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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Where is home? Here, on the Org. I just got verbally ripped to shreds over in the air-cooled section of the Tex for DARING to say that water-cooled Beetles were just as much a part of the Beetle family as the old-school ones! And I thought this seemingly ages-old division was beginning to let up. I was attempting to ask who I presumed to be air-cooled experts to provide an educated, realistic guess as to how many air-cooled Beetles are still in service worldwide. I was doing this to try to acquire an understanding of why the aftermarket places that cater to "classic" VWS ignores New Beetles, particularly Mid-America Motorworks out of Effingham, Illinois, especially in light of the fact that they once carried parts but stopped suddenly about 10 years ago. And from the ensuing responses, one would think think I just asked why everyone isn't into worshipping Satan.

This left a very sour taste in my mouth, and further advances my determination to not only participate in any water-cooled-specific Beetle event I can, but also to get as many Average Joes and Josephines out there that drive these cars to realize what they have. If I have to recruit one water Beetle club member a year at a time, I'm going to do it!
 

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I have not been to the 'tex in years. I don't even remember my username, let alone my password. The hostile environment there is tolerated by the admins, and that doesn't fly with me.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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I think you tend to view disagreement as being "ripped to shreds". I'm really not sure why you keep posting over there like you do. You get the same responses and then get upset about it.

People have different opinions. And they tend to express those. The New Beetle IS NOT the same as the aircooled. Yes, they share a heritage, but the NB is much more a Golf or Jetta than anything else. They are different cars. Unfortunately, they aren't similar enough to a Golf or Jetta and tend to get left out...the other VWs of the same generation are nicer cars at times. But it is what it is. Also, saying that they aren't on the same level does not equal hatred or ignorance. Its all preference.

I love the NB still. I really do. But I realize that they are different animals.

The classic aircooled suppliers probably don't supply the parts for New Beetles because they are very different cars and places like GermanAutoParts, ECS Tuning, 1stvwparts, etc. carry water cooled parts.

I think maybe those in the thread maybe responded a bit harshly, but only in the way they said things, not what they said in general.

As I posted there as well at the end of my post, please, keep your passion for the NB. I think its great. Passion for anything is great. But don't expect everyone to share it. I don't expect other VW fans to love the NB the way I do. I don't expect them to love the mk1 the way I do. And they don't expect me to love the Corrado the way some do, or the Passat, etc.


I dunno. Maybe I'm just odd. But I don't find too much of a problem with the Tex. I tend to say out of the mk4 forums. But I get a lot of great information there. I ignore those who are idiots, of which there are certainly many. But in that large of a group, its not a surprise. There have been some unsavory characters here over the years starting fights, etc. They are everywhere. We've gotten rid of them here. But the Tex is huge and there really aren't enough mods and admins to take care of things like we can here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Smileybug (Rockerchick): It's one thing to disagree. You and I have had some differences in the past, but we, as well as others here on the Org, express them in a civil manner. Besides, I may meet you in May at ToD, if I can pull it off. :D I'm really a nice guy, and nobody likes to be slammed. I've never been to the MK IV boards, but I'll take your word for it.

I too realize the original and NB/12+ are different animals, but they are still all Beetles, just as a 2008 Mini Cooper and a 1967 Mini Cooper are both Minis.

I'm curious here: Those other suppliers you named, such as German Auto Parts, ECS, First VW, do they carry replicas of stock parts or just stuff to modify water-cooleds? I don't know whether you've stumbled onto another thread I started here a while back called "Future classics or planned obsolescence," but I'm concerned about old-school people (and not just VW people, either) claiming that once computer modules fry, modern cars will be scrapped and therefore nothing built past the 1980s will ever be restored. As you know, I want to see 1998 New Beetles at shows 20-30 years from now, and not trailered in, either........I've had mixed responses on this, from "There's no way today's cars will become classics" to "Sure, someone will be able to reproduce a computer." The lead tech at my local dealership even said that the only way a modern VW's computer would ever fry is if the car was submerged in water, but I don't know enough about them to speculate.
 

