Friday, January 16, 2015

I'm a Beetle Fan

I guess I have always loved the VW Beetles. Steve and I had a new one in 1966, 1968, and 1972. After that, we switched to driving the VW Rabbit and the VW Vanagon. There was a space of time during which I drove American cars: Ford Escort and a couple of Saturns.

Then Volkswagen introduced the New Beetle in 1998. I loved the looks of them, so went for a test drive at one of the dealerships in Minneapolis. I had to wait in line to drive one! And the test drive was limited to driving on Highway 100 from the dealership to the first exit and back again. I was smitten! Right there in the shop that day, I paid my deposit of $50 and placed my order for one with any of these options: automatic or stick; leather or cloth; with or without sunroof; color: white, dark blue, or red. In other words, if a car came in with any of these particulars, I would buy it. And so I was on "the list."

That was back in May of 1998. Every Friday I would call the dealership to ask where I was on the list. I called and called, and my sales person patiently looked at the list and told me my status.

Late August of 1998 I got a call from the sales guy. "We have a red, automatic, with cloth, no sun roof that just came in. Will this work for you?" Yes! He went on to say my name hadn't really come to the top of the list, but the dealership manager instructed him to notify me when the next car arrived that fit any of my qualifications to move me to the top so that I wouldn't be calling any more. And the next week I drove to the dealership and turned in my Saturn for this gorgeous red car which I drove for 12 years and 112,000 miles.

Fast forward to 2010. I had learned VW was going to discontinue this shape Beetle and in 2012 was coming out with a more sleek model. I had seen some prototype photos of the new design and didn't care for it, so bought the last edition of the New Beetle. I really like it.

I sold my red car to a co-worker and get to see it in the parking lot nearly every day. A few times they are even parked side by side.

That brings to me 2015. On New Year's Day I discovered the headlight on the driver's side was burned out. So the next day I took it to the dealership to have it replaced. I asked that both of the headlights be replaced so I wouldn't have to be dealing with this anytime soon. While waiting for the work to be done, the service writer came into the waiting room carrying the big housing unit of the light from the passenger side. She showed my a ring around one of the parts that had cracked and informed me the technician put a tie wrap around it to hold it in place and I shouldn't have any trouble. Not so. It has since been burned out twice - each time requiring me to leave the car at the dealership and have a loaner.

Both loaners have been 2015 Passats. The first one I believe was a bare-bones model, but the one they brought me yesterday has all the bells and whistles. After work I got inside and attempted to put the key in the ignition, only to find their was no ignition. I tried and tried to put the key into an embossed spot on the steering column, but to no avail. Then I spotted the button - one like my friends Nancy and Sharon have in their cars. I pushed the button. Nothing happened. Then I recalled having driven Sharon's car a couple of times that I had to have my foot on the break prior to pushing the button. Voila! I drove home - one mile - and then had the quandary of how to turn the car off! I checked to see if I had the phone number to the dealership with me, but didn't have it. So I decided to push the button again. This worked. I'm now thinking it would be nice if they had to keep my car for the weekend so I could drive this fancy model a bit longer. We'll see . . .

No comments: