Memphis Mid-South Volkswagen Club Newsletter June 2005
Mt. View, AR May 20-22, 2005 – This was the 3rd annual show for the Ozark VW Club, but the first for Connie & me. Our club had 3 VWs entered; LaRue H’s red Westy, Richard & Robbie G’s Ghia convertible, and our Lightnin’ (Super Beetle).
Connie and I caravanned with the G’s (and 2 yr. old daughter Abby) on Friday noon’ish, while LaRue & Evelyn left that morning. It was a nice drive. I noticed a lot of improvements on Highway 64, with several passing lanes added between Marion and Bald Knob. Plus it is 4-lane all the way up 167 to Batesville. The last 35 miles to Mt. View is a twisty, but fun Highway 14. There are a few passing lanes along the way on 14, but don’t get in a hurry. The last little stretch is a couple miles south of Mt. View on Highway 9. Since we “cheated” and towed, our trucks did the “moaning” up that final mountain to John Taylor’s Laid Back Country Pickin’ Cabins/Resort. I was just starting to think all the work getting up the last slope might have been wasted if we missed the drive, when we saw the big sign. Ahhh! It only took us about 3 hrs. from West Memphis, counting rest & fuel stops. It is about 175 miles from our place near Bartlett. There, now you have all the facts so you know what to expect when you go NEXT year. OKAY?
We had reserved cabins for the stay on Friday night. So, John’s son JW immediately showed us our “digs.” Connie and I had a new cabin, done in rustic, rough sawn pine, inside and out. It wasn’t TOO rustic, though… because we also had cable TV. HA! It also had microwave and refrigerator and plenty of room. But, there’s no phone and no alarm clocks… truly laid back. Plus we also got a discount for participating in the show! Can’t beat that! Richard, Robbie and Abby’s cabin was just 20 yards away as the Armadillo walks… about 40 yards as I stumble. It was just another 50 yards to our show spot.
Friday night, we were treated a cookout, provided by the Ozark VW Club. Besides the main course of burgers and dogs, they even grilled some chicken breasts as requested by those that were dieting. YUM! I got my plug in for food! Both the club and the Taylors were very great hosts. We felt right at home… among friends. And, yes, we were very “laid back.”
At about 7 or 7:30, the Friday Night Ho-Down… uh… Hoe-Down… er …. well…. Pickin’ and uh Grinnin’ performance began. Admission? Voluntary Donation. If you missed the “kitty” on the way in, the little, white, wiry haired Jack Russell will bring around a donation kettle later on in the performance. There was lots of great singing, joke telling, dancing and clogging. Little Abby loved it… even got to dance with LaRue and her Daddy… at different times, of course. HA. LaRue did a lot of dancing… even did a headliner performance with “Nina Rogers.” Such fun, right up until closing time at about 9:30 PM. Yup… it’s been a long time since we closed a place.
Now, for breakfast on Saturday, you will need to make your own plans. However, LaRue recommended the Rainbow Café, on Hwy 14 just a block west of the junction with Hwy 9. Great food, good prices and fast service. I agree with LaRue.
We got back in plenty of time to get our VWs ready before the judging started at noon. The shade from our umbrella felt great, especially with the breeze blowing up the side of the mountain. Then, at 1 o-clock we had some wild FUN! How about a gold kart safari through the wilderness? It is a service provided by the resort for those who want to hire themselves a set of wheels. And I got to drive my own hot wheels! But Connie and I had to follow LaRue & Evelyn; and LaRue kept saying, “Eat my dust, C., you dirt biker!” It was VERY fun and I recommend it, too. The Taylors have obviously put in a lot of work building these trails, bridges, dams and clearing the overlooks. I think there were about 6-10 golf carts in this particular safari. Richard, Robbie, & Abby were up front. So they missed me rear-ending the Hart’s Kart as payback for his comments. I told him I had bad brakes.
All that bouncing made me hungry (food again), so this time, it was chili dogs and ice cream with an ice tea chaser, courtesy of the Laid Back kitchen.
Ahhh… finally thinking straight again, I realized that I hadn’t taken a close look at the swap meet area yet. I found some items in anticipation of Jungle Jim’s resto in the distant future. How about an engine fan and dog-house oil cooler for less than $20?
