Next >>

Me, in a friend's 1959 (I think?) Nash Metropolitan.

Story by Lois Grace

Even though I cut my teeth on Volkswagens, and 30w Pennzoil seems to run in my veins, every once in a while I get an urge for something different. You know, if you'd had (and liked) vanilla all your life it's strange to wake up suddenly wanting chocolate. But this has happened to me, so I know it's possible.

This was 1959, and I would have been 5? Next to dad's '57 Oval Window in the driveway of our house in Sudbury, MA. The 1954 Ford wagon across the road is ours too, Dad parked it out there so my mom could get down the driveway to get out on snowy mornings.

There I was, idly surfing eBay, for nothing in particular. Then I typed "Saab" into the search, and all sorts of interesting things came up. There it was, an uglier-than-the-south-end-of-a-northbound-monkey Chocolate Craving. "IT" was a 1968 Saab wagon, the hideous (to some, but not to me) Saab family car. I was smitten. Just like the poor train-wreck of a 1967 Beetle I found once, I wanted this car. Bidding was fast and furious on the Saab, but still failed to reach the reserve set by the seller. As fast as the car showed up on eBay, it was gone.

This is something I'd probably sell just about anything to get: an early Studebaker pickup! Except this is a flatbed. We found it on an apple farm in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and it wasn't for sale. Think it might be about a 1952 or 1953 model. Right up my alley!

Gone too were my dreams of restoring something other than a VW. Gone were my husband's dirty looks when he realized I wasn't joking. I suppose the last one is a blessing - who wants to live with someone who can't see the obvious charms of such a neglected and unloved old car? I could see the potential here and was sorry it wasn't me that got to unlock it. It was a solid, rust-free car, or so the ad stated. "The little V4 motor starts and runs", it said. "Easy restoration", the ad crowed. Located in Arizona, it would have been easy (sort of) for me to drive down there and take a peek. And, I was so certain this was the car for me that I even bet Rob $100 that I could drive it all the way home with no mishaps. You should have seen his look when I said that.

Me, pointing to my brother's 1946 Crosley sedan, Bing. This was 4th of July last year. Bing runs, and was driven in the parade that day.

I have owned a Saab before. Mine was the lovely 1978 5-door GLE though, and while not a V4, it was still a Saab. This means that any repairs or maintenance (honestly, any work done on the car) costs approximately ten times what it costs on any "normal" car. Why this should be is still beyond me, except that Saab engineers have different ways of thinking about mechanical doings than other engineers. To be a Saab mechanic requires infinite patience, many specialized tools and customers with deep pockets. Or good jobs. Either way, if you are a Saab owner, you will eventually learn the perils of Saab repairing, and this is the main reason I am not a Saab owner any longer. Mine was advancing in years, although it had only a measly 118,000 miles on it. And, every few hundred miles it seemed to need some major repair that was costing me, big-time. The fun I had from this car was slowly being replaced by the frustration of fixing it. Not to mention the fact that its once-beautiful shiny paint (CHOCOLATE-colored I might add) was quickly washing off the car. Literally. I sold it to buy my daily driver, a Golf Gti which in spite of its now-advanced age, has still not cost me as much as the Saab did in one repair alone. But even with all these facts laid bare, Saabs have a loyal and fiercely devoted following and I will always count myself among them. Only recently have I begun looking backwards, fondly, and wishing for more Saab torture. After all, when it was healthy (which was for a good long part of it's long life) it was fun to drive, safe, and a joy at 90mph on the interstate. I had visions of chugging along towards home in my 1968 faded red Saab wagon……..with Rob following me in the Ram pickup. Ah yes, it was not to be.

Me again, with Dad's 1961 NSU Sport Prinz. I was about 6 years old here! Car was a two-seater, 2-cylinder, rear engine, air cooled model.

Of course, I still love vanilla, and probably always will. The 30w Pennzoil in my veins has not been totally replaced by Quaker State 20W50, but it coexists happily. Radiators are still a foreign object to me though (I just don't see the need for such a thing). I often forget I have one in the Golf and in the summer it seems forgiving of my forgetfulness. The Golf has been a great car, and is not the diva that Saabs can be. Still, I crave chocolate. But it's manageable. And, I might just indulge that craving sometime. Rob and my friends think I'm crazy, but I remind them that there are a lot of us crazy people out there.

Our KimoSaabie, playing VW at the Solvang show in 1994. See how awful his paint looked on the hood? Sad.

Where does this stuff come from? Where do these odd cravings originate? It can't be explained, I suppose. It's like so many other things: it just IS. I like it that way too. I don't want to question why, in the middle of my vanilla-ness, chocolate or strawberry or Saabs suddenly seem so appealing. And, in my opinion, you've got to be careful of those who deny their cravings, and want you to think they're set in their likes and dislikes. Those people are scary! Not to mention without imagination………anyway, enjoy your vanilla but have something different every now and then.


Feature VW
Check out this season's feature VW at AllAirCooled. Want your VW featured here? Daily driver or project, no VW has ever been turned down!
Contact us...

World Wide Forums
AllAirCooled has fifteen Forums. You can ask questions, answer questions, post pictures or just make a comment. Use this valuable resource for FREE, 24-7-365 days a year!

Air-Cooled Galleries
We've got twelve different air-cooled Galleries at AllAirCooled. To add your ride simply send us picture or two and a paragraph about your Volkswagen!

Copyright. All rights reserved
2018 AllAirCooled