VW Beetle Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For all the good it will do, if any, I sent an E-mail to Mid America Motorworks, a longtime supplier of aftermarket parts for old-school air-cooled Beetles, urging them to accomodate water-cooled Beetle enthusiasts as well. They have enough air-cooled parts available that you could practically build a brand new old-style Beetle from the ground up, but they ignore New Beetles.

As our cars get older, someone is going to have to make parts available, and MAM could either jump on this or choose to continue to ignore us. They used to carry a limited number of NB parts, but stopped about 10-11 years ago, and I've never fully understood why.

I attempted to provide a link so you could see the contents of the letter itself, but it didn't work, but trust me: I got my message across, and it felt good. If anyone here would like to read it, I can send it in its entirety. I just didn't want to turn this post into a small novel........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,842 Posts
I used them; to buy parts, restore a Super Beetle and I too, remember them carrying some New Beetle parts and accessories (mainly accessories). Their customer service at the time; was not particularly friendly or helpful and their prices were (are) high but they pretty much had EVERYTHING and some neat items, other vendors didn't seem to have. I used them and West Coast Metric; I looked at WCM website recently, they seemed to have stopped making or selling New Beetle accessories as well. Maybe they would also; be another vendor to contact about selling New Beetle parts, seeing how they actually MAKE/REPRODUCE parts themselves, so we should probably ask them to help us New Beetle folks out! :) I think it would be good; to bring up parts, that are being discontinued and not available from the dealer anymore, that is where WCM really shines!

Check them out here: https://www.westcoastmetric.com/index.php
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This reverts back to the fact that our cars get no respect. One guy, another Orger I saw at the Funfest a couple of weeks back, said it eloquently: The New Beetle is the bastard child of Volkswagen. The die-hard air-cooled guys don't like them because they're harder to work on, and the water-cooled kids with their pimped Golfs, GTIs, Jettas, Audis, etc dismiss them as uncool "chick cars."

I love 1998+ Beetles BECAUSE they are updated and far more dependable than the old air-cooleds. Since I'm not a DIYer anyway, I take mine to the dealership for everything. Try to find a tech at a dealer or otherwise that was even born when the last air-cooled Beetles were in showrooms here.
 

·
5/23/10 <3
Joined
·
11,417 Posts
As our cars get older, someone is going to have to make parts available, and MAM could either jump on this or choose to continue to ignore us. They used to carry a limited number of NB parts, but stopped about 10-11 years ago, and I've never fully understood why.
They probably weren't selling enough to make it worth it to keep selling the NB stuff. I know it happened to a shop around here too. They were very specialized with the aircooled parts (and did pretty well for awhile with it). They added some watercooled stuff but never really sold that much of it. So they didn't really keep it supported much. Plus, they just couldn't compete with all the online retailers that popped up with parts.

Not sure what parts you're talking about. Plenty of places sell parts for the NB now. Body parts? Yeah, those can be tougher to come by, but anything else is pretty much sold through at least one outlet, if not several.

I do feel your pain on the issue. We have an '84 Jetta that can be tough to find parts for. Plenty of stuff for the Rabbits, convertibles, and pickups, but the Jettas are fairly forgotten for some parts. And it sucks. But we do what we can. We've rebuilt the engine and are finishing up with wiring and body stuff hopefully in the next year. If its something NB specific that you can get a lot of people to want, you can probably request that from a company (for example, we are trying to get a company to repop the rear window seal on the Jetta - no one makes it now and the Rabbit seal isn't the same). But just saying "sell stuff for our car" may not work well. They need to know there is a market in order to stock the parts and take the time to try to sell it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess what I'm looking to see is a supplier that will enable someone with, say, a 1998 or 2000 NB to be able to restore it to new condition in the year 2020 or 2040 with every part imaginable, just like MAM does for air-cooled Beetles.

That's odd that Jetta stuff would be hard to come by even if the model in question is 30 years old because that's the biggest-selling VW in the US.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
I believe it was Rocky Mt Motorworks that had gobs of New Beetle stuff. Mid America bought them out and sold some of the stuff for awhile and things dried up as the New Beetle novelty wore off. And that 's what it amounts to I guess. VW hurried it into production and reliability issues cropped up along with the expense of maintaining them. Some day I hope to see a resurgence for these cars, seems I don't see very many '06 and up '' Classic?'' New Beetles. For me its starting to hark of my air cooled times as I have had four Newbee's now. I like them and the ORG will keep them alive. Perhaps the first place that should start tooling up for us may be West Coast Metric, We could use headlight gaskets and rear window rubber. The other day I pulled the knob from my heat control and the rubber ring came out in pieces. I see an awful trend in my area of scrapping cars and anything disappears to the recycler for cash. New Beetles are disappearing and you don't even realize it. Since it is the 98 - 02 (I feel)that sold the most of. Get ready to see Newbee's fewer and farther between. Punch Bug used to be played by my sister and I on the way to Tenn in my youth. Hundreds we counted along the way. We have become a throw away society - led to this thinking by our own government.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Believe me, what you said does concern me, and the old school car buffs, air-cooled Beetle people or otherwise, don't help by repeatedly claiming that no cars built after about 1985 will EVER become classics. From 1998-2010, the number of NBs sold here was 477K and change, and so far, about 90K 2012+ Beetles have sold. Neither is anywhere near the 21.5 Million original Beetles that were built from 1938-2003, but at the same time, even if as much as half of all the 477K NBs are now in the graveyard, I would bet there are still more of them on the road now than there are original Bugs still in service. Consumer Reports, a heavily Japanese-biased publication for decades, has indeed given John Q Public the perception that VW builds unreliable cars, but what baffles me is the fact that even the worst-rated cars of the past 15 or 20 years are still like a luxurious trouble-free Cadillac or Lexus compared to the old air-cooled Beetles. Therefore, it is still baffling to me why the New Beetle's fanfare died off after just 2-3 years and how so many owners of these cars don't think they're anything special, even the high school cheerleaders and college chicks that thought they were "cute."

