Down On The Mile High Street: Volkswagen Beetle

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
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down on the mile high street volkswagen beetle

I don’t see quite as many Old Beetles on the streets of Denver as I did when I lived on the Island That Rust Forgot, but a few of the clattery old Germans still serve as daily transportation in the Mile High City. Even though I’ve owned several Beetles, I still can’t nail down exact model years at a glance; we’ll leave that to you Volkswagen zealots aficionados.

Judging by the taillights, bumpers, and flow-through air vents, I’d say this is an early-to-mid-70s Beetle. By 1974, the Beetle’s 1600cc engine was rated at an even-worse-than-the-MGB 46 horsepower. Can you imagine what Beetles with the air-conditioning option were like to drive?

I thought this was a Super Beetle at first glance, but it doesn’t have the long hood of the Super. Even with its allegedly more modern McPherson strut front suspension, the Super had even scarier handling characteristics than the torsion-bar regular Beetle. Hey, what’s that black stuff on the engine lid?

Air-cooled VWs often have a little problem with fires in the engine compartment, thanks to the hot engine and leak-prone fuel pump and lines. The driver of this car was on the ball when his or her engine started to burn and put out the fire in time.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

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  • Namstrap Namstrap on Aug 13, 2011

    I stand corrected. It is a 1973. The 67 beetle, though, I'm sure still had the swing arm rear suspension. They did something to it to make it safe, though. It may have been a sway bar but I can't remember now. The fully independent suspension with cv joints appeared in the 1968 model, along with those ugly bumpers.

  • Andy D Andy D on Aug 13, 2011

    McPherson strut Super Bs were terrible. way too delicate compared to the twin beam torsion bar front ends. 65s had the old style king pins. 66 1300s had the big windshield and balljoints. 67s had a 12 volt electrical system. IMO a vast improvement over the 6 v system. 68s had 4 lug wheels. 69s had IRS. The 66 and down bugs were nearly unstoppable in snow. They didnt need much of road either.

    • Th009 Th009 on Aug 14, 2011

      All Super Beetles had McPherson struts ... and the 1968 models introduced both IRS and four-bolt wheels (no lugs on VWs of any kind!). Otherwise you've got things right.

  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriors
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  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
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  • IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.