VW Bug matched back up to it’s title!!!

I had a strange thing happen the other day.

It all started about two years ago.  A friend and I went to look at four Beetles for sale.  They were all good builders with engines.  All in all they were in pretty good shape.  We bought the cars and one by one we trailered them back to my shop.    Once we got all the cars home the guy brought all the paperwork to us. The first title was checked out.  Everything matched.  Second title checked out.  Third title, no problem.  Fourth title, oops.  The numbers didn’t match the pan.  I said “Hey, what with this?”  The guy said that, these were all the titles he had.  We decided that we would deal with that problem another time.

Now, the other day another customer of mine came by the shop.  I have been helping him with his 65 bus for quite a while.  Mark comes in and says “I have been cleaning out my drawers at home and I came across this title of a Bug I never got.”  It seems he had traded a guy a motorcycle in return for a title and a bug.  He got the title but never went back to collect the bug.  Mark told me that he had done this transaction back in 1999.

The more Mark and I talked; I started to realize that we had dealt with the same guy.  Then it hit me.  Could this be the title of the car that I had purchased and got the wrong title for?  We took the paper out to the bug and looked at the numbers.  “Can you believe this!” I said.  They matched!

It was unbelievable.  Mark had this title in drawer for 10 years and just happened to be cleaning and didn’t throw it away.  Then he brings it to me just because he thought I might be able to use a title.  What are the chances of these two items coming back in contact with each other?  I compare this story with hitting the lottery.

Moral of the story…Don’t throw anything away.

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2011 Riverwalk Car Show VW Participation

This Saturday (5/7/11) was 11th annual Riverwalk Car Show and Swap Meet in Pueblo, CO.  It has a good mix of old and new cars.  It is amazing how many nice cars there are in  Pueblo and the surround towns.

 2011 Riverwalk Car Show - Pueblo, CO

2011 Riverwalk Car Show – Pueblo, CO

Even though this isn’t a VW only show it still is a good time and there were a few VWs there.

Jim brought his 1962 sun-roof that I built for him 20 years ago.

1962 VW Sun-Roof Bug

1962 VW Sun-Roof Bug

I took the 1964 Bus that I just finished installing a late model transmission,  1914cc engine, 4 wheel disc brakes, and a new rear suspension.

1964 VW Bus

1964 VW Bus

VW Bug and Bus

VW Bug and Bus

Dave had his Trike that I put a 1914cc engine in.

VW Trike

VW Trike

VW trike - Green Gobblin

VW trike – Green Goblin

Kim bought this bus from me a few months ago and had it re-done into a retro hippie bus.

VW Bus

VW Bus

VW Bus

VW Bus

Then there was another sweet sun-roof beetle.

VW Sun-Roof Beetle

VW Sun-Roof Beetle

The weather was perfect, there were a lot of people, you couldn’t ask for a better day.

Fun times at the car show

Fun times at the car show

Jim and Joann leaving the show

Plus the proceeds benefited the Pueblo Community College Scholarship Fund.

Posted in Colorado Volkswagen Events | 3 Comments

Painter’s Grinding 2011 was a great event

I feel that winter went by pretty fast this year.  Here it is April and this past Saturday (4/19/11) was the 3rd annual Painter’s Grinding Spring Dub Roast.  This is a fun get together.  There are always plenty of free snacks, drinks, hot dogs, and people.  This year there were more VW’s than ever.  Luckily the weather was nice.  In years past, it seems to snow a day or two before the show.    Just look at the pictures.  You can see the variety of cars that came.

Air Cooled VW bugs
Adam's VW bug

Adam's VW bug

Air Cooled VW Buses

Air Cooled VW Buses

Air Cooled VW Bug

Air Cooled VW Bug

Air Cooled VW Squareback

Air Cooled VW Squareback

Air Cooled VW Notchback

Air Cooled VW Notchback

Air Cooled VW Bus with bug top

Air Cooled VW Bus with bug top

Air Cooled VW Bus

Air Cooled VW Bus

Air Cooled VW Ghia

Air Cooled VW Ghia

This is just a few of the pictures of the event – click here to see them all.

