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Husker Fan Jim
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Discussion Starter #1
As far as I know there is not one. I tried to join the Omaha Volkswagen Club, but no one ever got back to me and they "dropped the ball" so I asked for my membership dues back and told them to forget it (not a good experience). So I was thinking, how about if I start a club! Are there any people here on this website who are from Eastern Nebraska or Western Iowa who would be interested in forming a Volkswagen Beetle Club? Membership would be limited to only Beetle owners, as the Omaha VW Club includes all types and models (even though they messed me over, I don't want to step on their toes). Anyway, let me know here on the forum.

Thanks
JC Moeller
 

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Are you talking about a Beetle club (all air-cooled and water-cooled Beetles) or just a New Beetle-only club? If it is the latter, good luck. I tried that in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I ran an ad in the paper for 60 days, and got exactly 3 calls:

The first was somebody who didn't leave his phone number, so I had no way to return the call.

The second was a lady trying to sell her New Beetle, and she thought I might know someone that would want to buy hers, which was incidentally overpriced by some $3000. :rolleyes:

The third was a guy who mistakenly thought I was trying to start a VW club.

I would love to start a water-cooled-only Beetle club, but there's just no interest here. The Average Joe/Josephine doesn't regard NBs/2012+ Beetles as show-worthy cars. They just look at them as daily drivers that get one from point A to Point B.

Bitter as this may sound, the truth is as follows: Typical "modern" Bug owners (Not Orgers, of course, but your average NB drivers) cannot grasp the fact that these cars are a continuation of the iconic Volkswagen Bug and that they will one day replace most air-cooled Beetles at VW shows.

On the other hand, if you're looking to form an all-Beetle club (air and water), that should be relatively easy in a city the size of Omaha. But what you'd get right now would be maybe one NB owner and 49 air-cooled owners.......If this were 2032, it would be the other way around. :p

I tried (and failed) to start a NB/2012Beetle club in my town, so I did the next best thing: I helped create another event for water-cooled Beetle people that will be underway next weekend in Oklahoma (See the Talimena thread in Event planning).

With that said, I would do crazy things to be in a water-cooled Beetle club, so if this is your intent as opposed to starting an all-Beetle club, I would actually consider travelling that far for meetings and GTGs a few times a year. Omaha would be just a tad under 500 miles from where I live.
 

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I'd be interested in a water-cooled Beetle club
Keep me posted if you find enough others with the same interest, and I'd look into what I could do. Water-cooled Beetle-only clubs are very rare these days.Back when these cars first came out, there were lots, but they all fizzled out. Today, I believe there are only 2 left in the whole country. One's in Southern California, and there's allegedly another in Bloomington, Indiana, but they might include old air-cooleds, too, I'm not 100% sure.

The reason I'm no longer content with just being in an all-VW club is that NBs don't really fit into the two distinct cliques, which are: air-cooled people, many of which aren't even familiar with VW's current model lineup,and 99% of the water-cooled crowd is into Jettas, GTIs, Sciroccos, etc, that are heavily modded.

New Beetle people (and the few who take their cars seriously) are in a unique class of their own.
 

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Cheeeto's Daddy
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1,151 Posts
Clubs

My own two cent's on the water cooled Beetle clubs would be that it is all relative to what you put into it.

When DuvalDubs started in Jacksonville Fl. we had only two members. We have maybe 6 or so now locally with friends we call members all across the country. When we get together, or Swarm, we have a great time. Others see this and the group grows.

It's all about having fun, regardless of numbers. I would be willing to bet that our group when it gets together is one of the most entertaining and downright laughter filled times you will ever see. We don't need a parking lot full of people to do it.

As more people see how much fun we have and the things we do, the club slowly grows. Florida, and particularly N.E. Florida are getting very active in the NB Scene. If you don't believe me, Head on down to Jingle Bugs Rock in Orlando December 9th and look at the splash our group of water cooled beetles makes at a predominantly air cooled show.

