Memphis Mid-South Volkswagen Club Newsletter September 2005
James (Jim) William J.
2nd Annual Fix & Tune Day
Roy Rogers Foreign Car Parts, SAT AUG 20,2005 – The forecast for heat had me, and probably others, a little concerned for our annual fix & tune day. So, wisely, we prepared; with canopies, cold drinks, fans, and the contingency to cool down in the cold air conditioning of Ray Glass’ Roy Roger store. I was fully outfitted in my “Richard Simons head band” and exposed knee shorts. Our prayers were answered with a rather stout southern wind most of the day; so much so that we had to secure some canopies to keep them from blowing over the building. Ahhhh… is all I could say.
Only about half of the members who signed up for technical assistance showed up. Again, I am sure it was the heat. Maybe we can move this later in the year, next time.
Jim J. “doing surgery” on the steering column.
Ron S. brought Nancy’s white Beetle convertible, with multiple electrical issues. His regular mechanic had sworn off trying to find his problems; something about “no more hair.” Just to share in the weirdness, we traced a dead right tail light (and also license plate light) all the way to the fuse panel. There, I found that the female spade connector from the fuse had broken. Check.. got that one. The next one was easy enough to troubleshoot, but a pain to fix. The windshield wipers would intermittently start up while driving down the road. I found I could hit the steering column with my fist and boom, they would cycle. That one was a distorted wiper switch. So we bought what we thought was a replacement. However, after we took turns putting things back together, the replacement was a 4-position (?) instead of the proper 3-position one. Now it had some sort of (intended) intermittent position and was still going crazy. I am convinced the first switch was bad, but now, the new one was introducing a new set of symptoms, albeit similar to the original one. By this point in time, I think Ron had seen all the VW wiring he wanted for the day. So, we had to “design a work-around.” No, I am NOT putting it in print! (smile). Nancy finally got that new white convertible boot that they have been looking for. So, Ron & I volunteered to install the snaps, etc., for the final task of the day. Ron graciously donated $50 to the show fund… and I gladly accepted. I’m glad I had a chance to work on this one with Jim J.. I will cherish that memory. And thanks to Ron S. for letting me help with the top.
How is Ron S. staying so clean?
Ron S. also brought his white Beetle convertible. It had “dropped-dead-on-the-road” on his way home from the Herbie Day festival and had to be tow-barred in. A quick check with an inductive timing light proved our suspicions to be true… no ignition spark. Since it had been a while since a tune-up, Ron elected to, first, try the points and condenser, since they were a lot cheaper than a new coil. Yup, that was the ticket! However, Beetles being Beetles, now the carburetor had a dead spot coming off idle. He had plenty of hands tweaking on the carb, perhaps to disadvantage. Anyway, I think it was doing fine by the time the cooks were finished in the kitchen.
Rick D. supervises as he waits his turn.
Speaking of white Beetle convertibles, Harold W. brought his too. But he didn’t need anything fixed, so he and his grandchild offered moral support. He’s a proud Grandfather.
Ricky B. already knew that his blue ’56 Oval window Beetle needed a tune up. So he enlisted a few good men to help him convert it to a Pertronix system. There was a thought that the new cam was the wrong size for the 009 distributor shaft. Ray G. convinced them, however, that they just weren’t using a big enough hammer. Yuppers; that is all it took!
Martin Key, the Bulldog, guards the back door while Rob Hardin assists with some distributor work.
Richard G. drove his Karman Ghia convertible in to see about getting a rear end noise diagnosed. He was afraid he had a wheel bearing going out. Nope. Turns out that big old axle nut was starting to come loose. Got it all torqued up and he was ready to go. I’m sure Rich was very relieved over that one. I know I would be.
I think the final one of the day was Ron P.’s (can I nickname it?) “Rat Rod.” He needed help diagnosing an alternator problem. He got his answer and planned to fix or have it fixed later.
Other members who turned out with their VWs (as listed) to either show, help out, or lend support were:
· Rick D. – ’58 Ragtop Beetle
· Tim (& Martin) K. – Thing
· Wendy C. – “Pearl” the Super Beetle (with a new motor!
· Jim J.
· Rob H.
· Richard D.
Hope I didn’t miss anybody; a mind is a terrible thing… to lose!
However, I didn’t totally escape without dropping a few more dollars. Ray had a rear disc brake conversion kit in stock that I had been looking for. So I provided him some extra shelf space by buying it for Verty. It was nice to see Mike Glass again, as he was helping at the parts counter.
Bobby arrived a little earlier than expected, so we ended up having our show meeting right there on the parking lot. I was SO looking forward to sneaking some CiCi’s pizza into my diet; not to be. I might add, you need to save some money up for the show raffle on OCT 8. We will be raffling off one of those giant, white & lime, Remote Control VW Busses that you may have seen at Wal-Mart as part of the Herbie promotion. I cannot remember the scale, but this thing is huge, like 2 feet or longer. Jim J. donated this item.
