Saturday, July 4, 2009

Oddities of the Bug

Like its contemporaries, the Mini and the Citroën 2CV, the Beetle has been regarded as something of a "cult" car since its 1960s association with the hippie movement and surf culture; and the obvious attributes of its unique and quirky design. (For example, the Beetle could float on water thanks to its sealed floor pans and overall tight construction.)

Much like their Type 2 counterparts, Beetles were psychedelically painted and considered an ancestor of art cars. One of the logos used by the Houston Art Car Klub incorporated a Beetle with a cowboy hat.

The Beetle has made numerous appearances in Hollywood films, most notably The Love Bug comedy series (Disney) from 1968 to 2005, starring as "Herbie", a pearl-white, fabric-sunroofed 1963 Beetle—racing number 53.

The Arrival (1996, science fiction) featured a few Mexican Beetles in the film (in one scene Charlie Sheen's character hides in the notoriously cramped trunk of a Beetle). In Woody Allen's Sleeper (1973), a Volkswagen is still able to start after having been abandoned in a cave for 200 years. ("They really built these things, didn't they?") In the comedy hit What's Up, Doc? (1972), Ryan O'Neal's and Barbra Streisand's characters, after a climactic car chase, end up floating in San Francisco Bay in their Beetle.

Yup, no question the little Beetle was odd. She had quirks and that was part of her charm. Feel free to post your quirks or tales of woe with your Bug.

1 comment:

  1. My only ride in a bug was a test drive as a little kid, when my family was shopping for a second car in Calgary Alberta. Man, I was sitting in the back going deaf from that engine, broiling alive, and the windows were too high up to see out of!

    Still remember it. Was happy when they bought a white Fiat hatchback, but that car got totalled, as small cars often did in those days (no injuries).


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