Replacement Sun visors: The sun visors in my Super Beetle were looking pretty bad. They had turned from white to yellow, became baggy as the stuffing fell to the bottom and the passenger mirror was flaking off. So I decided to replace my tired, discolored sun visors with some quality reproductions from Mid America Motorworks. Made to original specs in your choice of black or white grained vinyl, these visors feature a built in mount with Jersey Spring Clip mechanism for exact positioning. So the visor won't drop and remains tight, you can feel the quality as you rotate them into place. When I went to install them (a mere matter of removing and reinstalling two screws) I thought that I had ordered the wrong ones as the little arm didn't reach the hook that holds them in place. A quick email to Mid America Motorworks got me the answer, you simply swivel them back and forth and they extend to reach the clip. Brilliant!
Replacement Plastic Seat Trim: If you're as fussy as I am, and I know that a lot of you are, you want your Beetle to be as close to perfect as it can be. Little problems start to add up and if you don't keep on top of them before long your Bug is going to be pretty sad. To me, it's all in the details, and I've noticed that people really take notice when your VW is looking mint. But finding trim items can be a chore with many of them discontinued or in short supply.
Well this is where California Import Parts steps in with plenty of hard-to-find items that can have your Beetle looking right proper. The item that I was looking for was the plastic trim that goes in the inside edge of the drivers seat. It's a piece of plastic that is quite brittle and in most cases cracks (as you can see in the picture of the old VS the new one). I was online at the CIP1 site and easily found the item that I was looking for. After a couple of clicks of the mouse it was on its way to me. When I got it in my hands I found that it had been improved over the original. It looks almost identical but is now made of a plastic that is pliable and won't break after a few years of use. The only thing is, I wish I would have ordered all four!
Volkswagen Super Beetle Handbook: Okay, so you might
think that this review may be a bit jaded since I wrote the first
chapter in the book, The rise and fall of the Volkswagen Super
Beetle, well it won't be. I'm reviewing the other 25 chapters
that were written by Ryan Price, the former editor of VW Trends
magazine. If you followed the restoration of Ryan's 1971 Super Beetle
in VWT, then you know what this book is all about. The Volkswagen
Super Beetle Handbook is a Restoration Guide for 1971-1974 Models
that is made up of the articles that were published in VW Trends
magazine under the name of Super Project '71. Those articles
were a turning point for the magazine and made it more popular than
ever. No longer was the Super Beetle being shunned, instead it was
being featured. Super Beetle owners worldwide rejoiced.
Love Bug, 4-Film Herbie Collection: Herbie has been a
Disney favorite for years and in 2005 was revived once again for
Herbie, Fully Loaded. But what about the original movie that
started it all? What about the following movies that turned little
number 53 into a household word? Well fear not, you can get the
all four movies including, The Love Bug (1969), Herbie Rides Again
(1974), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo(1977) and Herbie Goes Bananas
(1980) in a DVD box set online.
Hotfuel Men's Enjoy Air Cooled vintage T-Shirt: Hotfuel is a young company which designs and hand prints incredibly distinctive retro motoring clothing and other products. All are beautiful and original, featuring iconic motoring images.They have a fast growing collection of fabulous designs with motorcycles, fuel brands, car models and icons of the racing world all here for you to choose from. Brilliant, Premium quality T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies are available as are fabulous bags and mugs. This is a great vendor to buy gifts or you can let your loved ones enjoy making their own choices by sending them a Hotfuel Voucher. They are based in a suitably retro 1950s building in Old Dalby near Melton Mowbray UK. Hotfuel pride themselves on a personal, friendly and efficient service.The bottom line is that all of the clothing from Hotfuel is not your typical run-of-mill product. They are all top quality, different, and very unique, just like all of us air-cooled Volkswagen owners, right?
Volkswagen Beetle Calendar: For the past few years I've been getting a calendar that has twelve photographs of the classic Beetle for Christmas. Known affectionately as the "Bug," the Volkswagen Beetle is truly one of the most distinctive passenger cars on the road in the history of the automobile. Vastly appealing for its simple design and compact size, the Beetle was introduced in the late 1930s in Germany, and by 1949 the first Beetle had arrived in America. It became the worlds best-selling car and is still in high demand, as its bright colors and eye-pleasing, compact shape continue to attract attention on the road. This Volkswagen Beetle wall calendar is devoted entirely to these wonderful compact cars.