This year I actually got to drive a VW to the show.  Usually I have to pick up parts and I need to take the truck to haul parts back.  Fortunately Gina and I were able to get in a bug and cruise up to Denver by ourselves.  That doesn’t happen very often.  This year Jim let me borrow his 62 to take.  I built this car for Jim in the 90’s and have done all of the maintenance on it – it is kinda like my car too! Everyone complemented us on having a nice Bug.

Jim's 1962 VW bug

Jim's 1962 VW bug

That car needed a trip out of town; it ran perfectly and got pretty decent gas mileage.  Too bad it wasn’t warm enough to open the sunroof.

A big thank you to everyone at Painter’s Grinding for another great time.

Painter's Grinding 2011 VW Barbecue

Painter's Grinding 2011 VW Barbecue

Just a short few weeks and the next show will be here.  That one is VW’s on the Green.

Posted in Colorado Volkswagen Events | 2 Comments

Coming Volkswagen Events in Colorado for 2011

These are some of the larger events held this year in Colorado.  If you know of some more good shows in Colorado, provide the information in a comment and we will get them added.

 

The first show isn’t far off – Painter’s Grinding will be holding their third Dub Roast at their shop April 16, 2011 from11 to 2.

Painters Grinding VW Show

Painters Grinding VW Show - 4/16/2011

You can have a few FREE hot dogs while checking out the local cars.  They have a raffle each year – haven’t heard what the big prize is this year.  Last year is was a 1600cc rebuilt longblock.

Vw’s on the Green will be held at the May 22nd, 2011.  This event will be held at the Jefferson

County Fairgrounds again.  The show is open to both air and water cooled VWs and will have sponsors, food vendors, and a swap meet.

VWs on the Green
VWs on the Green – 5/22/11

The Nu Vintage Bugin at Bandimere will be in July 31st, 2011.  This is probably Colorado’s largest VW event.  It is open to all VW’s, Audi’s, and VW-powered vehicles.

Nu Vintage Bugin

Nu Vintage Bugin - 7/31/11

It features of course a car show, products, a large swap meet, drag racing, blowing up an engine, bug push, and a sharpie tattoo contest.

Dubs along the Rockies will be August 21, 2011 at Pike Peak International Raceway.  Along with seeing tons of VWs you can also watch Autocross racing and slow drags.

Posted in Colorado Volkswagen Events | 1 Comment

VW Trip to the UK and Germany – VW Museum and Wolfsburg Castle

We just got done being wowed by the Autostadt and that was just the start of many great air cooled VWs for the day.  Just a little ways down the street is the VW Auto Museum.   From the outside of the museum you would never believe that you are about to see a great collection of cars.

VW Auto Museum in Wolfsburg Germany

VW Auto Museum in Wolfsburg Germany

Words almost can’t describe this museum.  You start out just by looking around and not knowing which way to go first.  Here is a 1943 split window beetle.  It was like “Wow!”, “you only see these in pictures.”

1943 Air cooled VW split window

1943 Air cooled VW split window

Early air cooled VW emblem

Early air cooled VW emblem

Then it was “ooo, look at that oval!   Oh my! Look at that one…” It just kept on going and not just with cars there were toys too!

Air cooled VWs

Air cooled VWs

I really had the urge to touch, but I kept my hands in my pockets. Out of all the early cars to see, one of my favorites was the very last Mexican built 2003 Beetle.

Last air cooled VW from Mexico

Last air cooled VW from Mexico

It was fun to compare the changes and see what was left alone.  There is a Mexican beetle for sale in Denver right now.  I have been tempted to go get it…ha ha ha.

Then we saw the Buses.  You can’t believe the quality of buses they have.  They have a 1949 bus.  A 1949 bus!!! That is one of the best VW’s they have there – in my opinion.

1949 VW Bus

1949 VW Bus

There is a red 1967 bus that was great to see.  In the US our 67’s had the split window and 68 was the first bay window.  What a sight to have a bay window 67!

1967 VW Bus

1967 VW Bus

Then it was fun to see a 1998 bus from Brazil.  They still make them there!!!