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My 1981 Cadillac is a computer-controlled, fuel injected car. I can walk into any parts store, or log onto rockauto.com and get a computer for it. Same for the electronic climate control module. If there is a demand for parts, manufacturers will sell them.

The NB was a niche vehicle when it was new. It will always have that status. I will say, they are disappearing from the roads RAPIDLY as repair/maintenance costs exceed the worth of the vehicle. I'm sure others have noticed this trend.
 

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They stock OEM and aftermarket parts for repair, etc. Along with modifications. There are a lot of suppliers out there for the newer VW's. They just might not also sell aircooled parts, or visa versa.

And yes, they may both be called Minis, but they aren't the same thing at all. Very different cars. Same as with the Beetle and New Beetle, etc.

Electronics aren't going to be for the faint of heart to keep up with. We are working on fixing some of the wiring in our mk1 and its been a challenge finding the parts to do that. And its a diesel, so barely any wiring. Luckily, we found another supplier for some of the terminals, but most people convert to newer wiring vs. fixing what is there. Which is a pain. Anyone who will be keeping up these newer cars will have a lot of work to keep them running, no doubt. I'm not sure I'd be doing the same thing as we are with our mk1 with a mk4 down the road. It would be much easier to just get a newer car. The mk4's take enough effort to stay on the road as it is...not sure I'd want to be tinkering with one in 20 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My 1981 Cadillac is a computer-controlled, fuel injected car. I can walk into any parts store, or log onto rockauto.com and get a computer for it. Same for the electronic climate control module. If there is a demand for parts, manufacturers will sell them.

The NB was a niche vehicle when it was new. It will always have that status. I will say, they are disappearing from the roads RAPIDLY as repair/maintenance costs exceed the worth of the vehicle. I'm sure others have noticed this trend.
I see hundreds every week, and I live in "Ford n Chevy" country! I just hope that NB parts will have an adequate demand or be interchageable with Golf/Jetta electronics, especially since Jettas are VW's best seller in the US. Or, that what I propose to do wouldn't be akin to paying for a NB 3times........but if it is, it is, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And yes, they may both be called Minis, but they aren't the same thing at all. Very different cars. Same as with the Beetle and New Beetle, etc.
I just came up with this and I this hope explains what I'm trying to say:

AC/DC, the rock band, had a completely different sound when Bon Scott sang with them as opposed to Brian Johnson. But in either form, the band was and still is AC/DC. Yes, if you're a fan, you can have a preference of one singer over the other, but to say that AC/DC isn't AC/DC unless it's the old stuff with Bon Scott is essentially what those guys on the Tex were doing with air vs water Bugs.
 

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Not sure that's the best comparison. Yes, you can change one member of a band and it's still the same band in general, but most things are still the same. If you take AC/DC and change all the members and they still perform the music, is it still AC/DC? Or is it a tribute band ;). Honestly, the new Beetle did just that. Nothing is shared other than the name, and even that isn't really shared due to adding "new" in front of it.

As stated, the NB isn't an air cooled Beetle. They are two very different cars. Yes, the NB was meant to carry on the tradition but times have changed. I have to side more with the Tex folks. Now, that doesn't mean that people can't love both cars that they can't all be a part of the same show (Bugout for example) but they are still very different cars. And I feel like this is where you are stuck.

(If you haven't heard of Bugout, you should look into it. It's been years since I went but it was a great show focused mostly on air cooled bugs, but there was a great showing of NBs when I was there in '06)

The air vs water debate isn't just exclusive to the Beetle either. There are some die hard folks out there who don't like any water cooled vw vs the air cooled. And that's fine. We all have our preferences.

I don't think you are going to be convincing those die hards any time soon.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Pat you went into a pack of dogs wearing milk-bone underwear :eek:.

The tex is great for technical info; for social conversation...not so much in the cordial dept.

Mid-America got out of the nB biz, due to lack of interest/sales in their product. Their inventory was turning very slow and was becoming dead money. They had to sell their inventory at clearence: basically DWG discontinued when gone.