Enjoy beautiful, award-winning photographs every single month
Front Disc Brake Conversion - By Ryan Ballou: For some reason we all seem so focused on making more power, being quicker, going faster, but what good is any of that if you can't come to a controlled stop? There are quite a few advantages to running disc brakes, some aren't even well known. The most obvious benefit is improved braking power and control. Discs are much less prone to fading as they heat up. Under heavy use, drums will dramatically lose stopping power as they begin to overheat.
To get my VW stopping
on a dime I turned to the experts, Top
Line Parts located in Anaheim, CA. Top Line has the well-earned
reputation of being the 'go to' place for Super Beetle specific
needs for over 25 years. My first impression of the front disc brake
conversion kit was simply, wow, this has everything. My biggest
pet peeve when taking on a project is having to stop because you
need to make a run to the shop for parts. Not so in this case, the
only things you'll need are normal shop supplies like brake fluid,
brake cleaner, and wheel bearing grease. The kit includes Ghia rotors
and calipers (pre-loaded with pads), making replacement parts a
breeze to find. Top Line's trick billet aluminum caliper adapters
indexed for right and left hand sides. Also included are a complete
set of SKF wheel bearings, grease seals, stainless steel braided
Teflon brake lines and pair of brake line holders to keep you lines
clear of moving parts. Installation was easy thanks to excellent
instructions that come included with the kit. I would recommend
having the job professionally done since this is a safety issue
and you don't want any problems when you need to hit that pedal
Urethane Bushing Kit: I think that most of you with a Super Beetle will agree that the "Super Shimmy" is one of the most annoying problems that our beloved cars have. It's that vibration that takes hold of your steering wheel and shakes it back and forth from about 45-55 mph! It's kind of embarrassing when you're taking someone for a ride and they're wondering "what's up" with your steering wheel while you try to ignore it and smile.
Top Line Parts has come up with a urethane bushing kit that is supposed to take care of this little problem. The kit contains all four lower control arm bushings plus sway bar mounts. I took my Super to see my friend Emilio at Progress Motors in Toronto to install them. We put the car up on the hoist and removed the sway bar and the mounts. The control arms have to be removed and the old one piece bushings pressed out with a hydraulic press. The new ones are two piece and can be pushed in by hand. They also come with a tube of special anti-squeak lubricant which you apply to the new parts. The bushings that came out were in pretty good shape and had most likely been replaced before with the OEM type. At this point I was wondering if the new kit would even help the problem. We bolted it back together and it was time for the road test.
The first thing I noticed is that everything seemed tighter. I tried to get her up to 45 mph but the street wasn't long enough. We drove around until I could find a suitable stretch of road to wind her out. I watched the speedometer as the needle climbed...30, 35, 40, 45....50, there wasn't a shake or shimmy to be found! Top Line recommends inspecting and replacing any questionable steering component before you do this installation. It worked like a charm for me! Check out the Top Line Parts website for tons of parts made for your Super Beetle!
Run Channel Rubbers: The run channels (or window felts) on my Beetle were getting a bit shabby so I thought that I should replace them. This is the part that the glass slides up and down in, on your Beetles front doors. It's a black rubber that is wrapped in cloth and has a slot in it that the glass fits into. I found the parts that I needed at the California Pacific JBugs web site and ordered them online. The rubbers and a few other items arrived right on time and I contacted a friend of mine to get some tips on how it install them. To my surprise I was told that this would be a three hour plus job, per door. I was shocked and put the box containing the rubbers at the back of my garage intending to do this task some time in the future.
Well spring has sprung and before I take my Beetle cruising or to any VW events I want it in top shape, so I decided to tackle the installation one Saturday morning. After reading the step-by-step instructions that I got from Jeff Hamilton I started at it, and here is how it went. First you remove the door handles, trim panel and the moisture barrier. Unbolt the window regulator from the glass and gently lower the glass to the bottom of the door. I put a cloth between the regulator and glass so I didn't scratch it. Make sure that the regulator is wound all the way down. Grab the front section of the run channel and pull it out with a pair of pliers (it's glued in place). After that, you remove the rear section, which is held in by six clips with little grabbers on them. Do not break these clips as they hold the run channel and the chrome frame that holds the scraper rubber in place as well. Clean the front channel and glue (using an automotive adhesive like 3M) the front rubber in place. Now, starting from the front edge fit the rear run channel section in place (you may have to glue it at the front edge) and push it into the clips using a steel ruler and then curve it downwards. Next, slide it into the door and push it into the other clips. After that you shimmy the glass back into the new rubbers, attach it to the regulator and wind it up. Reinstall the plastic moisture barrier, the door panel and the handles and you're done. It took me about an hour and a half to do both doors. The front and rear run channels that I used are sold separately and were of great OEM quality. California Pacific JBugs gives you extra material so you can cut them to the correct length by measuring them against the old ones. Easy to do and the price was right too.