The awards ceremony and door prize give-aways were combined and began in the auditorium thingy at 3. The trophies were real cool; some metal loving cup style ones. We “flat landers” did pretty good. LaRue got a 2nd place in his class; Richard got a first place in Ghias; and I got a 1st place for late Bugs. Best of Show went to a nice red Baja from Texas. A couple of the nicer door prizes was a steering wheel restoration and a hi-torque starter. Believe it or not, the steering wheel restoration went to a fellow who owned a VW Trike! HA! That should be a wild one. Anyway, awards and announcements ended by 3:30, right on schedule.
A Safari Self-Portrait of the C.s
Maybe next year we will stay for Saturday night too. We ended up meeting the Greens in town, on the square after we left. Saturday night in Mt. View turns into an acoustic music festival on every corner; little clusters of folks, relaxing around musicians and singers. I wish we would have had time to stay longer. But we did get to stroll a couple of shops and enjoy a great supper at The Steakhouse on the east side of the square. Am I STILL eating?
Richard & his daughter Abby take the Trophy
LaRue’s should have been a dance trophy.
Air Bill is happy with a 1st Place
Best of Show Winner!
Anyway, all good things must end (I think), so we headed back to Big-M at 5:30 or so. Oh… dessert was some large shakes and malts at Bulldog Restaurant in Bald Knob… then it was hammer time. The flat lands and highway 64 lied ahead, as the sun set in the West. It was all good, except for the bugs that love head lights. All I can say is that I thought we were in a hale storm during the last 50 miles. I think Lightnin’ even slew some fellow Lightning Bugs! DOAH! Air Bill
1. Q: In what model year was the VW Type II Wesfalia Campmobile first available and in what model year were they first imported into the United States?
A: 1952 and 1957. The 1952’s were dealer installed kits as supplied by Westfalia. By the 1957 Year, they were coming from the Westfalia factory already installed into “Kombi” bodied Type II'’s..
2. Q: OK, name 5-things that makes a 1958 Beetle visually different, including interior changes (especially you Bobby), from a 1957 model.
A: 1. The, then, new rear big window (and a little bit larger front windshield as well), 2. New deck lid design (as well as narrower engine vents between the rear window and the deck lid), 3. Front turn signals moved up from the front of the fenders onto the top of them. 4. All new dashboard design, 5. Flat front accelerator pedal. Since this question was first composed, Bobby Barker has traded his ’58 to Rick Dieter for a non-VW camper. Rick tells me that he drives his ‘58 all the time!
3. Q: What feature on some early VW Beetles is nicknamed “crotch cooler?”
A: The vent doors that were located on the side of the body between the front fenders and doors on the 1951-’52 model.
4. Q: Where was the New Beetle designed?
A: In VW’s Simi Valley, California studio, which they set up expressly to, more accurately, be able to design cars that better appeal to American preferences, in part, by utilizing American designers. For example, a car designed for Germans, apparently, would not have cup holders and it took a while, some years back, for the Germans to understand the competitive need to put several cup holders in their American market cars.
5. Q: What model of VW that was made in Brazil was sold in the U.S.?
A: The Brazilian made VW Fox, which was sold in the U.S. from 1987 to 1993.
6. Q: Name a VW model that is not sold in the U.S. that looks like a scaled down Golf.
A: It is called a “Polo.” That name is the result of the fact that VW was in the habit of naming their models after types of wind, such as Golf” being a kind of Mediterranean Sea area wind. But, everyone that is not German, thought that that was a reference to the game. Thus, VW took that heart and the “polo” name actually is meant to be a game name.
1. What visible changes were made to the 1959 Beetle?
2. What VW model is a “Variant?”
3. Many years ago, VW went searching for the oldest VW in the U.S for them to acquire for their collection and the winner got a new VW Beetle in trade for it. In what year was that?
4. One of the famous humorous VW ads showed a Model “A” Ford next to A Beetle with the elderly original owner of both cars in between. The Caption read,”33 years later, He got the Bug.” In what year was that?
5. You have read my model car articles so what is the scale that the Viking (pronounced “Wiking”) dealership promos models were made in?
