Recently Volkswagen released their latest re-imagining of the car that has become known affectionately known as ‘The Bug’ in another attempt to recapture what they created on the very first go round, however just like the previous ‘New Beetle’ the current falls short of the mark.
Really you can’t blame VW for trying because in addition to being one of the most recognizable cars ever built the original Bugs just have something about them that appeals to almost everyone, enthusiast or non.
When one passes by, no matter the condition, people just can’t help to at the very least take a glance in it’s direction.
Having never owned an iconic vehicle of any sort I can’t describe exactly what it’s like to own and drive a Bug but I can say that based on what I observed it looks to be an experience like no other.
The drive to the photo shoot location from my place was short, 20 minutes at best, but in that time the amount of looks, thumbs-up, and honks of approval were far greater than I have witnessed any of the previously featured cars receive in double or triple the amount of time.
While taking the rolling shots we were holding up two lanes of traffic and instead of being treated to a bevy of horn honks, middle finger gestures, and road noise obscured obscenities, we were given the time to continue doing what we were doing.
For a brief period everyone seemed ok with getting to their destination a little later just to check out these two very similar, yet drastically different, Bugs cruise together.
It’s this aura around The Bug that has always drawn Lukasz to them and when the opportunity arose to purchase a somewhat recently restored ’61 Deluxe Lukasz and his girlfriend didn’t hesitate.
Shortly after he got his Bug he met Paul, a fellow air cooled enthusiast who happened to live in the same neighborhood, who in addition to looking for someone new to cruise with was more than happy to help Lukasz get his Bug sitting pretty.
In short order the stock suspension was removed in favor of a 4″ narrow beam with adjusters, and drop spindles, and to complement the exterior and really set the car off 145 and 160 whitewall tires were added.
The story behind Paul’s Bug isn’t all that much different than Lukasz’s, his just started at it little earlier.
To the untrained eye Paul’s 61 may look un-restored,but the fact of the matter is that underneath all that patina it’s received an incredible amount of love.
Nearly rotted all the way to the core when he picked it up Paul’s car needed a lot of hard work and new metal to get it where it is today.
As the man behind the state of disrepair the car was when he got it didn’t phase Paul in the slightest and as illustrates he spent more than his fare share of time carefully crafting replacement panels until the floor, inner fenders, and exterior of of the car was back in one piece.
In the midst of replacing panels the car was brought down significantly (5″ narrow beam with adjusters and drop spindles and a 2 notch drop in the rear) and now complete (well as complete as never ending projects are) and 100% road worthy the car sees about 9 or 10 months of daily driver use throughout the year.
That’s right, Paul’s car sees more daily driving than a lot of cars in the area more than half it’s age and actually took to the streets late February of this year.
Lukasz isn’t all that far behind his friend either as since he’s got the car he and his girlfriend have been driving it as much as they can because the best way to enjoy these cars is simply to drive them.