My hat's off to Randi and the Talimenia crowd for starting a new GTG. If we hadn't gone to Indianapolis we would have been there. So what if it's a 14 hour drive? It's what we do. You can bet we will be there next year. Next year we plan on going to TOD and then Roswell. It's just fuel money and a few nights in a hotel. For a fantastic time with friends it's a bargain.

In conclusion, A club is what you make it. It's work sometimes and not that glamorous, but when it lifts off the ground it's magical.
 

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Is that DuvalDubs club strictly water-cooled Beetles? That does sound like a blast. I've visited Florida a few times and love it, especially in the middle of Wisconsin winters! I agree that it's not the quantity of members, but the quality of fun to be had. This Talimena deal we have going probably won't be large at all, but the excitement of meeting other NB people and forming friendships is still something to build on.

Truthfully, I would rather spend time with 7-8 other water-cooled Beetle owners than be alienated at some huge all-VW event.
 

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Well Im in the central Iowa area and there doesnt seem to be any activity here either . I see beetles every where I go? I guess they arent into car clubs .

I might be interested in an Omaha area club for occasional GTG its only a 2 hr drive
 

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Cheeeto's Daddy
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Sure is....

Correct:

DuvalDubs is a water-cooled Beetle club: We have some members that are alums as they had a water-cooled Beetle and moved on to other cars. We have one guy with a Porsche boxter who hangs out with us as well.

It is a lot of fun. There have been times when we had 10 people at Bugs-4-Breakfast and times when there were only two of us. We have taken B4B on the road a couple times to Orlando and then out in the sticks to the Dam Diner! (Next to a Dam, Duh!) All of these events were well attended and more than fun.

I guess it just takes persistence is all. The Talimenia trip looks amazing. As it's the "Maiden Voyage" for them it will bring on wonderful memories and stories for those who attend. Just ask anyone who went to the first TOD. The "Maiden Voyage" group is extremely special and vital to the promotion of the event down the road. I am beyond disappointed that I didn't have Der Stuka when that happened. I would have loved to be able to belong to that fraternity. They are very special people.

Again, If the passion is there and a little work doesn't bother you as well as a minor outlay of cash (Business cards to put on windshields and stuff like that) there is no reason for a New Beetle Club/GTG not to grow.

I can't tell you how worth it it was for me and Nurse Diesel.

Chuckie
 

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Husker Fan Jim
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Discussion Starter #9
To answer your question, this proposed club is for ALL Beetle owners, air-cooled and New Bug owners 1998 on. In other words, if it is a bug, your in! I just would rather not include Jettas, Vanagons, Things, and everything else. That is what the Omaha Volkswagen Club does and they can have that. Ours is just bugs. Since you have some experience in this, would you be willing to help me get this started? There are 2 mil people in the Omaha Metro area and that means a lot of Bug owners. let me know what you think? Oh! By the way, even though I own a New Beetle, I want to get a 64-66 VW Bug, convertible and redo it.
 

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Husker Fan Jim
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Discussion Starter #10
I don't agree. I own a New Beetle, but have nothing but admiration and respect for the original. I drove one when my Dad had a 1966 Bug and it was one of the best cars I ever drove. I think it is possible to have both owners in the same club. They can learn from each other. New or old, it makes no difference. We all love the VW Beetle. One of the most unique cars ever made!
 

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Husker Fan Jim
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Discussion Starter #11
Dear Stuka: Would you be willing to give me some pointers if you started a club. I would like to rely on your expertise. Even though I am running into opposition, I still believe New and Water cooled can learn to work together.
 

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Husker Fan Jim
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Discussion Starter #12
Dear Aplsed:

Okay! I will get to working on some preliminaries and get back with you on how to proceed. If you are going to drive two hours, I have to make sure the drive is worth it! Bugs Rule!
 

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Cheeeto's Daddy
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First thing I would do.......

Is find a local diner that is easy to give directions to and set a date for Bugs For Breakfast or something like that. Then you have something to direct people too. An Add in a local paper with a cell phone number might work.

