This Volkswagen Super Beetle Has Been In The Family Since New
Story and Photography by Jason Cole
This 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle has been in the family since it was new. It was purchased by my wife’s grandpa. It was then passed to my wife’s dad, Steve, and then to us. Up until I started wrenching on the Beetle, I had only a passing interest in cars. But in the past 8 years, I’ve totally fallen in love with our family Bug from learning to fix and improve it—and by driving it.
There are tons of these cars, and the Supers aren’t the most collectible. So I’ve enjoyed making her into what we want her to become, close to stock…but not too close. She has a two-tone paint job (the original blue color, and white on the bottom). The engine has been rebuilt by me, it’s now 1641-cc instead of 1600-cc with a Weber Progressive carb to add some power.
I’ve also replaced a lot of the worn-out exterior and interior like the dashboard, headliner and so on. I improved the suspension and ride by lowering it, adding disc brakes, sway bars, etc. She runs and looks great. Not perfect, I’ve got more to do, but she looks great. I’ve added really cool little touches like a dealership license plate frame from the actual dealer she was purchased from.
I love the Bug for so many reasons. I love it because of the countless hours I’ve spent learning about it and working on it. I love how it drives…the sounds and smells while cruising in it. I love how it makes people happy as I drive by. Every day, people wave, take photos—not many cars inspire that.
More than anything, I love it because of the family story. My wife was brought home from the hospital in this Bug—and that’s what we’ve done, too, with our two daughters. We’ll never sell her.