And what day would be complete without hitting up your sponsor for some show sponsorships? Thanks, Ray Glass, you came through for us again. 3 SPONSORSHIPS! Please remember that when you need VW stuff and support our sponsors!
That was all the excitement I could stand for one day. So, after loading up all my junk, I grabbed another Gatorade out of the cooler and headed north. I think I lost about 4 pounds of fluid. But it was worth it (I had been “retaining.”)
3707 Hickory Hill
Memphis, TN 38115
4752 Yale Rd.
Memphis, TN 38128
Mike “Henry” Hendrix
or ask for Chip Oakley
888-382-7214 Toll Free
Porsche Carrera GTs– Don’t be looking for any new (2006) GTs in the U.S. That is when legislation kicks in, requiring 2-stage airbags. With only 200 slated for the our showrooms, Porsche could not make good business sense of re-engineering the airbag system for certification and CRASH testing. Yes, that’s right, they would have to crash GTs, just to test the new airbags. NHTSA denied their request for a waiver.
6th Generation Passat – New for 2006, the Gen-6 Passat has recently hit showrooms. Car magazine writers have good things to say about it; such things as “… as handsome a design as any… even higher level of interior refinement ... more elegantly shaped skin.”
For about the same cash as a 2005, you get more Passat this year. It is 3 inches longer and wider, with over a cubic foot more space for passengers. Though rear seat folks gain more legroom, there is a slight loss in truck space and front seat headroom.
Like the New Beetle, the 1.8T is gone, replaced by a 2.0T (Turbo) 4-cylinder; it picks up 30 HP & 41 ft-lb of torque over the 1.8T, putting it at 200 HP & 207 ft-lbs. This is the only engine option until later in the year. It comes standard, hooked to a 6-speed manual or an optional 6-speed Triptronic.
Later in the year, a new 3.6L V6 version (280 HP) will be released. However, a manual transmission will not be available. So the 6-speed Triptronic will be the standard offering. Promised acceleration is in the area of 0-60 mpg in 6.6 seconds.
With a wider track (1.5”), 57% increase in torsional resistance, and new suspension (MacPherson front and 4-link rear) has improved handling considerably.
Price? Value Edition starts at $23,565 (destination included). The V6 model, coming later, should be about $30,565. Get out your piggy bank!
Golf Based SUV – Ooops! Don’t look for a reveal of this SUV at the Frankfurt motor show this year. Though it was scheduled, word has it that there is concern that it will require a major redesign before it goes into production.
Seems like a long time ago, when gasoline was just $2.559 per gallon. But, that was still bad enough that yours truly had to putt-putt-putt along at or below the speed limit. I managed to accomplish a whopping 14-mpg, pulling Lightning on a single axle trailer (My Hobby Hauler). Pretty bad, huh? But, we made it.
We even made a side trip to Branson on the way and took in a show; Pierce Arrow. The comedian was my favorite act. He had me crying from laughter. Oh. Yeh, I had some fattening food too.
The event schedule was the same this year. After checking in at the host motel (Best Western of the Ozarks), I parked Lightning in a spot at the convention center lot, got my paperwork. Then it was time to get cleaned up all pretty with my best club t-shirt in anticipation of the big Friday night cookout for show contestants. Unlike years past, I think the weather was more “normal.” Tables near one of the few ceiling fans were at a premium. Where was my battery-operated fan!? We shared our table with fellow members Carole & Roger Foster and also Helen & Don Smith of NEAVF. The food was great; and the ice cream was even better, so coolingly refreshing. Speaking of that, the Fosters DROVE their vintage ’61 Beetle 333 miles, from Southaven, MS.. with NO AC! The pioneer spirit!
Lots of folks do their VW detailing the night before. I must admit, the lot was not as full at this time as in the past. Maybe folks were more laid back because of the new winner selection this year.
This is the first year the judging aspect was bent more towards a “fun” show. Hopefully I will get this correct; here is how it was set up.
· All the Karmann Ghias were in a separate group, because of this being their 50th anniversary and all.
· Other than that, all the other VWs were in one group.
· When you registered, you were given one ballot, with spaces for your favorite Ghia and 3 spaces for your favorites among the other VWs.
· You had until noon on show day to turn in your ballot, at which time you received your show shirt.
· Here is the part on which I am a little sketchy regarding the total number of trophies.
§ For sure, there was one trophy for favorite Ghia; a black convertible.
§ I believe there was one for Hot VW editor pick. I think this one went to the Hebmuller.
§ Then, 8 awards to the winners of the balloting (“favorite 3”).
We will talk about the winners later.
It was good that the lot was not full yet (FRI). That is because a couple of VW folks were married that night and then had their reception in the Convention Center. Check out the back glass of the green Type 3 Squareback.
During show day, things (pun) picked up. There’s more on that in the next paragraph. Anyway, I stopped by the registration tent to ask a question about voting. I noticed the next entry form showed there were already 224+ registered entries. Not too shabby, considering fuel prices, which probably kept some folks from attending. But, the lot was packed, VWs even parking in the driveway space. Now, onto “things.”