Come up with a snappy name for your group. Something easy to remember and unique. Draw up a logo.

We printed up a thousand business cards with Vista Print and we slip them under the wipers of New Beetles in parking lots. We have had a few people respond to them and they are good to hand out at VW events. If there is an air cooled show close by, go to it and give your card to any water cooled machines that show up. If you are shooting for both air cooled and water cooled, even better.

Make a facebook page and post to it about events and get togethers you are planning on attending or having.

Good Luck and keep me posted as to how it's going.

Chuckie
 

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I don't agree. I own a New Beetle, but have nothing but admiration and respect for the original. I drove one when my Dad had a 1966 Bug and it was one of the best cars I ever drove. I think it is possible to have both owners in the same club. They can learn from each other. New or old, it makes no difference. We all love the VW Beetle. One of the most unique cars ever made!
I too have respect for the original air-cooled Beetles. I grew up in the 1960s in my dad's 1957 Oval, but the problem is that most old school Beetle owners don't hold the same respect for 98+ Beetles, at least in Wisconsin and Minnesota. They don't recognize water-cooled Beetles as the logical and evolutionary continuation of Ferdinand Porsche's "People's Car." Instead, they call it a Golf with a different body. Then, for the typical water-cooled Beetle owner, joining a club is the furthest thing from their minds because they don't stop to think that their car will also be a classic 20 years from now, and moreover, make up the vast majority of Bugs in the VW shows of 2030 and beyond. Eventually, air-cooled Beetles will be about as rare as Model Ts.

However, if people down that way have a different attitude, then the idea of having air and water Beetles would be very cool, but for now, because of the reasons above, I would predict the ratio of air-to water would be about 9 to 1 (until a couple of decades pass).
 

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Cheeeto's Daddy
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Well............

I sort of have to disagree with you to a point. Due to the New Beetles limited production run, approximately 100,000 per year for 12 years, you are going to see less and less of them.

Next time you are in a big bookstore, try finding a VW magazine devoted to Water Cooled Beetles. Hell, even look for a page of aftermarket stuff for a water cooled beetle. Go to any VW show or foreign car show for that matter and compare the number of air to water cooled beetles.

The point here is a water cooled beetle is probably rarer than an air cooled at this point. Water cooled beetles still haul people to work and home every day. They go on vacations and are workhorses. The air cooled beetles are tucked away in garages and polished with diapers. They are mainly second or third cars and don't deliver pizzas every night. Plus they made something like 34 MILLION of them world wide during their life times. The water cooled machines are also more hampered by electronic systems and computers almost to the point where they are next to impossible for a shade tree mechanic to work on.

There is a place for old beetle clubs, a place for New Beetle clubs and all beetle clubs. Which ever you prefer is your choice. I live in Florida and personally believe anyone who drives daily a car without air conditioning by choice needs to have a brain scan done to see if they even have one at all.

I feel the same way about diesel engine beetles, but that's a another story.

Chuckie
 

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You're right about sheer production numbers, although 21.5 million air-cooled Beetles were built from 1938-2003, not 34 million. As for New Beetles from 1998-2010, it was significantly less, about 1.6 million, and thus far, this is indeed why air-cooled Bugs dominate VW shows. However, even though far less NBs were built and so far, 12+ models, they are light-years ahead in design and technology and will last much longer. I believe computers and electronics are a good thing.

The average air-cooled Beetle had and continues to have to have an engine overhaul at around 80-100K miles, constant valve adjustments, 2000 mile oil changes, and other maintenance with archaic parts and an owner that knows how to do all that stuff, since most of the technicians at VW dealerships weren't even born when the last air-cooled Beetle rolled out the showroom.

