This Month's Feature VW

South Africa to Yorkshire

This is the story of my yellow Beetle. It was made in 1972 in the Uitenhage Volkswagen factory before living the rest of its life up until 2016 where it was exported to the United Kingdom in 2016. Here it lived in Devon for a year before being bought by an owner in Yorkshire.

My passion for air-cooled VW's started at Harewood house during VW Festival 2016. Here, I stumbled across a two-toned grey and white Beetle. This car instantly became my favourite at the show, however unfortunately I was only 15 at the time and after a quick search at insurance prices for first time drivers for a classic Beetle this dream suddenly became very unrealistic.
Fast forward 18 months later, I had begun the search for my first car. Of course, the obvious Corsa and Polo were some of my options, but they all seemed boring. This search soon reignited the dream of one day owning a Classic Beetle. A couple of days and searches later I found myself staring at a bright yellow Beetle located in Pickering, Yorkshire. After a few phone calls and messages, I soon found myself agreeing a date to go and view the car. Two weeks later we set off too the meeting point which happened to be a small barn hidden deep down a country road, here I found myself for the first time sitting in a Beetle (whether you can class this as a barn find or not, it was a still a pretty cool setting to see your first car). The decision to buy the car was a no brainer and we returned a week later to bring the car home.

The journey home happened to be my first adventure in my car. During this journey we encountered a few of the quirks owning a beetle had to offer. The first being how to put the lights on, turns out we drove all the way home with full beam on but after studying the lights they proved to be as good as a candle. The second being the faulty fuel gauge and the horn being wired up to a random button on the dashboard which we discovered whilst going down the M62! Finally, the car after making it to the last hurdle of our street, slowly began to die as we drove home. Luckily, we managed to start her back up again and we got home in one piece.

The car then had a good check over the following morning and to our surprise we didn't not find any rust within the common areas. The car mechanically only turned out to need a good service and spark plugs changing. Soon after learning to drive in it, I passed my test which soon saw me drive to college the following day. I can still remember the faces of my friends in the car park as I rocked up in a bright yellow classic car.

From this point onwards I have used the car every single day. From the coldest day in winter right through to the blistering hot heat and to this day, it has not let me down once. This still proves that you can use these cars as a daily without worrying about breaking down alongside the benefit of enjoying the car itself and seeing people smile, point and wave as you drive by.
Being a South African Beetle, over the past few years I have encountered several problems ordering the correct parts as they are truly a mix of parts, consisting of an early chassis and late body. In 2018 I attended VW festival again, this time in my own beetle which was a very proud moment for me as a couple of years previously it seemed like an impossible task for a teenager. As of today, me and the car have attended several shows including VW Festival, Elsecar at the Races, Spring Dub, Wakefield Classic Car show and many others, including many future shows.

Since buying the car I have made a fair few changes. The first of which being the drop spindles to lower the front of the car. The rear has also been lowered to a suitable height. Since the Beetle is being used daily, I've added a radio and adequate speakers. The heating has also since been reconnected and vents replaced which has helped me during the winter months. Recently, I've also discovered the Beetle had a bay windowed camper's wheels fitted. These have since been changed back to wide 5 smoothies which original hubcaps fitted. Also fitted recently is a standard width adjustable beam so the front could be lowered slightly. To this day the car is still being driven as a daily and will be in the future.

Louis Emmerson

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