Answers next month, along with new questions.
By Herschel D.
Maistro has come out with a 1/64th scale 2004 VW Touareg (odd spelling!) I got mine at a Wal-Mart.
I wonder if any of our readers would care to research and write down a few facts about Bobby Tucker’s career as a VW repairer?
By Herschel D.
Several years ago I wrote an article about the VW electrical system. Now, I have some new information to add. First though, I will go over the pros and cons of updating to a 12-volt system vs. leaving a pre-’67 VW being 6-volt. Those of you that have known me for a number of years know that I had kept my ‘65’s electrical system as a 6-volt for a long time. I did so for several reasons. 1. I like originality. 2. It would have cost me some $200 to convert it! 3. I have owned and been around other 6-volt cars and I am still of the opinion that there is nothing really, inherently wrong with a 6-volt system. To me, the notion that 6-volt systems are somehow a “defective” design, is just a myth that pervades the old car hobby.
So, here’s the dope on the advantages and disadvantages of having 6-volts vs.12. If a 6-volt system is fully restored with the correct wire gauges, the lights will be bright and the engine starting will be easy! The downfall of 6-volts is that “volts is the “push” and 6-volts is half of the push of 12. Therefore, 6-volts gives into to dirt and oxidation sooner than does 12 volts! For that reason, alone, I do recognize that 12-volt systems are progress! But proper maintenance can amazingly overcome the deterioration enduringly! However, I do not mean the labor intensity of something like sanding each terminal as some try to do, especially since the results are rather minimal and short lasting! What really works is to use a spray formula like WD-40. The name means “Water Dispensor-40 ingredients.” It, very successfully, cuts through moister, oxidation and dirt to reestablish a much better electrical flow. The treatment lasts much longer, too! However WD-40 (which benefits 12-volt systems, too) is not a substitute for the amperage benefits of replacing old wires that have broken strands hidden underneath the insulation!
One of the things that probably leads people to believe that 6-volts is an inferior design is ignorance of wire gauges (in addition, broken strands effectively makes the gauge of wire available for unimpeded flow, smaller). If you go down to your neighborhood auto parts store and buy a new battery cable that is long enough; you will almost certainly be buying one meant for 12 volts! You see, they have a smaller diameter gauge. 6-volts systems may use anything from #2 to #0 gauges, depending upon the needed length of the cable. By the way, the lower the number, the larger the wire diameter (not counting the insulation, of course!) 12 volts systems may use #6 to #2 gauges. So don’t throw away that old worn out original (if it is the original cable) until you measure its gauge or go to a parts place that knowledgeably has a selection of gauge sizes and a chart for your particular VW. It might be different for different VW models depending upon cable length.
A VW using too small of a wire gauge is sure to be harder starting! I didn’t always know that! I learned that from a magazine about antique trucks! I did what many do, I utilized an early 1950’s Ford 6-volt starter solenoid (most American cars changed over to 12 volts during the 1950’s) as a bypass switch that did successfully let my 6-volt car start pretty reliably. But had I known about the need for a bigger gauge battery cable, I probably would not have needed the extra solenoid! In addition, even if your car is a 12-volt, if the cable has a long way to travel, you could still need to make sure your wire isn’t too small in diameter. Long cables need to be bigger in gauge. You see, the problem is that AMPS are effected by too small of a cable. A cold engine on a cold day needs a lot of amps to crank. An old cable with broken internal stands or a new cable that has too small of a gauge will not do so very well, because those conditions reduce the amperage!
Now, having said all the above pro-6-volts stuff, I can go onto the advantages of, indeed, switching a daily driven VW over to 12 volts! First is the matter of availability. If you were to want to take advantage of the fact that alternators start charging at a lower RPM, you have to go 12 volt. There are no 6-volt alternators! Then there is the availability of halogen sealed beam headlight bulbs, which are a lot brighter. Again, they don’t make them in 6-volt. In 1940, the entire U.S. automobile industry went, full-blown, over to sealed beam headlight bulbs.
