I had owned and drove with great pleasure two VW beetles. Drove them during my college and early working careers. Oh, so fun to drive. My first VW beetle was a 1958 with the small oval rear window. The headliner was a bit torn but the rest of the car worked including its radio. What was most interesting about the ’58 beetle was it had no gas gage but What it did had in it’s place was a foot switch one would flip to switch to a reserve tank when the bug started sputtering. That would be the only indication the VW was running out of gas. The reserve tank had about a gallon reserve. This necessary foot action indicated it was now time to fill up. Who needs a gas gage anyway? My ’58 beetle bug was an absolutely hands on manual driving machine. Hand rollup windows and a four-speed manual transmission and an air-cooled engine. I loved the sound it made. Something like a small diesel engine.
My next VW was a 1963 VW with the larger rear window and bigger tail lights. This one had a gas gage and it too had a working radio. Same roll up windows with a four-speed synchromesh transmission. Both the ’58 and the ’63 had a twist hand knob near the emergency break to allow flow of warm air during cooler days.
The humble VW bug with it’s iconic roundish body and fenders stop being manufactured and sold in the US in 1979. There were safety features being required by theNTST VW just didn’t want to comply with. However, VW kept building the beetle in Mexico and elsewhere that could not be imported in to the United States. Oh, how much I miss driving that bug car
Here is my dream for the VW beetle. Take the same roundish body with roll up windows and no gas gage and put an electric engine in its rear motor compartment. This would become the ultimate commuter vehicle and still fun to drive. I would be the first one to buy an all-electric VW beetle. Plug me in Jack!