I think your latter statement in post#1 hit the mark. We have to stir the passion amongst those who are nB 12+ owners. It's amazing how many nB owners I've seen that have had an Epiphany about the passion of our cars, as well as the nB lifestyle. Some have never known that such passion or community exsisted. As you & others in this thread have notice & mentioned, new beetle numbers are dwindling. The shape of our car, is undeniably a beetle and folk fall for the quirky/cool/cute/niche of it. for many, the maintenance and upkeep issues have overshadowed the cool/cuteness & they move on to another car, which is understandable. Some don't have the luxury to own a fixer upper & want something dependable, even with the warranty.

Enter the org. The wealth of info here, as well as the strength of our community will hopefull aid in enduring the new beetle.

If automotive history is any indication, some jobber will come along, specializing in nB parts. ECS could very well be a candidate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi, Al.

I hope to not only see aftermarket interest in the NB community, but also the 21st Century Beetles that have been with us the past couple of years as well, and any subsequent generations of Beetles to follow. Contrary to what those dudes on the Tex may think about someone like me, I'm not so naive as to think that the number of water bugs will ever come close to AC output. At the current rate, that would literally take centuries. But I do believe that more and more water bugs will be in VW shows in the coming years and that in another 20 years or so, they will actually outnumber ACs because A) ACs will be as expensive as a 1957 Corvette and B) most of the die-hard AC people will be in nursing homes or dead by then.

In the meantime, the "ditzy teenage girl" that one guy over there spoke of that he described as the quintessential NB owner will be a woman approaching middle age that will become just as nostalgic for her New Beetle she had back in the late part of the 90s/early 00s as the older AC guys are about the cars of their youth. As a consequence, and while there will never be as many water bugs at shows as there have been ACs, I still think they will outnumber what remains of ACs by then.

Smileybug admittedly got me when she said the NB is like a tribute to the original as she responded to my partially-flawed AC/DC analogy, and I understand that the old bug and new bugs are as different as day and night, but what irks me is when AC people refuse to accept that, no matter how different the bug has become, it nevertheless is what it is now. It's the Beetle of today. Instead of being insulted by the NB, they should be honored that VW decided to bring it back, no matter how different a car it is under the skin.
 

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I didn't realize how much I loved my beetle until it was gone. I traded my 98 nb for a 12 jetta tdi. I thought maybe I should be more pragmatic about transportation.

As I burn through my second tank of gas in my new 13 turbo beetle in only 4 days, I have no regrets. I'm in love again.

I don't know if the current generation of drivers have the same passion about cars.

I for one am grateful VW and other manufacturers are offering retro look cars. It's purely cosmetic, but so is vanity. Sometimes its nice to buy things just because you want one.
 

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Pat, I'm glad you used the AC/DC analogy insted of another band, such as, Genesis. Genesis was Genesis with Peter Gabriel as front man. Phil Collins was ok. Abacab was their last best album & even that album started the veer away from their art-rock status. Oops, I'm babbling :p

Ya know, it's funny about the dudes, easily using tbe ditzy girl/chick car stamp. I remember guys back in the early days of the VW cabriolet. VW tuner boys spewed the "chick car" label with liquid ease. Now fast forward to present day, even 10-12 years back. Some of the same bashers welcome the cabby into their water-cooled circle; some even own them- lowered, staggered and hopped up. They'll eventually endear themselves to the nB, just as they did with the cabby. Granted we're talking air-cooled vs. water-cooled. As a whole, the two will probably never meet. Every little bit of help for the sake of the nB is a good thing.

We have air-cooled folk today that appreciate our beetles; maybe not en masse, but yet we do. I'm sure we'll get more as the years go by.

I wonder how the ol school Harley bikers feel about the new gen Harleys?
 

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I didn't realize how much I loved my beetle until it was gone. I traded my 98 nb for a 12 jetta tdi. I thought maybe I should be more pragmatic about transportation.

As I burn through my second tank of gas in my new 13 turbo beetle in only 4 days, I have no regrets. I'm in love again.

I don't know if the current generation of drivers have the same passion about cars.