1998 VW Bus made in Mexico

1998 VW Bus made in Brazil

The Type 3’s were there too.  The US never officially got Notchbacks imported in, so they are rare for me to see them. They seemed a little more common in Europe.

VW Notchback, Squareback, and Fastback

VW Notchback, Fastback, and Squareback

They even had a Type 4 Notchback and lots of models I had never even heard of.

Type 4 VW Notchback

Type 4 VW Notchback

Then the museum went into the water-cooled section.  Not my favorite but still fun to look at.  Early Rabbits and Scirocco’s, then an interesting 4 wheel drive Rabbit Pick-up!

VW Rabbit Pickup

VW Rabbit Pickup

After about 2 hours in the VW Auto Museum we headed to our last stop of the day – The Wolfsburg Castle.  The castle is about 5 miles from the Museum.  It was just getting dark when we arrived.

Wolfsburg Castle - Germany

Wolfsburg Castle - Germany

There were no signs indicating if it was open to the public and such.  We could hear music being played from inside – so we walked through the square court yard, in a door and up a tower.  We finally stopped on a floor and discovered the castle is now used as an art museum.  The individuals manning the art work were we very happy to see someone and then when they found out that we were American visitors they were very delighted to show us the art work and even showed us rooms of the castle that were still original.

Room inside the Wolfsburg Castle - Germany

Room inside the Wolfsburg Castle - Germany

Wolfsburg Castle from the road

Wolfsburg Castle from the road

What a day!!!  Too bad it went by so fast. It would have been fun to see everything a little slower.  You don’t realize at times where you really are.  It was hard to absorb that we were really in Wolfsburg and it was that easy to get there.  And now it was time to head back home…what a bummer.   We plan to return to Germany and explore more of that fascinating country.  Hopefully driving in a Volkswagen… see our earlier post about our car.

If you want to see more pictures,  see the page on our website dedicated to the Autostadt and the Volkswagen Museum.

Posted in UK and Germany Trip (Autostadt) | 6 Comments

VW Trip to the UK and Germany – Autostadt Car Towers

Another big attraction of the Autostadt is the tour of the Golf production line.  You are not allowed to take pictures inside the factory.   If you take the 45 minute tour you ride on a bus that splits open so that you can see the production directly and not through glass.  The factory was very clean and pretty much all automated.  I think Gina was more interested in pointing out the evidence that they were practicing Lean Manufacturing than what was really going on.  We saw the dashboard, windshield, chassis and engine being installed.  We thought the bus drove too fast  – we would have liked to stayed longer in the factory.  Here is a Youtube video of the factory.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X5SA0BesCI&feature=channel

You can custom order a VW and then pick it up at the Customer Center.  They have a board inside letting you know what time your car is going to arrive.

VW Pick-up board  at the Autostadt

VW Pick-up board at the Autostadt

There are two 20 story high car towers where the custom ordered cars are stored.  Each tower can store up to 400 cars.  However, the towers were not full.

Car Tower at the Autostadt

Car Tower at the Autostadt

Car Tower at the Autostadt

Car Tower at the Autostadt

Two robots in each tower would place and remove cars.  You can even ride in a glass box up to the top of a tower as if you were a car.

Arm moving a car in the Car Tower at the Autostadt

Arm moving a car in the Car Tower at the Autostadt

The views from the top of the tower were great.  We got a good look of the Wolfsburg castle which was one of our planned stops this day.

Wolfsburg Castle - Germany

Wolfsburg Castle - Germany

Volkswagen Arena- Wolfsburg Germany

Volkswagen Arena- Wolfsburg Germany

View of Autostadt from car towers

View of Autostadt from car towers

 

Here are videos of our Car Tower Experience.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKmExE15D2Q

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpSYSGkSJB8

 

Here is a video that made by discovery that has a lot more information and provides a glimpses  of areas that the public doesn’t get to see.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWMidxXfMxc

 

The car tower ride was the end of our Autostadt day.  Overall it was a great experience.  The only disappointment was the lack of souvenirs.  We had been going easy on buy souvenirs planning that we would  buy many VW things at the Autostadt.  We couldn’t event find a magnet that said Autostadt.  The only air cooled items were 1:64 model cars that were very expensive, a key chain, and a bus magnet that didn’t say anything about Wolfsburg or Autostadt – I guess it saved us money.

