Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our 1972 Euro Spec Super Beetle

For the past number of years Vanessa and I have noticed an Orange Super Beetle, flat windshield ('71-'72) parked just inside or outside of a flower shop around the corner from her office. From a distance it looked very nice. I never got around to inquiring about it.

Recently, however, a classified ad showed up on Kijiji for what appeared to be the same beetle. It was listed as a European Spec Autostick car, one owner, with a bad starter motor. Now, based on our VW history, this one hit a soft spot. We loved our rotten yellow super beetle and all the memories in it. I also loved my euro spec '73 that I had to sell for financial reasons. This bug deserved a look.

On a snowy day last week I went to see the car. I learned the history. It was purchased in '72 in Salzburg, Austria. It has beeen all over Europe, to Rome, Poland, the Swiss Alps, etc. It lived in a carport in Vienna until 1999, when the owners, who had long since emmigrated to Canada, decided to import the car. It was registered for the first time in Canada in 1999 and has been used very little ever since.

This weekend past we bought the car from the original owner, an elderly lady.

The car is all original paint except sections of the rear apron, decklid, and fender, which have apparently been hit and repaired. The paint is very nice except all four fenders could use a repaint. Also the aprons need some attention.

Within 10 minutes of having the car home I had it running. It just needed a boost. It runs strong and very smoothly. The AutoStick tranny is a joy, but had a hard time getting in gear. I quickly diagnosed it as a broken wire in the shift lever, which I repaired and it now shifts like butter.

This car needs a once over in the brake deparment to be safetied, and will get a quick sympathetic restoration, leaving as much original as possible. This car will be ready for use by the time the snow is gone. We plan on using it regularly.

Here's a summary of the differences in a Euro spec, from what I can tell:
-smaller turn signals
-metal dash (no padding)
-km/h speedo
-retractable seat belts
-front disc brakes