The VW Beetle - A Production History of the World's Most Famous Car, 1936 - 1967: The story of the Beetle never changes, but in this case, it gets more interesting to read. This book contains the production history of the "People's Car" combined with a section called Volkswagen by the numbers, which details year-by-year model changes. VW Beetle is a must read for anyone that doesn't know the story of Volkswagens' rise from the ashes of W.W.II. Author Ryan Lee Price makes the story as interesting as a novel and doesn't get stuck on minor details that tend to make this chapter in Volkswagen history tedious. The first nine chapters follow the Beetle from Porsche's dream to Hitler's reality. The Beetle then goes off to war and is rescued by the British. The tale continues as the Beetle crosses the ocean and comes to America. This rocky ride makes you realize that we are very lucky that the Beetle ended up staying on our shores.
Once you move on to Part II you can follow changes that turned the little car from Wolfsburg into a world-beater. Years 1945 - 1967 are covered with meticulous detail to even the smallest change. Each year is broken down by chassis numbers, engine numbers and the actual dates that the Beetle was produced. A paragraph discuses the particular production year in general and it is further detailed month by month with all the modifications and improvements that took place. I.E.. August 4, 1955 - Chassis/Unit Number 1-0929746 - The generator pulley is secured with a 31mm bolt instead of a 36mm bolt, making the 36mm ring wrench obsolete and allowing the spark plug wrench to do double duty. After reading this book you'll be able to go up against almost any VW historian in the world. This book is an amazing accomplishment that you just won't be able to put down.
VOLKSWAGEN Bug! The people's car: Reviewing books is something that I really enjoy. I look forward to opening the book for the very first time, reading about the Beetle, and of course looking at all the pictures, hoping to see one that I have never seen before. Ray Miller, the author of VOLKSWAGEN Bug! The people's car, has taken a completely different approach to writing about the classic Beetle, in his 320 page book that weighs in at just over over three pounds. The first part of the book covers the early days of the Beetle, and has an in-depth section about the infamous 'stamp saver' period. As the story goes, people were given a KdF-Wagen Savings-Book, that they filled with stamps that were purchased on a weekly basis. When the book was full, you would be able to hand it in and pick up your brand new Volkswagen. Facts show that not one of these cars was ever delivered to it's owner. Miller's book fully explains this 'German Myth on Wheels' with a translation of the contract form. Once you get further into the book, you will find that it covers all of the changes that have taken place in the Beetle from 1940 to 1979. There are over 1200 photographs of every (and I do mean every) detail from from the beginning to the end of the classic Beetle's history. Did you know that in 1946 the Standard Sedan had a single outside-mounted horn? Whereas the Deluxe Sedan had the horn concealed behind the front fender. VOLKSWAGEN Bug! The people's car covers the 1942-44 Schwimmwagen and the 1940-45 Kubelwagen, and then right on up to the last 1979 Super Beetle convertible ever built.
A great reference tool if you're restoring your Beetle or shopping around for hard to get parts at a local VW event or swap meet. If you've every wondered if your Beetle is 'correct in every respect', then this is the reference guide that you have been looking for.
Ashtray Cup & Cell Phone Holder: How many times have you spilled your coffee (or soda or water or juice or...) in your lap while driving your Beetle?Are you getting tired of holding your cherry flavored Big Gulp© between your knees? Have you searched for a better way to carry your favorite beverage while you cruise around in your VW? Well I have found a solution that works perfectly, and will save you and your loved ones from soggy pants forever. It's called the 'Ashtray Cup & Cell Phone Holder' and it fits right into your dash without cutting, gluing or any of those other nasty things that you'd never do to your Beetle.
