell her back. I was so happy and ecstatic that I was about to get a second chance.

Years passed and after losing my last mode of trasporation in 2012, using public transit for 3 years and eventually netting a well paying job, I decided to go ahead and hunt down another car. During that time, I lost contact with my friend and even thought I lost her number. However, by a miracle chance, I somehow had her cell number still on my PC. I decided to give my friend one last call to see if she would reconsider selling Rose back to me. After some deep consideration, she accepted to sell her back. I was so happy and esstatic that I was about to get a second chance.

However, when I went down to the outskirts of town to get her back, I soon found out that she was in a neglected state. What once was her shiny red coat of paint had been reduced to a faded and sun damaged coat, with paint chipping all over. What mildly clean interior she once had was now fairly damaged. The only part to her that seemed to have survived the elements and stay strong since I last saw her was the engine itself (though it needed a carb clean up and adjustment in the idle).

I was nearly devestated. I felt responsible for what happened to her in some way. Before even seeing how the final condition of the engine was, I nearly was ready to give up...

But after thinking about before making the final transaction, I felt I had to do this. Here I was, back with my first car from 15 years ago, with another chance to fix it up, use it as a daily driver and bring her back to her glory days. Not many people get such an opportunity, and considering that I thought I lost contact with my friend, I cant help but wonder if this is some sort of fateful event that transpired.

Since I bought Rose back in December, my friends have helped me rebuild the carbs, get the brakes adjusted and fixed, replace the spark plugs and wires, replace the gas tank, get a new fuel pump, replace the air filter and take care of the wiring, which was the biggest obsticle yet. The only things needed at this time of writing is to take care of the front axels, tune up the engine a bit more, work on the interior and eventually find some way to get her painted back to her shiny coat again.

Even though I never drove her much until recently, to me, she's special. She mostly ignores the stereotypes of volkswagens and since fixing the electrical issues, she hasn't given me much problems, if at all. She's as reliable of a volkswagen partner/car friend as I could ever ask for. God willing, I look forward to the adventures we'll eventually have later for many years to come.

Fun Facts About Rose:

-Her 8 ball on her antenna was the first accessory I ever bought for her.
-Due to the engine and chasis codes, I was able to pin point her exact "birthday" (or date she was assembled, however you like to say it): February 7th, 1968
-With the way the engine is currently set up, there are two heater tubes that, unless they're covered, cause her to overheat. My friend came with the suggestion of putting dr pepper cans over them. Apparently Rose loves Dr Pepper because she hasn't had any overheating since!
-Though a lot of car fanatics find their cars to be like their friends or partners on the road, Rose is a mix of both to me along with memories of those who took care of me. My late great grandmother drove inside her once and always complimented on how she loved her. And Rose also shares the same year my mom was born (Mom was born 2 weeks before Rose was built funny enough). Call it a bit silly to have such observations but hey, I call it as I see it!

Specs

Engine: Originial engine that came with the bug back in 1968. Considering her age, it likely has been rebuilt.

Horsepower: 0-60 in... um... 20 seconds? She starts off fast but you can't expect her to hit 60 just as fast :P

Top speed: Supposively she can make up to 70 but Rose has clearly noted to me that she doesn't like going over 55 through her engine sign language. I like to comply with this unless traffic gets rough.

Factory Options

If we're talking stuff that came with her thats still installed, there's a few things here and there. Mostly minor things however. Everything else looks to be og-like but has been replaced

Mods

Only mod to her has been her exhaust, which is just bigger tailpipes. Nothing ricer levels of annoying, which I know she's grateful for.

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