Beetles Make Me Smile

Hey, Duane here! Killing time on a Saturday afternoon in 2004, I drove past a Volkswagen dealer and impulsively pulled in. Whatever caught my eye, I was not in the market to buy. After all, only a few months passed since selling two cars while temporarily unemployed.

Beetles Make Me Smile

This impromptu stop was unusual as I didn’t often visit car dealerships. When the obligatory salesperson approached, I commented that I was just looking. Then I mentioned that Beetles made me smile but lacked enough power to excite.

The salesperson walked me down the used car aisle to show a special-edition Beetle, a version unknown to me. This limited production model was a year-old, low mileage 2003 Beetle Turbo S featuring turbocharged engine with 180-hp and 6-speed manual transmission. That was 50% more horsepower than the standard Beetle.

Beetle Turbo S

The Turbo S was their sportiest, upscale Beetle and somewhat rare. This top-of-the line Volkswagen Beetle was appointed in two-tone black and silver leather interior. It featured full power accessories including power sunroof and exterior rear wing that deployed automatically above 45-mph. This Beetle was metallic silver with distinct front and rear bumpers unique to the Turbo S. Special alloy wheels were shod with performance tires.

Volkswagen Beetle Turbo S, Beetles
Volkswagen Beetle Turbo S (like mine)

Test Drive

I arrived at the dealership with zero intentions. However, this used Beetle Turbo S made me smile and the salesperson encouraged a test drive, without him. So, test-drive it I did, straight to my office where I quickly researched this model online and its value.

I soon returned to the dealership better educated. Thus, in the span of 90 minutes, I went from bored Saturday afternoon cruiser killing time at a dealership to serious buyer. I negotiated a reasonable price and a bank loan, and then drove the silver Beetle Turbo S home that same afternoon.

Interestingly, none of my friends that I encouraged ever purchased a Volkswagen Beetle, but now I owned one myself. I didn’t think my choice surprising, but not once did anyone state that they thought I would one day own a Beetle. Instead, friends commented that they never thought they’d see me driving a Beetle. Apparently, my image, whatever that was, did not match with the Beetle. But this distinctive Turbo S made me smile every time I walked up to it.

Farewell Lincoln Mark IV

Indeed, this Volkswagen Beetle purchase was spontaneous. Once hooked, I knew instantly that it would become my bad-weather car, replacing the silver-blue 1972 Lincoln Mark IV. This plan would eliminate the ongoing guilt of using the Lincoln in rain and snow. Hopefully the Lincoln would sell to someone that would appreciate it as a vintage car and shelter it from inclement weather.

Silver-blue 1972 Lincoln Mark IV, front
Farewell Lincoln Mark IV

The Lincoln Mark IV sold within a few weeks to a friend in Kentucky. He really liked the car, and I was very happy to see him with it.

Next Sunday, see what caught my eye the following year. I missed the first opportunity and was not going to miss a second time. Thanks, and always drive with allure!

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