BODACIOUS BEATERS and Road-going Derelicts: BUG ME

Phil Coconis
by Phil Coconis
bodacious beaters em and road going derelicts em bug me

So venerably ubiquitous was the VW Beetle, I wondered for a while whether the sighting of this particular example constituted as something special enough to qualify for another “fifteen minutes of fame”, here on the Bodacious Beaters page.

Here in the SoCal area, for many years after the end of the sales line, the Beetle just kept finding a way to stay in the spotlight.

Initially, many kept them around purely for utility, then the customizing craze got traction, then the restoration angle became popular.

With the sighting of this one, I started to appreciate that maybe things have come around full-circle. That is, people are using them as beaters again—although the emphasis these days has to be on vintage funkiness, and a little less on utility. The passing of years, combined with the previously noted customization era, has no doubt contributed to the attrition of original, fairly stock units; making this mid-sixties example a worthy sighting after all.

I didn’t get to go over it with a fine-toothed comb, but it did appear to be an older restoration; the owner is now over over-paying homage to the Perfection Gods, and getting down to enjoying the car for what it did—and does—best: knocking about town in a low-key and economical fashion.

The license plate mod is typical of what owners were doing to their Bugs back when such informally cavalier freedom of expression was the order of the day. You’d rarely get hassled for such expression by the local authorities, either.

We’ve come a long way, baby—but it’s all right now to re-live that period by such Bodaciously Beaten “touchstones”.

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or

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2 of 18 comments
  • BourbonBob BourbonBob on Feb 12, 2013

    I had a roomate at the U. of Northern Colorado who had a fantastic blue/white Microbus. He was from SoCal. The detail (two tone interior/chrome grab bars) was totally impressive.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Feb 13, 2013

    I only see one paint flaw. This one seems like it's in great shape!

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