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The Suburbanite
  • Greg Zyla: Letters about Volkswagen and Corvette

  • Hi, Greg, my name is Matt Hill, and I work in conjunction with the VW Web content team on www.vw.com. Our team came across your article “The history of Volkswagen’s Beetle.” The evolution of the model is very interesting, and we think your article does a great job of answering your reader’s inquiry comprehensively. Our content team considered doing an historical timeline piece as well.

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    Hi, Greg, my name is Matt Hill, and I work in conjunction with the VW Web content team on www.vw.com. Hope you had a great weekend and that this message finds you well. Our team came across your article “The history of Volkswagen’s Beetle” in the Lemont Reporter in Illinois.
    The evolution of the model is very interesting, and we think your article does a great job of answering your reader’s inquiry comprehensively. Our content team considered doing an historical timeline piece as well.
    It seems you have pretty extensive knowledge of the VW model line. We’re curious to know what initially sparked your interest in VW? Were the Beetle models the only VW models you owned? Thanks, Matt.
    A: Matt, thank you and yes … the only VW I ever personally owned was my 1964 Beetle.
    However, from the sporty Karmann Ghia to the VW Camper and Bus line, Volkswagens were the mode of transportation for so many of my friends during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Actually, my first experience of a VW “up close and personal” came when I built a Revell model kit in 1959 of the VW Micro Bus with those 23 windows (see photo). From then on, I was a VW lover and really loved the Buses more so than the Beetle. I’m still looking for a Bus or Camper, and one day hope to own one.  As for now, my Franklin Mint 1/24 die cast will have to do.
    Concerning my Beetle timeline column, I left out some smaller changes in turn signals (thanks to reader Larry Blanchard), bumpers and increased horsepower, but overall the Beetle pretty much stayed the same all those years.
    Congrats, also, on all the fine cars you build today, including the much-improved, front-drive Beetle! It’s a great car.
    Yes, that’s my Corvette!
    Q: Greg, in response to your article last week about my ’69 Corvette: Yes, that is my 69 Sting Ray on eBay right now. I’ve gotten a few hits for information, but not much more. (Search on eBay under 1969 Corvette Sting Ray.) Thanks for the article. Doug H., Canandaigua, N.Y.
    A: Doug, although you might find this self-serving, try running a classified in your local newspaper, as the reach is much better now with Internet options and increased readership. Our newspapers these days are quite different from yesteryear, and you might have a better chance selling to a local enthusiast as there will be no shipping hassles, etc., when sold to someone in person. Good luck. It’s a great car.
    Greg Zyla writes weekly for GateHouse Media and welcomes reader questions on collector cars, auto nostalgia and old-time motorsports at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840 or at greg@gregzyla.com.