I for one am grateful VW and other manufacturers are offering retro look cars. It's purely cosmetic, but so is vanity. Sometimes its nice to buy things just because you want one.
Robert I give the nB credit for starting the retro revival. I coin the New Beetle, the Godfather of retro. Some may argue that the Plymouth Prowler started it all. But the Prowler's limited production and little to zero advertising, doesn't qualify it as the retro catalyst if you ask me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't know if the current generation of drivers have the same passion about cars.

I for one am grateful VW and other manufacturers are offering retro look cars. It's purely cosmetic, but so is vanity. Sometimes its nice to buy things just because you want one.
Fotunately, some of us do, like right here on the Org. The best thing about having a passion for a particular car that many on other VW sites don't seem to understand is that's it OK not to be a mechanical guru or a person hell-bent on putting thousands of dollars into modifications as soon as that car reaches your driveway for the first time. Enthusiasts come from all walks of life, and the water-cooled Beetle community, particularly the people here on the Org, will embrace this philosophy like no other group of VW lovers out there. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I've had a couple of days to really analyize the debacle of that thread over on the Tex, and would like to add a few thoughts:

First of all, it never occurred to me that Mid-America dropped their NB inventory due to lack of interest. I assumed they were simply biased and willingly chose to cater exclusively to the air-cooled crowd, which I took as a slight to people like us. I'm a very passionate person when it comes to water-cooled Beetles, whether they are NBs from 98-10 or Beetles from 12 on. I am also very sensitive and tend to take off-the-cuff remarks personally, which is very obvious if you read some of my threads anywhere over there. When provoked, as it were, I can respond without thinking things through with the best of them. Sooo....in regard to the Mid-America inquiry, I suppose they were in the air-cooled business long before the NB arrived and hence already had an established customer base. I even ordered stuff and gave them a chunk of change when I had my 1969 Beetle. If I recall, they dropped the NB stuff around 2003 or so, which coincides with the beginning of the water-cooled Beetle's downward sales spiral that essentially lasted until the 21st Century Beetle was out for about 6 months. Thus, it's possible that if the fanfare of the NB hadn't worn off so quickly, MAM would still be offering aftermarket parts.

As Al said, the key here is to get owners of modern Bugs to share the passion that we as Orgers do. It sucks to see someone driving around in a NB give you a "What the hell is he waving at?" look of puzzlement when you try to share a common bond, yet nobody thinks twice about doing this when crossing paths with others in air-cooled VWs, (and I suspect other models/makes of cars), boats, or motorcycles.

Stubborn as it may be, I still refuse to back down when I declare that water Bugs are Beetles, just as the 21.5 million air-cooled Beetles that were built are. Yes, they are different. And totally different at that, but what disturbs me is their (Tex people) refusal to acknowledge that this is the Beetle of today. True, there was certainly some overlap going on. The US dropped the air Bug way back in 1979, but it soldiered on in Brazil until sometime in the mid-80s and Mexico all the way up to 2003, 5 years after the NB was already out, but no matter how you slice it, the days of buying a brand new air Bug are gone, and have been for 10 years. To me, it doesn't matter whether or not so many of them were built and so many aftermarket places carry enough parts to build a "new" air-cooled Beetle practically from the ground up. The fact remains that it is technically discontinued, and if you want to buy a brand new Bug from a VW dealership, it's going to be water-cooled. The engine's going to be in the front, it's going to have front-wheel drive, and it's going to be a lot tougher for the backyard mechanic to to work on the electronics, computers, etc. (I should duly note an error on my part here......again, Smileybug pointed this out: My definition of "easy to fix" was indeed quite lame, for I don't know how to fix anything. Even when I owned air-cooleds, I had no clue how to maintain them. I just took them to mechanics that did, and so this also applies to water-cooleds. In short, and either way, I don't wrench because I hold the mechanical aptitude of a tadpole. As a result, my definition of "easy to fix" simply meant that today's dealership techs won't know anything about Beetles that haven't been sold here since 1979 unless they themselves are approaching retirement age. So I will take that remark back on behalf of the die-hard air-cooled guys).