I was a Beetle guy from way back. I grew up in a '57 Oval as a little kid in the 60s and had several other air-cooled Bugs into the 80s, but once I bought a '96 Golf and eventually got a NB, I'll never set foot in an archaic air-cooled VW again, and I thought that once the NB came out back in 1998, there would be hundreds of thousands of people, especially those who once had air-cooled VWs, especially Beetles, that would be buying these cars and keeping them maintained forever, but it sure didn't turn out that way.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,834 Posts
When I first got into VWs, in 2002, they did carry a fair offerings of NB things. As I got the catalogs, there were less and less, until there was nothing.


If they were smart, they would not ignore us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
Reminds me of the 70's van movement. Thousands of people radically customized vans. They had get togethers, shows etc.. It died off , minivans came out and the sold by the millions - but there is no movement to customize them, this puzzles the heck out of me. They are cheap, they are everywhere. Perhaps the Newbee's fall into a similar trap. Today's people don't want to repair and take pride in their things, like a baby dropping its rattle for a newer one. That is exactly why VW hyped up that they were getting rid of Newbee's but a year later had revamped it to the current body style. If they didn't create the '' NEED '' It would have just been '' Beetle gets an update''
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I first got into VWs, in 2002, they did carry a fair offerings of NB things. As I got the catalogs, there were less and less, until there was nothing.


If they were smart, they would not ignore us.
Yeah, one thing I said in the letter to MAM was that it made no sense that someone could get parts for a car that hasn't been sold since Jimmy Carter was President while nothing is offered for those who have progressed to water-cooled Beetles that have now been around for 16 years. Just like someone who can build a "brand new" air-cooled Bug from practically scratch, those of us with NBs should have the same opportunity. Until these suppliers wake up and smell the coffee by realizing not only NB people need to be recognized, but also anyone who may view something like a 1987 Ford Taurus or Dodge Omni as a classic will have to resort to 3D printing, which I suspect would be quite expensive.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A follow-up to this: I got a reply, and from the president of Mid-America Motorworks, Michael Yager.

He said that when they carried NB parts years ago, they had "great difficulty" penetrating the market, whatever that means.

I can speculate one of two things: They either had such a huge air-cooled customer base that nobody bothered to order anything for NBs, or MAM simply took it upon themselves to stop carrying parts once the NB's fanfare wore off and just stick with air-cooled stuff. Or both.

He did say they would "keep an eye" on the market for water-cooled Beetle stuff.

I still think their sales and revenue would greatly increase if they carried stuff for us.......and maybe, just maybe.... the air-cooled people would even start respecting today's Beetles to boot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
There was a company here online that sold Newbee accessories (TVA) Even he has given up on supplying us, He posted here about a year ago re the very issue.. My Personal opinion is that we aren't new enough for the accessories and not old enough for the aftermarket. Here is the link but they have been down about a year http://www.aiwana.com/beetlebits.htm Even he had a supplier though and I have seen this or that still available through ebay - if you know what to search for. Here is an example :http://www.ebay.com/itm/VOLKSWAGE-B...Parts_Accessories&hash=item2c855f2630&vxp=mtr
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Yeah, I remember TVA very well. They had a lot of cool stuff and just disappeared.. :( The website is still up, but you can't order anything. I did find another company caled Bugsgogo, but they're in Japan, and the Google translator into English makes their ads look like they were written by 2nd graders. You also have to convert Yen into US dollars.

You make a good point above: Our cars are now too old and past the intial fanfare of cool accessories but still too young to be viewed as vintage, but it still blows me away how someone can get something like electronic ignition for a car built during the Vietnam war, but someone with a 98 or 99 NB is already finding that some of their replacement parts are now obsolete. :mad:

I like the idea of starting a "Vintage NB" parts database right here on the Org. So much so that I'm thinking of asking the Admin. ;) I also may E-mail VW and urge them to carry factory stock parts for a lot longer than I think the 10 years that the Feds require. I actually thought that was going to happen when they announced they would start selling "economy parts" for all VWs, but it's just a limited number of items, and I suspect that you'd still have a hell of a time trying to find something for, say, a 1994 Passat or a 1987 Jetta. Or... a 1998 New Beetle.

I like it when I see beautifully-restored cars that most don't think about. For example, I saw someone in an immaculate Toyota Celica, complete with collector plates, from about 1990 the other day. I even saw a 20+ year old Saturn on a lot that looked like it just rolled out of the showroom. Those of us in NBs and even later 21st Century Beetles, and people like Smileybug above with their 1984 Jettas, plus the previous examples, are the aftermarket customers of the future, and suppliers need to realize this. It's not fair for these decision-makers to essentially tell people like us, "Well, you're SOL, because there's no demand for you types."

If I want a Quarter-Pounder WITHOUT cheese at McDonalds, I should be able to get one, you know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
i found some old Rocky Mt catalogs as well as some earlier Mid America , but there was no Newbee stuff. Now that I think about it there was a separate company that put out New Beetle stuff but I don't seem to have an old catalog
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If I remember, Rocky Mtn was strictly air-cooled, and Mid-America bought them out sometime in either the late 1990s or early 2000s. Mid America has catered to Corvettes as well for years, but unlike Beetles, where they have chosen to ignore anything that isn't an ancient air-cooled, they have 60 years worth of stuff for Vettes from their beginning in the 1950s all the way up to the present day. :mad:

TVA was awesome back in the day, and it's really sad that they have folded. I have an aluminum bud vase I got from them back in 2009. Now you can't find those anywhere.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top