How I Was Bitten By The Bug

It all started in 1969. I was 2 years old. My parents bought their first house in Cerritos, CA. That same year, they bought a brand new 1969 VW Bug. It was fully loaded. It had a sunroof, pop-out rear windows and a Blaupunkt AM/FM radio. It was red with a black interior. There is a picture of it sitting in front of the frame of the new house in my folks' pictures somewhere. When I find it, I'll put it here. They had the car until 1973. My brother had come into the picture in 1971. The VW started to just sit in the garage. They needed a family car. The VW got traded in on a 1973 Plymouth Satellite Wagon. (Yes, I still speak to them!) Even though I was but a tot, I remember always wanting to ride in the VW. It was just plain cute! Kind of like a giant toy.

Well, several years passed. I was 15 and my best friend Tedd got a 1971 Super Beetle. It was in really rough shape, but it made the trip from Bishop (where he bought it) to Cerritos. For those of you who aren't familiar with Southern California, that's a pretty fair distance. It was a while before we started working on it, but it eventually got into shape. It was after High School that it really got looking good. Tedd took some auto body repair classes at Cerritos College (the local community college). He decided to go "Cal-Look" with it. After the body was in shape, he shot the paint. He wanted it to be really different, so he decided to shoot it with Porsche Raspberry. It's a pinkish color, but has a bit of orange and another color I can't recall. Let's put it this way, it stood out. He shaved the front blinkers, put one-piece windows in the doors, filled in the pea-shooter holes in the rear apron and dumped it. It really looked sharp. Nothing half-ass on this one I helped a lot on this car.

When I was 18, I got a 1970 Ford Maverick from my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Tom. It was in rough shape too, but it made even a longer trip than Tedd's car. Palo Alto, CA to Cerritos. I had this car for almost 7 years. I restored it and got a lot of compliments. I must admit, I was very proud of it. I think it was about 1991 when my brother sold is Renault and bought a 1965 Bug from a lady from my work's sister. (Is that even a sentence?!) This car was in really good shape. It was a little worn from age, but solid. It had only about 73,000 miles on it. Not bad for a 26 year old car! Another Bug-brother added to the tribe! In December of 1992, I was in a pretty bad accident and totaled my Maverick. Merry Freakin' Christmas! Very sad. I was without a car of my own for about a month. My dad was kind enough to lend me his truck until I scraped enough money together to buy myself another car. Thanks dad!

Almost seven years to the day I got The Mav, I bought my first VW. I probably shouldn't have bought this one, but I needed a car. You know how they say to never buy a car at night? Guess what, not only was it night, but it was raining! I drove up to the place we decided to meet and there it was. A white 1962 Bug. I had how much he wanted for it, so I bought it. I should've waited for a better one to come along, but it was my first Bug.

I drove the '62 for about 9½ months. Remember the lady from work's sister? Well, she asked me if I knew of anyone who wanted to buy her 1968 Bug. See, Linda (the lady from work), Della (the sister), and their mom all had Bugs. Their mom had sadly passed away and her Bug just sat. Linda and her sister had "new" cars, so the other Bugs just sat also. Linda was tired of insuring her car every year. I can't blame her...the car just sat in the garage and got a spin around the block every once in a while. Anyway, I said, "Give me a week to get the money, and I'll buy it!" She was happy to hear that. She knew me and knew that I'd take care of her baby. I begged, borrowed, and pleaded and got the money together. On October 2, 1993, I bought my second Bug. This one is the one I should have bought in the first place. A 1968 Bug, factory sunroof, pop-out windows, and the original factory color inside and out! The car is Zenith Blau. It's kind of a light blue-grey. The car is in fantastic shape. Everything is original on it. It had barely turned 100,000 miles when I bought it. You know, it's kind of funny, my brother and I have the two sisters' cars! Matter of fact, my brother's car and my '68s license plates are one number off of each other. They were re-registered in California the same day. Well, that's my story in a nut-shell. Right now the '62 is waiting to be restored and the '68 is getting a new interior in a few weeks. I'll tell you, there is nothing like the pleasure of driving a Vintage VW! I think Volkswagen came up with the slogan "Fahrfergnügen" about 30 years too late!

Johnny

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Last Updated: Thursday, May 30, 1996