As I mentioned in yesterday’s Nutts and Bolts blog, I had gone to a car show over the previous weekend and saw a lot of interesting things. One of the cars that really caught my eye was a heavily modified Meyers Manx. Typically, I have zero interest in these and skip right over them, but this one had my name written all over it. This guy ran a VW engine, with a turbocharger, and a megasquirt fuel injection system. Everything was polished, painted, or plated, and it had wheelie bars that looked not only functional, but used. Does it get better than this is the world of Volkswagen ? If so, I challenge you to show me, because I don’t believe it. This is the pinnacle of fun.
I have spent quite a bit of time working on a chameleon painted Karmann Ghia, and I liked it. There, I said it. No, the car doesn’t have a V8, and it doesn’t have a clutch pedal for its manual transmission. However, it does have windshield squirters that are activated by the air pressure in the spare tire (seriously).
When this flamboyant automobile entered my family, I was a bit confused because I was used to the big American muscle cars, and modern sports cars. This Volkswagen was just a wee-bit different. It was not only the antithesis of all the vehicles I was used to, but it came with free pass into a bizarre automotive culture. I would put the VW culture in the same genre as minitruckers, but just a touch more viral. The Volkswagen crowd will convert you to one of their own before you even realize it happened. One thing then leads to another and pretty soon you are replacing your oil pan and pulling a 23 window VW Bus out of a river.
What I am getting at here is that old VW’s are something that you need to mess around with at some point in life. By no means am I saying that they are “the greatest car evah!”, or the only thing that can possibly save us from 2012. What I am saying is that they are put together in a way like none other of their era, and aside from the windshield squirters and the missing pedals, I kind of like them. Working on one of these foreign oddballs really opens a whole new thought process on how to put a car together.