There's something so endearing about old VWs.
My father's Toyota has no soul. It has air-conditioning, heat, cruise control, air-bags, a CD player and gets decent gas mileage, but there is no personality, no color, no ethereal substance.
It made the 2,000-mile trek to Eugene, Ore. from Davenport, Iowa without incident under the baking heat of a late June sun. No cause for celebration, though, this robot does what it's told without complaint – the embodiment of Japanese efficiency. And what fun is that?
Would the "Adventures of Huck Finn" really have been that interesting if Mark Twain sent the boy down the Mississippi on an ocean liner? The raft is the key to the whole adventure. I left my rafts back home and I am paying for it now.
I hear the telltale chirp through my apartment window and I stop what I'm doing and rush over to try to catch a glimpse. I pass VWs on the highway and consider pacing them for a while to get a better look. I see them parked on the street and I ring the potential owner's doorbell – hoping to strike up conversation and maybe go for a ride. I can't pull myself away.
"It's like driving a roller coaster," an ex-girlfriend exclaimed with a grin on her first ride in Fritz, my Mignonette Green 1959 Beetle. I have not been able to find a better way to describe the vintage Volkswagen experience.
I've been through just about every aspect of old VW ownership – the rescue, the rehabilitation, the joy of driving, the agony of a blown valve, the rebuild, the discovery of another problem, the expensive restoration ad nauseam. And I only come out of it each time with a powerful lust for more old Volkswagens.