One of my favorite picks was a yellow “monster” Type 181 Thing (Entry #143). The owner recently completed it and was glad to talk to me about it. He took pieces from 3 “totaled” Things and built it on a full tubular frame. “No Things were harmed in the construction of this monster.”
Entry #143 (One of the winners)
It has the lowest gearing available to turn those big foot tires. A peek at the engine revealed what looked to be a Type 4 engine. I later noticed in the picture that there is something extra in there. Is that an A/C compressor? I love the engineering!
Oooops! But before we get to that… t’was another good year for VW goodies and apparel. Connie and I loaded up at Dave Osborne’s “LOGOS to GO” shirt booth… great creations. And, of course, I treated Verty to some H4 headlamps and new vent window pivots; all at great show prices! Yeh!
That left us plenty of time before the afternoon parade to have a great lunch at Myrtie Maes (sp.), the restaurant in the host motel.
I hope the lady parked next to me, from Louisiana, in the green New Beetle came out okay at home. She had to load up early and go home. She said, “A lady named Katrina was causing problems.” Little did I know how serious it would be. This particular contestant lived north of New Orleans and also had a 5th wheel home south of the Big Easy. I can only imagine. This was no false alarm.
Ron Parker’s “Rat Rod”
Being gentle, this year, the parade was, likewise, “interesting.” I was near the back, again. I thought everything was going pretty good, until about 2/3 the way to downtown, we suddenly were stopping for long periods, repeatedly. I think it might have been due to tourist traffic. Somehow, a string of “civilian” vehicles snuck onto the parade route, going the OPPOSITE DIRECTION! That is all it took on the narrow streets. Whew! Before it was over, oil temps were max’ing out. Lightning performed fine (no rubber chicken).
But I heard a group towards the front got split off and lost. Don & Helen Smith, in their New Beetle, were in that group. I heard they ended up on a gravel road somewhere. Past the downtown section, near the RR station, sure enough, here comes a bunch of parade VWs off a side road. Don & Helen ended up at the back of the parade, way behind us. Rumor has it that the front of the procession was moving pretty fast and evidentially the followers lost site and missed a turn. Maybe the spectators thought the parade was over and unknowingly headed out onto the parade route. … Maybe, maybe, maybe, & perhaps…. (smile) Oh well, makes for interesting writing and tall tales.
A Winning Entry
The trophies were very unique; medium to large sized ceramics with a spiral mountain road and a Beetle at the top. As logistics go, there was a slight problem. The local artist was only able to get 2 of them to the ceremony in time. So, they were to be shipped to the rest of the winners. Sorry, I couldn’t get close enough for a decent picture. You will have to believe me or check out the site later.
The Winning Ghia
After a day in the heat and sun, how about a dip in the pool? Yes, Don Smith and I managed to keep from embarrassing ourselves too much. Some of the teenagers from NEAVF were laughing about something though. I’m sure it wasn’t us.
Type-3 with the Winning Votes
The Paint Graphics on this New Beetle was a crowd pleaser, down to the red-eyed green tree frog on the rear view mirror.
We finally had to called it an evening after some fans mistook us for members of the U.S. Olympics Swim Team. It was sort of tiring, signing the autographs and all. We managed to escape intact. It was a “fun tired.”
We couldn’t stay for the Tourcade. So, Sunday, was breakfast at Myrtie Maes, a few hellos and goodbyes to VW friends. With Lightnin’ fully packed and strapped onto my “Hobby Hauler,” and the truck bulging with bags and boxes, we turned her into the rising sun and headed for the Volunteer State … at a slow rate of fuel consumption, I might add.
Happy Trails to youuuuuu!
The Fosters’ Beautiful & Reliable ‘61
-Bill C. -
Check out the headline page (1). This has been a tough couple of months on our club. It is definitely not the kind of news I enjoy sharing. Just remember to show your love and share your love while you are at this one little dot in eternity.
Between late summer shows, we have been working hard to get ready for our own big show on OCT 8 (see page 6). Our sponsorships have been slowly growing. If you are signed up for a sponsorship or have gathered some, please be sure to send the money to the address on the form as soon as possible. It was due early this month, but we never turn down a sponsor! We are also in need of items for door prize drawings. Contact Bobby B. or me for either of these needs.
Also, can you help out at the show? We are still recruiting workers; setup, tear down, parking, clean up, digital photography (for newsletter and web site), other. We could also use some experienced VW show judges. Contact Ron S. or me if you can & will help.
If you get this in time, this is also a reminder that the Jonesboro VW show is THIS Saturday at the Indian Shopping Mall. Nice and close, all VW, and 4-lane all the way from Memphis. Please help support the NE Arkansas Volks Folks (NEAVF). Also, OCT 1 is the annual VW Show for the Conway-Little Rock club (Central Arkansas Volks Folks) at Toad Suck Park. See page 6 for more info on these.
So, look for good news next month. We will have 2 or 3 shows to chat about and cool weather to work on our Bugs & Busses. Hope to see your shining faces at our next meeting on SEP 20.