Today, many think that they did so for immediately brighter lights. Actually, they were not necessarily any brighter when the car was new and compared to a new 1939 non-sealed beam bulb equipped car! However, converting, say, a 1930 car, to 1940 sealed beams may, indeed, yield a greater brightness, in part, because those cars did not have voltage regulars. They had “cut-outs” which, meant the brightness being effected by engine speed! Also, the 10-year further development of brightness intensity (wattage) is a factor.
Some years ago I asked racing enthusiast, Gary W., who had worked at a VW dealership in the mid-1960’s if he had noticed the lights of the new 1967 12-volt cars being any noticeably brighter than the remaining unsold 6-volt 1966’s. He said that he does not think that they visually seemed any brighter, although he did surmise that a voltmeter test might have, nevertheless, registered a higher reading on the 12’s (which I think could have been nothing more than an improvement in the 12 volt generator’s charging rate, though. Even the 6-volt generator got steady improvements on that through the years!).
So, the real reason was the fact that, unsealed beam headlights get dimmer when the rubber seal breaks down with age and moisture and dirt get in. Sealed beams, long term, avoid that! In fact, today’s halogen bulb non-sealed beam halogen lights have gone back to that problem! Of course, there is the problem of proper ground too. Even sealed beam 12 volts get quite dim if the ground wire is bad or poorly connected. You can usually tell that, that is the case when you see one light burning overly bright and the other dim. If it is just a moisture problem in the headlight problem, usually one light is dim while the other is normal. Last, but not least, if you want a high watt CD player stereo you know you gotta go 12 volt!
So, why did 6-volt stalwart, Herschel, finally go 12-volt? Well, in the first place, when my old 12 year old, 6-volt, 1200, 40-horse motor died, it did so about the time that the interstate speed limit had gone up from 55 to 70. So, all of a sudden, the fact that my car could slow down to 50 MPH on some steep interstate inclines started to matter! So I decided to upgrade to more power since my car is a daily driver! Obviously, it also did not make any sense to power a 1600, 60-horse dual port motor with 6-volts. In addition, as described above, I wanted to have the lower RPM charging ability of an alternator, the extra brightness of halogen sealed beam headlights, and the cost of changing over to 12-volts was, very conveniently, mostly built into the price of the motor change-out itself.
Note to other newsletter editors, you are welcome to reprint this article, but please do so with acknowledgement of its source.
Next month, “The Future of the VW Hobby.”
That was an excellent article, Herschel. A “Mister Wizard” slant on this is that it boils down to electrical power (wattage). Wattage is simply the system voltage multiplied by the current (AMPS). So, a 6-volt system requires TWICE as much current flowing as a 12-volt one, to produce the same amount of power. That is why you need to be so attentive to wire size (bigger) and good connections in a 6-volt system… lots of current needs to flow. Comparatively, 12-volt systems use a lower current for the same power. Did I make it worse?
VOL. 15, NO. 12 Dedicated to ALL VW Models! JUNE 2005
(Pronounced – “Dahs Muhnstook,” meaning – “The Mouthpiece.”)
-Bill C. -
We had a great turn-out for our meeting- get together last month; perhaps the best in a while. The raffle helped our general fund out too. Even great weather for our after meeting, parking lot time.
But thank goodness for Father’s Day. I’m pooped! 3 car shows, 5 nights of motels, and 1,660 miles of Bug trailer hauling since our latest edition. My Visa card is ready for a vacation too! Now, I need to start on that Honey-Do-List.
Speaking of lists; is your name on the list? I hope you plan on taking part in one or all of our “Herbie Fully Loaded Day” events (Show & Shine, Burger Cruise, and Drive-In Movie) (see Pg. 5). I have been emailing our members, but some of this may be news to those of you without Internet connectivity. It should be a “cake walk.” Knowwhattamean Vern?
Before I forget this, I wanted to be sure everybody knows. We discontinued the practice of including member business cards in our newsletter several months ago, or longer. This was strictly due to space requirements. So, “by the book,” the only way to get a business card or other ad is by becoming a trophy sponsor for our Annual VWs Over Memphis Car Show or by purchasing the space on a month-to-month basis. Just to clear any confusion.
We all hope to see you at our monthly get together on TUE, JUN 21 and the Herbie Day on SAT, JUN 25.
Don’t be a stranger!