Buggin’ Out - Old Cars Weekly

Buggin’ Out

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Rob Williams with his bright red VW at The Auto Collections in Vegas.

Rob Williams with his bright red VW at The Auto Collections in Vegas.

I’ll tell you I’m freakin’ out over the Volkswagen end of the car collecting hobby.

When I went to SEMA in 2012, I stopped by the Imperial Palace (now called The Quad) to see The Auto Collections there. It was great to see all the Corvettes, Ferraris, Duesenbergs, Packards and . . . . Volkswagens?

One of the VWs — a red Beetle — even belonged to Auto Collections manager Rob Williams. Gee, we remember our friends in college driving these cars right into the ground where most Bugs live. And now — they are museum pieces! No wonder most of us want to go back to the '50s and '60s!

Six-figure Kombi Campers in museums? Maybe I sold my ’67 too soon.

Six-figure Kombi Campers in museums? Maybe I sold my ’67 too soon.

In the spring I attended the Air-Cooled Volkswagen Funfest at Midamerica Motorworks in Effingham, Ill. (If you ever go crazy and decide to restore a VW, they sell the parts in their catalog.) There was everything there from a giant Beetle named Walter — because it’s built on a Walter fire truck chassis — to Hippie vans and World War II German military Vee-Dubs!

I listened to seminars by restorers who said the minimum price for a VW van restoration is $100,000. Holy cow!

At Funfest I also met a man who races a Beetle at Bonneville and gets it up to nearly 100 mph. I saw Mexican Beetles, Beetle-based Bugatti kit cars and all sorts of stock, custom and hopped up VWs.

But hey, I could own this Double Cab Pickup for only $30K or so.

But hey, I could own this Double Cab Pickup for only $30K or so.

In the fall, a lady with a hopped-up ’63 VW Double Cab Pickup asked me to try to sell it She wants $30,000. Well, you know what? Even though that sounds crazy to me, Mecum’s Infonet suggests it’s low.

I had a ’67 VW camper once and I liked it. Maybe a Double Cab pickup would be even more fun.

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