 

Next time the VW Museum and the Wolfsburg Castle.

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VW Trip to the UK and Germany – It is Finally Autostadt Time

Gina and I wanted to get to the factory as soon as they opened.  We got up early and headed down for breakfast.  I really enjoyed the German breakfasts.  They serve cold cuts and cheese as well as eggs, sausage, and bacon.  They have really good coffee and the cheese was good also.  As we are leaving the hotel we see a Volkswagen Transporter Van – this is a model that I would like to have but they are not available in the US.

Volkswagen Transporter Van

Volkswagen Transporter Van

The Volkswagen Factory and Autostadt was not far from our hotel and you can see the factory from the road which just built up our excitement!

  • VW Factory in Wolfsburg GermanyVW Factory in Wolfsburg Germany
  • Autostadt

    Autostadt

    The Autostadt is a theme park dedicated to cars.  There are seven pavilions that are dedicated to the principal automobile brands in the Volkswagen Group – Bentley, Škoda, Lamborghini, Audi, SEAT, and two for Volkswagen –  which was many more than we thought.  There are a couple of brands that we don’t get in the US.

    The main part of the Autostadt that interested us was the ZeitHaus (Time House) that houses many cars.   This building was especially interesting with it’s 5 open floors all made out of glass.

    ZeitHaus at the Autostadt

    ZeitHaus at the Autostadt

    Inside the ZeitHaus

    Inside the ZeitHaus

    You start off with the first horseless carriage built by Mercedes.   Next there was the Ford model T.  Progressing through the twenties you get to the first prototype Dr. Porsche built in 1932.

    1932 VW Beetle Prototype

    1932 VW Beetle Prototype

    Then you see the next prototype built in 1936.

    1936 VW Beetle Prototype

    1936 VW Beetle Prototype

    Then finally in 1938 the final design.  This is the car that Hitler approved for production.

    1938 VW Beetle

    1938 VW Beetle

    Early VW Prototypes

    Early VW Prototypes

    Soon after production began, Hitler invaded Poland and Germany was thrust into World War Two.  Re-tooling the factory to make military vehicles instead of Beetles was not an easy job.  This caused the Wolfsburg factory to become one of the biggest targets for the Allied bombers.  Soon all the bombs the Allied forces could find were falling on the huge Volkswagen factory.  By the end of the war the Wolfsburg site was all but destroyed.

    With the end of World War Two, Germany’s reconstruction was beginning.  The Allies soon discovered that they were in need of transportation.  Rather than import vehicles from the West, they realized they had a fully capable automobile manufacturing facility right in Germany.  Thus the re-birth of Volkswagen AG was begun.  A British General was put in charge of the plant; they found that although the building structure was damaged, a lot of the tooling remained intact.  This sped up the process of getting the production line back up and running.  By 1946 the Wolfsburg factory once again was producing Beetles.  By 1955 Volkswagen had build the one millionth Beetle.  To celebrate this accomplishment, they adorned the Bug in Gold paint, sequined chrome and a red pastel interior. Seeing this bug in person was a real treat.

    1  Millionth VW Beetle

    1 Millionth VW Beetle

    The best part about the museum is; there are no ropes or barriers to keep you away from the cars.  My curiosity got the best of me.  I was very interested in the underneath side of the cars.

    1 Millionth VW Beetle being inspected by Scott

    1 Millionth VW Beetle being inspected by Scott

    The one millionth Bug in all its glory still has oil drips.  Makes me feel much better about all of my VW’s leaving spots all over.

    The collection continued with various examples of sedans, convertibles, Ghias and Type 3’s (oddly there was only one bus on display).

    VWs at the ZeitHaus

    VWs at the ZeitHaus

    Throw in a few Porsches and a Lamborghini or two – they ended up with a very nice display of early cars.  It was a very impressive site.

    Next time we will talk about the rest of the Autostadt and Volkswagen factory.   If you want to see more pictures,  see the page on our website dedicated to the Autostadt and the Volkswagen Museum.