Nevertheless, today's Beetles are what they are! You can call them reskinned Golfs or Jettas all you want, and I suppose technically that is correct, but that badge says Beetle. It may be a completely different car that is not popular among those who grew up and/or love the old, discontinued style, but it is nevertheless a reinvented Beetle. Hell, I dislike Smartphones, digital cameras, and TVs with DVD players and remotes with menus featuring 640 channels, too, but just like old rotary telephones, Kodak cameras with film, and black-and white console TVs with only ABC, CBS, or NBC to choose from, those products of today are what they are. Conversely, and just hypothetically, let's suppose that in 2020, VW decides to completely change another model such as the GTI to a strictly electric version with a completely different drivetrain, or reverses the trend and sticks an air-cooled engine in the rear that has about 50 HP and adopts something like all-fiberglass body panels. It wouldn't be the same GTI that everyone knew, but it would still be the 2020 GTI.

Thus, such division among Beetle enthusiasts is sad and needless, but as Al said, it's unlikely that air-cooled and water-cooled factions will ever form a truce, and that's truly a shame. For that reason, I am forever grateful for sites like the Org and events like Roswell, ToD, and Talimena. Truly, all I ask of the air-cooled people is to respect, to acknowledge our Beetles, just as we respect theirs. As long as a certain percentage of them keep calling our Beetles "chick cars" and putting signs in their rear windows that say YOUR NEW BEETLE SUCKS. STOP WAVING AT ME, the animosity will prevail.

Bigotry in any form is ugly.
 

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Any car made 40 years ago will be different from today's model simply because older cars didn't have on-board diagnostics, safety features, and a ton of technological options. I'm sure you could start a debate among Mustang owners about old vs. new. A Beetle is a Beetle. I don't expect all VW owners to love my car like I do, but I do expect them be adults and be respectful. If they can't do that then I'm done. Heck there's some Beetles that I think are ugly but I don't go blabbing about it and trying to stir up trouble.

Peace Love and Volkswagen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well said, and it's funny you brought up Mustangs, because over on that Vortex "discussion," someone was trying to tell me that the difference between an air Bug and a water Bug was comparable to early Mustangs and the Mustang II that came out around 1974 or so. I don't know much of anything about Mustangs, but I believe the person said that the Mustang II was changed to an economical 4-cyl engine and based on the Pinto. The purists had a fit, and therefore declared that the Mustang II wasn't a "real" Mustang. Therefore, according to him, the New Beetle is not a "real" Beetle.....:bowdown:
 

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I really think some people have a life mission of thinking up ways we're different (or our cars) instead of being excited about what we have in common! Split window vs. ovals, NB vs. B12+, who really cares? Don't let it get to you Pat. The idiots will never change. Just hang out with like-minded drivers!:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Yeah, for the foreseeable future, I believe I'm going to part ways with the Vortex. Some people over there are OK, but others? Not so much. As modern Beetle people, we are admittedly but a small segment of Bug lovers, but as time marches on, I sincerely believe we'll be saying, "I told you so" to those who claim that nobody will be interested in water-cooled Beetles (or any other water-cooled VWs) when our cars get old enough. It may not be easy, but I'm now more confident that somebody will find a way to replicate today's complex electrical/computer components. I refuse to give in to the notion that cars of today are "disposable," as so many old-car buffs (and several air-cooled people) say. It indeed may cost more than the car itself is worth, but if you think about it, that's the case with many restorations already.

For example, somebody finds a shell of a 50-year-old Bug in a barn with a rotted floorpan and pays $1000 to haul it away. Then they either spend $15-20K or the equivalent in man-hours to bring it back to life. Sure, one could say, "But it would fetch $40,000 in the collector market," whereas something like a refurbished 1998 New Beetle would probably be lucky to be worth, say, $4000 (right now, anyway) after all that work, but if you plan to keep it yourself and put it in shows, the book value is just an arbitrary figure in the first place.....The sentimental value is what counts.;)
 
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