Of the 21.5 million original Beetles built, there are probably less than 10% that are still on the road. You're right about no books about water-cooled Beetles (or very few), but I strongly believe that will change in time. Even today, I think that if average NB owners put their cars in VW shows, the numbers of water to air would already be about 50/50. My point is that modern Beetles aren't a 5-year car like a Chrysler Cirrus or a Chevy Cobalt. They are instead like Mustangs. The technology has changed, but they're still Bugs. Meanwhile, over the next 10-30 years, all but a handful of the remaining air-cooled Bugs will become obsolete, and water-cooled Beetles will overtake them. Unless, of course, Volkswagen does something stupid like killing the Beetle again like they did in 1979.
 

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To continue (I was running out of scrolling room with my primitive computer.....:p):

Where I get what you're saying is as follows: Since nearly 20x as many air-cooled Bugs were produced as NBs, this is why there are still so many at VW shows, and you're absolutely right about most NB owners using their cars as disposable transportation.
But.....what I believe will happen is that VW will now continue the Beetle model for decades to come, if not indefinitely. Production numbers of water-cooled Bugs would take over two centuries to catch up with the original air-cooled's numbers, but we are now in different times with lots more competition in the auto industry.
Still, water-cooled Bugs will begin to replace air-cooled ones at shows. They may have facelifts every few years, and since most regard the first 98-10 models as no more than a disposable daily workhorse, it will take people like us (Orgers) to preserve a few, and they will eventually become as collectible as a Split Window is today.
I also think that most buyers of the latest Beetles (12+)are already realizing that they have a continuation of an iconic car as opposed to the 19-year-old chicks that bought New Beetles because they were "cute." Then, you'll have different classes of "modern Beetles," like 98-05, 06-10, 12+, etc, and just like the air-cooleds, the older, the rarer.
 

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Personally my take on air vs water cooled is that air cooled VW are old enough to be antiques now, they are more rare to see on todays roads day to day. I rarely see one. Like mentioned earlier they are on garages in varius states of restoration and brought out once in a while for fun. These people are more inclined to go to events to show off thier work.

Water cooled on the other hand are daily drivers. IN des MOines there seems to be lettle activity as far as groups. Maybe most owners think of them as the car that gets them from point A to Point B. When I got mine I had always kind of wanted one, because I always wanted a classic beetle, but dont feel proficient to restore one. Its my daily driver, gas getter and my pride and joy to drive. I found the org researching problems with beetle and diesels before I jumped in. If I hadnt done that I dont know if I would be looking for a group per say . But the org seems to have fun members that get together, so why not have some fun with it.

Strangers see several of us in one place and they take notice, We had several comments at Caseys in my home town when we met up. I have seen more people glance at my car or make comments when I pull up than any other car Ive driven. The beetle is fun , and it grabs their attention , Especially the men, even if they think its a cute chics car.lol That kind of attention tells me it is a beetle in most peoples eyes
no matter what year or model.

I dont care if old beetle and new beetles come together if all parties want to have fun and can respect the mods others may oe may not do. Maybe air cooled beetle owners dont think the new ones are true beetles. I just dont care what they think. They will participate or not, Their choice. I dont think we should exclude any one if they desire to mingle.
 

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I love it and greatly admire those who have old Beetles and can make a 40-50-60 year-old car look brand new again as well, and for that matter, any VW like Karmann Ghias, Buses, etc, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've been to so many VW shows now that the air-cooled Beetles that enter are so commonplace at these events that they overshadow the few water-cooled Beetles that bother to participate. This is why I want to see more water-cooled Beetle-only clubs, events, and GTGs. I also don't care what others think, but it's still a lot more fun when everybody has the same model of car as you and shares the passion. It's like a family, and that's what makes Roswell (and I strongly suspect ToD) such a unique experience. Far too many people in the rest of the VW world think that their cars must be at least 20-30 years old and/or heavily modded or customized to be show-worthy and I'm trying to initiate a change from that philosophy by calling for more water-cooled-Beetle-specific happenings. Talimena and even our tour of the Iowa bridges serves as a good start.
 

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Apprentice Org-aholic!
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Keep us informed on the progress. This sounds like an awesome idea. Totally up for the 7 hour drive. If I can help all the way up here in central Minnesota let me know! :)
 
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