Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bug City

Words & snaps by Ben

In 1938, after 4 years of development, Ferdinand Porsche released what would become the most sold car model in the history of cars - the Beetle.

The Beetle doesn't just owe its success to its affordability, it also owes it to its robustness and its looks. Even after trying to reboot the Beetle twice, Volkswagen will never be able to match the success of its first iteration, probably due to the current times and today's consumption society.

There's more to it, I feel. The Beetle is 76 years old, yet it does not look anywhere close to that age. Time and time again it seduces old and young hearts, especially since its "cute" looks can accommodate many different styles.

End of July, local Beetle owners decided to organised a casual meet, gathering a part of the local aircooled community. It's always good to see that even in Singapore, where the government is trying its best to get old cars off the roads, these Bugs are still going strong.

Here too, you can see followers of the different trends that make the Beetle so popular. Some prefer their Bug to stay classic, and a lot of efforts go into both keeping the car in proper running condition and rust-free, as well as sourcing rare parts from the old eras to bring back the lost times.

It's not rare to see the cross-heritage of Ferdinand Porsche's creations mix together of Beetles such as these Porsche wheels, which look at home on what is, in a way, the predecessor to the 911.

Others like to follow a more "hot rod" style, with a lowered height, visors and more. I especially like the bumper-less hot rod looks, but it seems like none of those joined the meet that day.

Whatever path the owners choose to follow, there is always something to nod at, and the timeless looks of the old ladies gather stares and smiles, however old the onlookers are.

The one and only Type 3 squareback in Singapore was there too, and what a well-maintained beauty she is!

Keeping her alive and well is a father and son team, who have confessed having a laugh verytime they cross the customs to go JB with it. When customs officers ask to open the boot, they simply ask: which one? The front boot?

Or the rear boot?

I bet it leaves them wondering where the engine is, or if there's one at all. Unicorn power, I'd say!

With the gathering coming to an end, the owners decided to take a cruise to the city. The small numbers of aircooled rides headed out and gave a rolling show to Orchard road.

One by one, they split up, each going about to their own destinations, which left me alone with this green 1303S, which eventually headed out too, at the whistling sound of its flat-4 engine.

Enjoy more sights of the aircooled meet in the gallery below!


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