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    VW Trip to the UK and Germany – Berlin to Wolfburg

    We get to Berlin and are a little overwhelmed.  It’s always confusing the first time you walk into a different country.  Figuring out the signs and where there the bathrooms are is a priority. I am always interested to see the bathrooms of other countries.  First off we had to find the rental car place.  After a few anxious moments we figured out that the little sign with the car and the key on it meant “rental cars this way”.  We get to the counter and the man says  “We’ve upgraded your car and it comes with a GPS”.  This was a good thing since our  GPS was giving us problems!  We get the keys and head to the garage.  Knowing we are in the land of the finest automobiles on Earth, I couldn’t wait to see what we had been “upgraded” to.  As we are walking my mind is thinking, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Volkswagen…  We get to parking spot 293 and there sits a big, silver Mercedes!  Right on!  I whip out the keys and hit the unlock button for the trunk.  Click, click, nothing happens.  Kinda confused I try it again.  Nothing.  I look at the key chain, it says KIA.!?  KIA! KIA?  “Hey Gina this is the wrong car.”  Right spot, wrong car.  After a few more minutes we find our car a few spaces away.  I say “what an upgrade, what did we have before?  A skateboard???”  We squeeze into our KIA and start it up and here a nice voice say ”Gutentaug” .  Oh the GPS came on,  Ut-oh, it’s in German!  Well after a few more anxious minutes we discover the setting to switch the language from German to English.  Now with that out of the way we are ready to roll and start being tourists.

    Check Point Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

    Check Point Charlie - Berlin Germany

    Check Point Charlie – Berlin Germany

    Now at this location is an open air museum that has information about the history of the area.  The picture below is one of many at Check Point Charlie.  We thought this one was very unique because of the VW Rag top bug between the armed jeeps!

    VW Beetle at Check Point Charlie

    We saw the Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag building (parliament of the German Empire),  several memorials for the Berlin Wall and Holocaust Victims.  That was all in one day.  The next day we got up and went to Museum Island and wondered through some of the grandest museums we had ever seen.   The bust of Queen Nefertari  is at the Neues Museum  – some say it is a fake but either way it was cool to see (you can’t take pictures of it now).  After we had museumed ourselves out we headed for Wolfsburg.  We were quite excited to have a go at the Autobahn.  It was about a two hour drive from Berlin through some the country side to get to Wolfsburg.

    Drive between Berlin and Wolfsburg on the Autobahn

    Drive between Berlin and Wolfsburg on the Autobahn

    Drive between Berlin and Wolfsburg on the Autobahn

    Everybody follows the rules – trucks on the far right lane,  slower traffic in the middle lane and the fast traffic on the left lane.  We had a few people pass us going pretty darn fast.  Since we had Kia and were not able to go so fast – although we did get to 105m/h –  once.

    Drive from Berlin to Wolfburg on the Autobahn

    Drive from Berlin to Wolfsburg on the Autobahn

    We got to Wolfsburg  just at sunset and of course had to go find the Autostadt.

    Wolfsburg and Autostadt sign

    Wolfsburg and Autostadt sign – hard to get a clear picture while moving.

    At night the  main Volkswagen pavilion along with the two car towers are lit up.

    Autostadt at night

    Autostadt at night

    Car Towers at Autostadt at night

    Car Towers at Autostadt at night

    We couldn’t wait till the next day to actual be at the Autostadt and the VW factory.

    Next time at the Autostadt.

     

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    Simple Interior Makes a Big Difference

    Jim has had his white 62 for many years.   It is an amazing bug.  Everything about it is neat and clean.  The interior was clean, no rips but plain.

    Recently I installed a new interior kit in the 62.  Jim decided on smooth blue vinyl with white piping and 2 tone door panels.  The kit I chose was from J-bugs in California manufactured by TMI.  TMI makes really nice upholstery.  I went ahead and got the new molded foam for the seat cushions.  This made a big difference in the quality of the job.  Getting rid of the old original horse hair was a good choice.  Now Jim won’t have to vacuum the interior as much.  That horse hair makes such a mess.  A little burlap on the springs and the foam makes redoing the seats a breeze.

