The Volkswagen Super Beetle is perhaps the famous model of the German carmaker. Since this is the most recent one and the final evolution among the Beetle cars, this is the automobile that you can still see on the streets today. Even though it's an old and vintage vehicle, owners of these are emotionally attached to this model that they'd rather own this and not buy any modern convertible. What is with the Beetle? Why is it so special?
With its hood stretched and downward, this car certainly looked like a beetle bug. It's a compact two-door vehicle that can accommodate up to four passengers. It has huge legroom, that's why it's not a problem for tall people to drive it. The Volkswagen Super Beetle is perhaps among one of the favorite vehicles to be modified. There are a lot of car shows wherein the Beetle is customized into fun and quirky designs by proud owners. Indeed, the Super Beetle is the epitome of a timeless and classic automobile that will never be forgotten.
If you own the Volkswagen Super Beetle, then you have probably grown attached to it as well. Everywhere you turn, you get to see one. But how do the car owners manage to keep it working after all the years that have passed? Well, they regularly check up on the components to see if there are loose nuts or cracked seals and have it replaced immediately. You can do so yourself if you install Super Beetle parts, which are durable, heavy-duty, and will certainly, improve the performance of your vehicle. You can also customize it to any way you want it to look. Keep the parts in your Beetle upgraded. If it still runs in the next generation, it's because you gave it the proper upkeep it deserves.
Fascinating Facts about the Volkswagen Super Beetle
Obviously and undeniably, the Volkswagen Super Beetle belongs to the family of Volkswagen Beetles that charmed its way to the top. It was also officially known as the VW 1302 in Europe in 1971 up to 1972. But unlike the early Volkswagen Beetle models that were designated VW 1200, 1300, and 1500, the VW 1302 did not get its name from its engine displacement but rather from a type number that had nothing to do with the vehicle's engine capacity.
There was a car manufacturer, Simca, which already used "1301" in one of its models. This is why Volkswagen did not push through naming the Super Beetle with such. However, after a year from its launch, the VW 1302 was renamed into 1303-but of course it remained more popularly known as the Super Beetle.
A Volkswagen Super Beetle became the 15,007,034th Beetle sold in the automobile history. This purchase on February 17, 1972 marked the triumph of Volkswagen in beating the record set by Ford model T in having the most produced single make. Later on, this phenomenal Volkswagen Super Beetle was donated to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
Volkswagen went on further in celebrating the Beetle's achievement of holding the worldwide record for the longest-running and most-manufactured car with a single-design platform. It gave 6,000 Super Beetles a blue metallic paint scheme and special 10-spoke-pressed steel wheels. These customized set of cars were fondly called the "Marathon Beetles."
Volkswagen also launched 1,000 units of Super Beetle that were called the Baja Champion SE. This limited edition was meant as tribute to the Baja off-road victory from 1967 to 1971. During those years, Volkswagen Super Beetle used to compete in the annual desert races in the Baja California region of Mexico and attained a well-earned reputation.
Another special edition of the Volkswagen Super Beetle came out in 1973-the Sports Beetle. It was distinctly styled with red and black stripes that surrounded the car, plus a nice matte black finish to top it all off. This Sport Bug also came equipped with 5 1/2-inch Lemmertz GT wheels with radial tires.
Volkswagen Super Beetle Problems
With its unique appeal, the Volkswagen Super Beetle proved to be a darling in the automobile industry-just like the Beetle's earlier generation models. It came in the 1970s with better features and a new stretched-nose design to show off. Although there were Beetle aficionados who thought that this look was a little off, the Super Beetle was still able to capture the hearts of many especially with its various editions that came out. However, despite being generally well loved, it was laced with some minor imperfections that stirred discontent among its owners. Here are some of the flaws that have been attributed to the Volkswagen Super Beetle:
Shimmy or wobble
Super Beetle owners often deal with this abnormal vibration in the car's front end. This disturbance is commonly referred to as a "shimmy" or "wobble" and usually happens when the Super Beetle goes at about 35 to 45 mph. It can really be annoying, but some drivers simply put up with it. Eventually, they grow accustomed to it-which should not be the case.
The cause of this problem must be determined and acted upon. Possible reasons for the shimmy include a misaligned front suspension, worn-out front suspension bushings, and imbalanced or out-of-round front wheels. It would be advisable to check the bushings and bearings more often than usual because these components wear faster when they are on lower cars.
The other root causes can be addressed by adjusting the position of the wheels on the brake drum. However, if it does not seem to work, the front end must be checked for proper alignment. Afterwards, the wheels must be examined-they must be centered exactly on the brake drum.
Improperly installed tail light lenses
Volkswagen initiated a recall concerning the tail lights of the 1977 model of the Super Beetle. The lenses of these lights were observed to be installed in an inverted position. Aside from failing to abide by the federal safety standards, these tail light lenses can cause reduced visibility-which could possibly lead to serious road accidents. Volkswagen quickly aimed to resolve the issue by replacing the defective tail light lenses of affected Super Beetles.
FAQs—Volkswagen Super Beetle
How will I know if the cabin air filter of the Volkswagen Super Beetle should already be replaced?
Weaker airflow through the vents could be an indication of a bad cabin filter. This means that the filter is already filled with dirt, which affects the airflow. A change in air quality is also a symptom of a faulty cabin air filter. Unfiltered air may circulate around the cabin if the filter fails to trap dirt effectively. If you notice any of this, then the filter should be checked and replaced as needed.
Do dust-free brake pads exist? If I want minimal brake dust, what type of brake pads should I use on my Super Beetle?
Naturally, brake pads give off some dust and release other particles. Some types of brake pads, however, generate more dust and create a louder noise. These pads use a more aggressive compound. Brake pads that use ceramic compounds still create some brake dust, but these come in a lighter color, making it a bit less visible than the ones released by pads with more aggressive compounds. You can't easily spot the dust on the wheel surface. But while these pads may be quieter and may generate less brake dust, this may not provide a stronger bite or grip because of the lower friction coefficient. This type of brake pads would fit a certain driving style and type of vehicle. The road condition, weather, and traffic should also be considered.
Why is there such a thing as brake fade? If I use aftermarket brakes that are designed to prevent brake fade, will this void the warranty?
Basically, you experience brake fade when there's too much heat absorbed by the brakes. In able to slow down or stop the vehicle, enough friction should be applied. When the brakes get too hot, its heat-storing capacity is reduced. As a result, it would be difficult to create more friction. Some brakes are actually designed to perform well under heavy-duty braking conditions. They can resist heat effectively. Brake pads that are designed for performance have vents, slots, or compounds that can handle heat better.
Outfitting the vehicle with aftermarket brake parts and accessories shouldn't void the factory warranty, according to the law. If the defect that should be covered by the warranty isn't caused by the use or improper installation of any aftermarket part, then the dealer shouldn't refuse coverage.
If I install a performance exhaust on my Volkswagen, how much horsepower gain can I expect from this?
A performance exhaust can enhance power gains by around 5% to 20%. The extra horsepower that can be generated with the help of the aftermarket exhaust would differ depending on the type or model of the vehicle, the engine specifications, and other mods. Using some performance headers, for instance, would result in 10% to 20% horsepower gains. Although one of the benefits of outfitting the vehicle with performance exhaust is horsepower gains, the performance exhaust doesn't actually generate the extra power. It only makes it easier for the engine to dish out more power by minimizing the restrictions in the exhaust.