Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting the 1956 VW bug home - Part One: Standing on its own 4 wheels

After working on prepping our recent purchase - a 1956 VW bug - for travel where we bought it, It was time to take it home this past Saturday. I rented a truck and trailer from Budget and got up early to head to Napa to pick it up.

EP dropping me off at One Stop Moving Center in Petaluma.

Note the New Beetle in the Budget example of trailer loading.

My rig.

I actually arrived in Napa about 30 minutes early, so I parked in a grocery store parking lot and napped. I'm pretty sure I got out just before someone was about to call the cops.

After getting to the place, Connie (the lady I bought it from) opened the garage door and I put the wheels on. The way I understand it, the bug has been in the garage for the last 30 years or so. And it's been off of its wheels for almost all that time.

So it was time for the bug to be standing on its own four wheels again (even if they were borrowed from our '63 bug, Little Blue, for the day).

So here it is. Finally able to roll again:

Since they couldn't move the bug, some years ago they added a exterior cover to park their car in. So we had to undo the back of that and move Connie's car to get the bug out...

I had no fear about getting the bug out. The engine was a different story. I figure I can do almost anything with a come-along, but I was fearful about getting a 200 pound engine off the garage floor. My plan was to get it onto a furniture dolly I bought and then strap it down. It worked easily. All I had to do was tip the engine toward on side and roll the cart under. No problem.

Here is the bug, enjoying sunlight for the first time in 30 years...

That color green is original. It's "Jungle Green" - a color offered that year by VW. The tan-ish dirt color was not original. That was a modification a long time in the making.

Again, i had big plans to get the engine in the back of the truck. I hooked the come-along up, had extra rope to pull up if I could. In the end, it was easy. I pushed it right up the ramp and into the back. I didn't need the come-along or rope at all.

The bug was a different story. With no brakes, it made it interesting to get it on the trailer. each time I would reach the end of the come-along's length, I would have to block it. Twice this happened while either the front or back wheels were still on the ramps. It was a little nerve-racking as I always fear it letting go and heading away from its intended goal at a high rate of speed. As is was, I had no problems getting it on to the trailer.

So that took about 2 hours and I was on my way back to Petaluma with a creaky old bug following closely behind. On the way home, I stopped at a car wash and washed the beast. Approx $5 in quarters and the ol' bug began to shine (a little, at least). I'll post some up close pictures tomorrow that I took just before washing it.



Wow! That is really clean looking. Keep the pictures coming! I just got an oval about 2 months ago. I have been working on it every weekend and it is almost ready to drive (I hope!) I noticed you are in Petaluma, I am in Novato! We should hang out sometime. Here is a gallery of my bug, and my little makeshift car club:


Big Blue's Driver


Nice ride! What year oval?

I'd love to get together sometime. We are a few weeks away from having our first child, so I might go quiet for a little bit, but we should keep in touch. Do you go to any local shows? I don't really know about any bug shows - just bus shows.

My email is bigbluevw (at) Shoot me an email and let's try to get together at some point. Cool that you are so close!

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