Episode 11. Volkswagen Beetle KCG 519E.

I don't know why I'm babbling on about this, it's not mine, and not likely to be either! However lets talk about this, a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.

But why am I going to talk about this here? Stay with me, hopefully all will be revealed! My brother bought this thing over ten years ago with the intention of turning it into a beach buggy. However, upon inspecting it, he decided that it was far too good to be chopped up to use as a beach buggy. So he promptly went out, found a floorpan with a vin number and documents, then built his beach buggy from that instead, actually thats not quite true... He's still building it! The complete Beetle, minus its 1200cc engine that it didn't come with, but which was too good to be chopped up was then left outside in the dirt in all weathers to be reclaimed by nature, because, lets not forget, it was far too good to be chopped up! Fast forward over ten years, the piece of land it has been stored on now needs to be cleared for landscaping, and the owner of the ground doesn't want a Beetle (or an Escort Van for that matter. I may talk more about this at a later date) as a feature! This is also where I stored some of my car projects! (He didn't want them as features either... Strange!) It all needed clearing by the end of April 2017. However we knew about this over a year before they needed moving, so I had a look around for storage, couldn't find any, decided that I'd probably never get around to doing anything with my junk anyway, and sold it all! My Brother, didn't do any of that, and still isn't, however he did scribble an advert (under protest) on a scrap of paper and leave it on the notice boards at Beaulieu autojumble back in May! To his surprise, and my utter amazement, someone answered the call, and came to look at his Beetle! Then, to my further amazement, he bought it! £300! He then sent a fella with a transporter to collect it, ofourse when he showed up we couldn't move it by hand, and he said that he couldnt get his transporter near enough to move it with that! He then asked us to move it out into the open, let him know when we had done that, and then he promptly left! This then left us (me) to get it out of the spot it had been sinking into for over ten years, and into a spot where the guy could get a transporter to collect it.

There were of course some hurdles to clear as the thing hadn't moved in like forever! Firstly, as I said they'd sunk in the mud. Secondly, the tyres didn't want to pump up, and to add insult to injury the wheels didn't want to turn either! So the first thing my Dad and I did was to try and pump up the tyres... FAIL! Then just try to push it anyway... FAIL again! If you're wondering why it was my Dad and I that were trying to move it, you're not alone, I wondered that too, and I still am! But apparently my Brother was too busy to help out! (He's the youngest sibkling in our family incase you've not guessed) So after much heaving and ho-ing, I decided to do what we should've done in the first place... Get the mighty Chev-suzu!!

I drove onto the wasteground without any drama, not even needing to put it into four wheel drive! However this is quite possibly the most off road driving I've ever done in the Chev-suzu!

I backed up to the back of my Brothers shed er Beetle, and it was then that I noticed that my Brother had kindly filled the car with every spare he had for a Beetle. Presumably to make it even harder to move! Nevermind, I like a challenge!! We looked at the Beetle for somewhere to attach a rope, and in then end, after finding nothing that looked up to the job, I decided that I was hot, and fed up with trying to move this thing, so I was just going to loop it around the rear bumper and see how it went! My Dad said it was going to pull the car in half, and then asked what i was going to do then? I said that if we pulled it in half, then the half we had would get towed to the scrapyard, and then we'd come back and tow the other half down there. If my Brother didn't like it, then he should be there moving it and not us! Dad said OK, but he was clearly not happy, anyway we now had it firmly tied to the back of the Chev-suzu, and I really believed that at the very least I'd pull the bumper off, at most, we were going to pull the damn thing in half like a cheap Christmas cracker! Nevermind, I gently eased away to take up the slack, slow and steady wins the race!

Slack taken up I gently eased the loud pedal into the Axminster, the rear wheels spun in the dry dirt, showering the back of the Beetle (and my Dad) with dirt and rocks! Ok I thought, lets try that four wheel drive thing, and see what it does then! I leaned forward, and pushed the button on the dash that said 4L... It clicked... Was that it? Am I in? I've never selected four wheel drive before, but there was a distinct lack of drama about putting it into four wheel drive, but never mind, lets try again anyway! I took up the slack gently again, and then, just drove off... Like I was just pulling away from a standstill on a flat road or something! Absolutely effortless! I wondered if the rope had come off or was I just twoing the bumper or something, but when I looked behind me and there was the Beetle, right behind! Good! The Beetle was now in a location where it could be collected easily hopefully. I called my Brother up to tell him to tell the fella whos bought the Beetle to tell the fella with the transporter that it was ready for collection. I then thought that I'd take a few snaps for posterity, so stand by...

Pretty! About a week rolls by, and then the new owner, and two recovery lorries show up un announced to collect the Beetle (presumably to put half a Beetle on each should it break in half while we moved it!) The new owner tells me that  he's been trying to call my Brother about collecting it, but he doesn't answer his phone, so he just thought he'd show up intsead! I said, yep, that sounds about right, are you taking it today? He said he was, and to be fair, I wanted to get it gone, so I told him that I could help him if he needed it! Why do I want it gone so bad? Well, being the oldest of my brothers I'm the one thats still getting the heat for it being there! So they brought their bigger recovery lorry into the property next door, and it was decided that they would lift the rear of the Beetle with the HIAB, and swing it around to make it easier to maneuver. If it was going to break in half, now would be its best opportunity!

I really thought that after pulling it about with the Chev-suzu, then this really would be the straw that litterally broke the Camels back! But it wasn't, infact, it was decided that this was such a succsess that we'd try the same trick on the front! Plus, by now as an added bonus all four wheels were rotating freely!

Again... Succsess! Half of the Beetle was now in the next doors car park, and half was in ours... Yes, incredibly both halves were still connected! So it was then decided that the recovery lorry would be moved, and we would all push the Beetle like the Jamaican bobsled team across the car park, and onto the ramps of the recovery truck!

As we pushed the Beetle across the car park it became easier and easier as it got lighter by the second as flakes, and chunks of rust dropped off from just about every inch of the bodywork leaving a trail that even the blind could follow! It was then hooked to the winch, and winched on board! This for me, was another time when I thought it might break in two, but no! It must be more solid than it looks!

And away it went, off to the deepest darkest parts of the New Forest where apparently it will be lovingly restored! I wish the new owner all the best of luck with it... He may well need it!

In rust we trust... Of course all of this has got me thinking about my first VW experience, the first and so far only time that I have been the owner of an air cooled car, My Volkswagen Beetle. A car that I have been thinking about quite a lot recently, and one that I think I shall write about very soon. Stay tooned!