    Once all the seats were done and back in the car, I couldn’t wait to see how they felt.  What a difference.  The new foam really improves the comfort of the original seats.  I haven’t felt original seats feel that good in a long time.  When you are driving the bug now, you feel like you are sitting on a seat and not on a saggy old sofa.

    62 VW bug interior

    62 VW bug interior

    62 VW bug interior

    62 VW bug interior

    These pictures show the dramatic look the bug has now.  Such a simple and often overlooked detail can make a big improvement on the quality of the car.

    62 VW bug

    62 VW bug

    There is not much left to do on the 62 now (it got a new Airkewld Ultimate Beam in May).  Maybe later we’ll put a freeway flyer transmission in.  That will allow the 1776 to run at highways speeds while not turning as many RPM’s.  Until then it is one fine 62 Bug that turns heads everywhere it goes.

    Posted in Day to Day Work on the VWs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

    VW Trip to the UK

    In October 2010 my wife Gina and I went on a trip to Europe.  Gina is an instructor for Goodrich Corporation  and was teaching a week long class near London, England.  While she was at work I would travel around and see the sights.  I have had my shop on Facebook and have many friends from many different countries.  Quite a few friends are from the UK.  One such friend is Karmann Konnection located East of London in Southend on the sea.

    Karmann Konnection
    Karmann Konnection in the UK

    My hotel was a little over 80 miles from their shop.  I set off around 9 am thinking the traffic would have died down, but nothing doing.  I had to catch the East bound M25, which circles London.  It was 3 lanes wide and bumper to bumper.  It never really stopped but moved very slowly.  After about 2 hours I was there.  Luckily my GPS led me right to the shop.

    Once there I introduced myself and met all the guys.  They gave me a great tour of their facility and showed me some of the beautiful work they do.  Some of their Porsches were a real treat to see.  I haven’t seen that many 356’s in one place in a long time.  They even had a 914-6.  I’ve never been close to one of those.

    Porsche 356
    Porsche 356
    Porsche 356
    Porsche 356
    Porsche 914-6
    Porsche 914-6
    Porsche 914-6 Engine
    Porsche 914-6 Engine
    Porsche 356
    Porsche 356

    It was interesting to see buses imported from California way over there – they were nicely done.

    Bus done by Karmann Konnection
    Bus done by Karmann Konnection
    Karmann Konnection restored buses
    Karmann Konnection restored buses
    Karmann Konnection restored buses
    Karmann Konnection restored buses
    Karmann Konnection Museum
    Karmann Konnection Museum

    Another interesting thing was, they get most of their restoration parts from the same place I do; West Coast Metric and Wolfsburg West.   Thanks again to Karmann Konnection for their great hospitality.  The people in the UK are lucky to have such a fine shop producing some great looking Volkswagen’s.

    After Gina’s class was finished we went into London and caught a few sights there.  Once you figure out how the Underground works, you can get around pretty easy.  The British Museum and the Imperial War museum were something else. The British Museum houses some great pieces of history.  One interesting piece is the Rosetta stone.

    Rosetta Stone
    Rosetta Stone

    That is the tablet that translated Egyptian hieroglyphics into modern languages.

    Rosetta Stone close up
    Close up of the Rosetta Stone showing two of the languages

    Their Greek collection was something to see.  I didn’t realize they had a large part of the Parthenon in England.  You could spend a long time there looking at every little thing.  The Imperial War Museum was great too.

    Imperial War Museum
    Imperial War Museum in the UK

    They had an early tank from World War One, lots of German aircraft, even a German V2 rocket.  There was a whole floor dedicated to the Holocaust during World War Two.  That was pretty sobering.  It was done very well.  The displays were real graphic but it gave you a real sense of what those people went through during those years.  Beg Ben and Westminster Abby was fun to see also.  It’s amazing to see the architecture and the craftsmanship of those buildings.  Just the amount of people that are in London is amazing.  We don’t normally see that in Colorado.

    Our next stop was Berlin, Germany.  More on that and going to Wolfsburg and the Volkswagen factory next time.

    Posted in UK and Germany Trip (Autostadt) | Leave a comment