Mid-South Volkswagen Club


Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee
Memphis, TN

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Chapter of Vintage Volkswagen Club of America

Chapter of Vintage Volkswagen Club of America



Jim F.

This Spotlight article is on Jim F., a loyal member since January 2006.

Ed: Jim, what can you tell us about yourself?

I was born and raised in Nebraska many years ago, NO! I was NOT around for the Great Indian Wars!!! But as a young teenager I consumed a lot of Fire Water.  I have 2 grown children and 4 grand children that still live in Lincoln, NE.  I moved to Memphis around 15 years ago from the Chicago area and am employed by International Paper as a Senior Unix System Administrator. My wife Carole Hinely and I have been married for 5 years.  Carole is a Realtor for Crye-Leike and is a Germantown Alderman (City Council Person).  Carole and I have a small condo in Germantown and about 7 years ago built a home in the Pickwick Lake area.  The house will be where we retire someday, but for now we try and get there on weekends.  I am a confirmed ‘tool nut’ and my workshop shows it.  Someday, once I get my A.D.D under control, I will get somewhat organized.  We chose Pickwick because I have a 32’ Cruiser that I had berthed at Pickwick Marina and Carole and I used to spend weekends on it.  We love the area and decided to build a house, that way we could have the comforts of home and still be involved in boating…NOT.  Now my weekends are spent taking care of a second residence. About 3 years ago the boat almost sank, so it has been on blocks and I have been rebuilding it since. Hence not very much time to work on my VW Convertible.  I also enjoy woodworking and building and flying RC airplanes, although I have not flown in some time.

Ed: What about your experience with Volkswagens?

My very first car was a used 1963 VW Ragtop.  I loaned the car to my older brother and not realizing that they did not hold much oil, he drove it about 100 miles down at least a quart.  Needless to say the engine was toast.  I bought a used 1967 VW motor from the wrecking yard and had them install it.  They had a lovely time!! I think they had to grind the transmission housing to make room for the starter or something like that.  I changed everything over to 12 volt from 6 and was this thing a screamer.  I blew off numerous VW’s and a couple of MGB’s while riding the Ones in Sioux City, IA.  Unfortunately, I was driving too fast on a county road and rolled it out into a corn field and it landed on its wheels.  My first job was a painter’s helper at a body shop, so I had the body shop owner jack up the crushed top and get the thing in reasonable shape and I did the final body smoothing and paint work.  Eventually, I sold the car and toyed with some sports cars (Austin Healy 1000X, boy do I wish I had that one back).  Bought a real piece of ‘you know what’ 61 Bug Convertible, which had its engine rebuilt with used parts, but it was fun.  Through the years, I’ve owned a 1965 21 Window and a 57 Oval.  Gosh, I wish I had them all back now!!

Ed: Give us a run-down on the VWs you own now.

1968 Convertible, Red with Black Top/Interior

1968 Dune Buggy – Kind of Green Metal Flake  - not running (Built a corral around it so my wife can’t see it.  See I bought this without talking to her first.)

1965 Beetle w/Sun Roof – Cream color, not running, sitting at my son’s place in Nebraska

Ed: How long have you owned your VWs?

The one I have had the longest, I picked up about 6 years ago.

I bought the 65 sun-roof from a friend (?) in Nebraska.  The 68 Convertible was an Ebay buy out of Nashville and the Dune Buggy from Freddy C. outside of Pickwick.

Ed: How about some more history?

The convertible (originally) came from around St. Louis and boy howdy… I should have pulled back more of the carpeting; and put it on a lift before buying it. Wow, was it rusty.  I have already replaced heater channels, floors, lower firewall, and firewall support, all of the front and rear quarter panels, lower door posts on both sides.  I even have had to fabricate some pieces that I could not find. It goes on and on and on. It’s a work in progress… fix rust, weld… weld… weld some more.

I love the looks of the VW’s prior to the Super Beetle (No offense to those of you that own one). I hope to finish the body work and paint next winter and get it on the road sometime next Spring or early Summer. When I finish it will be bone stock, so that we can drive it. Later, I might build a bigger engine; throw in some dropped spindles; some nice wheels tires, etc.

Ed: Any interesting stories to tell?

Spent the Summer of ’67 traveling the Midwest with a Carnival.  My older brother had a business selling T-Shirts, Sweatshirts and Huaraches Sandals (yes the Beach Boys had it right in the song Surf’n USA).  It was a very interesting time and a great education in the darker arts of salesmanship, learning Carnival speak, sleeping in cars, taking showers at High School locker rooms.  I think I ate my weight in Footlongs smothered in grilled onions. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.  Anyway, I would not trade that summer for anything, but a person would be crazy to do it today!!

Ed: Any final words?

At some point, I hope to be able to drive one of my cars to a meeting!!

Congratulations Jim!

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Mid-South Volkswagen of the Month

Rules for Eligibility:

  1. Must be a (Full) member of Mid-South VW Club.

  2. Attendance at Mid-South VW club event (s)



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