A Volkswagen “Where’s Waldo?”

Hocking County Courthouse 09-30-1970Reader Brad Brune has been bugging me on Facebook to do a story about VWs and VW dealerships in Cape. He didn’t get my message that the best way to handle a special request is to write in on a piece of green paper bearing the photo of a dead president, so I’m going to only honor part of his request.

It just so happened that I had been editing a batch of Ohio pictures and had noticed how many VWs were in the backgrounds.

They were everywhere

Jophn Glenn campaigns for senate in Athens OH 03-26-1970It was hard to find a street scene where there wasn’t a bug, bus or squareback like mine showing up. They were in the background of John Glenn running for the Senate. They were part of and in the middle of protest marches.

Cape had a few VWs, in fact, I saw a roll of a wreck on Perryville Road involving one, but it wasn’t interesting enough to scan. Athens, being a college town and being right at the beginning of the Volkswagen wave was prime territory for bug spotting.

VW photo gallery

Pretend that you’re playing a Volkswagen version of Where’s Waldo? Most of them are obvious, but you might have to squint to find some. You’ll see a couple shots of Wife Lila’s yellow bug (Brother David is washing it), and my red Squareback (the worst lemon I ever owned). Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to navigate through the gallery. Enjoy, Mr. Brune. (P.S. See if you can spot the Atlas Plastics truck from Cape Girardeau in one of the photos.)

15 Replies to “A Volkswagen “Where’s Waldo?””

  1. My favorite memories of The Bug are about how people personalized them such as carpeted instead of painted or a huge wind-up key attached to the back.

  2. GREAT PICs Ken. Boy they take you back to the good old days… they remind me very much of Cape streets and buildings. The VW Bugs & Vans were such a BIG part of our lives and memories of the 60s and 70s. Then Heil “Fahrvergnugen” Volkswagon (means “driving enjoyment” and was their moto) they got greedy (didn’t think they owned enough of the US Auto Market and were still a tad angry about WWII) and introduced all different shapes, colors, and sizes of body styles. ie: the station wagon, the FastBack, the Karmann Ghia, and the convertable. Then lately they went nuts with: Rabbit, Passat, Golf, Jetta, Tiguan, and etc.

  3. You know, your post just reminded me that the VW Beetle was the best-selling car in the world for quite a while until the Toyota Corolla unseated it in 1978 and has been number one in the world since. That has stuck in VW’s craw ever since.

  4. Volkswagen moved their USA headquarters to our town (Herndon, VA) a couple of years ago and have been great supporters of local civic events. We were walking to a favorite restaurant one evening and saw a crowd of people staring at a very impressive sports car across the street. Someone asked what it was and someone answered that it was a Bugatti, a VW brand. Street-legal, they can go 253 MPH and cost up to 2.7 million….. Maybe we’ll look into a used one….

  5. My very first “brand new auto” was a 1963 “Bug” and I had 3 more in following years. I rember the 63 costing almost $1699 !
    Joe Whitright “45”

  6. Vw’s were every where and you know lots of people that owned and loved them. Other that almost killing Bob Adams in a Karmann Ghia on Perryville road in about 1966 or so…I did not own a VW until in the 1980’s,I bought a 1967 VW bug to convert into a VW speedster! These were kits designed to be simple built machines with a the roof cut off with saber saw, a shortened windshield like Porsche speedster, a chopped down convertible top and presto and great looking nifty little car. Except for the dreaded words” Some assembly required”. All went well until I remembered I do not know anything about building or working on cars. So I paid others to get it build the car and paint it for me. 3 years later, presto there is was, a nifty 67 VW convertible, with Porsche speedster cut down windshield. What is really was, was a 1967 VW, SLOW, evil handling and as cold as the heart of an IRA agent in winter. I lived in Chicago so this was concern. I promptly sold it and bought a 1978 Triumph Bonneville which is another story.
    Always remember, the good old days weren’t as good as you remember. Old stuff is mostly simply OLD crap. Buy new stuff that maybe looks like old stuff, if you want to live in the past. New Stuff is lot safer, easier to use, way more reliable and in the end much more satisfying. Which is why I am building a 1972 500 cc Honda four sidecar racer.
    Frankly I was glad you did this VW story, Brune was carrying on and on, I was even thinking of paying you to write something. Only thinking, but I was really thinking about it…

  7. I lived on Mill Street in Athens and around 1961, a student had their VW fitted with a plywood “key” on the rear so it resembled a wind-up toy. I loved that car! Owned several over the years so really enjoyed these photos of “home” and VW’s. Thanks!

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