To use this innovative drink holder all you have to do is remove your existing ashtray (who needs it anyway?) and slide this slick drink holder into place. Viola, you're ready to sip and drive. What's nice about this drink holder is that it's right at your fingertips so you're not feeling around the floor when you need a coffee fix, and you can still get at your radio to crank those tunes. The cup holder is black in color and has a pebble finish like your dash. You can remove it easily if you need to reinstall that ashtray (who needs it anyway?) for a VW show or a smoke. A great idea that would make a great gift for any VW or coffee lover.
Zymöl Automotive Enhancement Products: I love to wash and wax my Beetle. My idea of a great Sunday afternoon issunshine, a bottle of wax, some music and an adult beverage to top it off. Like most people I use whatever product I find at the local automotive store. Sometimes I'll read the label or go on the recommendation of a friend. After having my Super Beetle repainted over the winter I wanted to try something special, so I turned to Zymöl, the world's leading producer of premium automotive care products. Zymöl is a car care system that is comprised of three steps; washing, cleaning and feeding. The brand name Zymöl and their array of high end products where the idea of entrepreneur and car enthusiast Charles E. Bennett. His idea was to remove the unsavory ingredients found an original paste wax formula from the late 1800s and substitute products that car finishes love, like coconut oil and rare Brazilian Carnuba wax. This makes the Zymöl formula environmentally friendly and gentle on the skin.
I got the Introductory Kit which is designed to introduce you to the Zymöl Automotive Enhancement System. It contains sample sizes of each of the basic products: 5 ounces HD-Cleanse, 5 ounces Clear, 6 ounces wax, wax applicator and a pre-wax applicator. The kit even came with an owners manual and to be quite honest, I felt a bit intimated after reading the instructions for the application of each of the three steps. Step one, "washing", starts with Zymöl Clear which made up of Spun Tallow Soaps, Safflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Cetyl Esters, Cetyl Cocoamide (derived from coconut oil), Lemon Peel, Pure Lemon Extract and Titanium Dioxide (opacifier). Two full squeezes in bucket of warm water and I was good to go. Clear gave a great lather, smells great and other then rinsing the car a couple of extra times compared to a normal wash, it went on exactly the same. Wash time: 9 minutes.
After drying the car
with a clean synthetic chamois I started step two or "cleaning".
The product used here is called HD-Cleanse. It removes lightoxidization,
moderate scratches, accumulated road film, tar and acid rain deposits.
You apply HD-Cleanse liberally onto a three or four square foot
section with a straight-line with side-to-side movement. You may
want to use the traditional circular motion but don't, it's important
to follow the instructions carefully for best results. Next you
work it into the paint finish using medium/heavy pressure and then
buff it off like you would any other wax. At this point the paint
on my car looked amazing, I noticed that a fine scratch on the left
fender had almost disappeared. Applying HD-Cleanse was the
same as applying any other wax product except for the side to side
application, no problems. Cleaning time: 44 minutes. It is important
to note that step 3, feeding, must be completed within 24 hours
of the cleaning and not to drive your car until it's done.
Herbie: Fully Loaded DVD: If you love or own a classic Beetle, or have watched even one Herbie movie, then you have to go and see Herbie: Fully Loaded. I was lucky enough to get into a sneak preview about a week before Herbie hit the theaters in wide release, and I can honestly say that I have never smiled so much in years. There's something about seeing our favorite car on the big screen and hearing all the children's laughter that is magical. It helps you to remember why the classic VW Beetle is the most loved car in the world. Good old number 53 steals the show once again in a street race, at the demolition track and on a high speed oval. Fans of NASCAR will love seeing their racing hero's on the track actually racing against a 1963 Beetle.
Lindsay Lohan stars as Maggie Peyton, the new owner of number 53, the freewheeling Volkswagen Bug with a mind of its own. Lohan puts the car through its paces on the road to becoming a NASCAR competitor. Herbie's got some new tricks under his hood as he takes you for an action-packed spin in this high-speed comedy. As a third generation NASCAR family, racing is in Maggie's blood, but is forbidden to race by her overprotective father played by Michael Keaton. Lohan is offered a car as a graduation present and almost chooses an old Nissan, but a certain rusty '63 Bug gets her attention and she leaves the lot with Herbie. As Maggie prepares to leave town for a job with ESPN she learns that Herbie has a mind of his own and an alternative route for he future.
My wife, grandson and I went to see Herbie: Fully Loaded and give it "Three Thumbs Way up". Now if we can only find a drive-in theater so that we can watch Herbie from the comfort of our own little "Love Bug". Buy the DVD online!
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are opinions of the author and are for informational use only