Once again I went back to the union hall and that is how I found the parts side of business. I began working in a warehouse in south Seattle called Chanslor and Lyon. We supplied parts all over Washington, Idaho and Alaska for independent local parts houses. I started pulling parts and worked by way up to counterperson and finally manager of the night shift. Unfortunately there wasn't enough business to keep the Seattle location going so the rug was pulled out sometime in 1969.
I went to work for a local independent NAPA parts store in West Seattle. I had always loved VW having already owned two. The future wife and I did lots of traveling around our part of the world in our 1967 VW Bug with the Northwest VW Club. We met lots of VW people. Gene Berg, likely the first person to mess with the Beetle engine and ended up making a cottage industry out of hopping up Bugs for all kinds of people. Muscle cars were big, but non of us could afford them so we looked to Gene to turn our little sleepers into rear wheel drive Muscle Car crushers. While I could never afford to go all the way, my little 67 was a potent little blue Bug. Then came marriage, home, responsibilities and kids.
I had met a Parts Manager for the local dealership that I purchased my first new car from. My little 1967 Colbalt Blue VW Bug came from Moore Motors in Bellevue. It cost me $1995. plus tax and license and I was in love with that car.
|1967 Beetle Stock|
|First 12 volt Beetle|
|Stock 1500 cc Engine|
I worked for Volkswagen into the 70's and 80's until they lost their luster. It came the day they introduced their first water cooled car. It was coming, everyone knew it but no one wanted it. VW was not as good at building a quality water cooled vehicle as they were with the air cooled. Momentum from years of record sales of the Beetle went into the toilet as VW continued to not understand the American market nor what they needed to do to make things right with their customers. Sales declined and I left VW in the mid eighties. But I will never forget these little air cooled beauties or the variations that we came up with over the years.
Here are some pictures from my visit to the Lemay Museum earlier today. I love cars and this place is the place to see them, lots of them. I went for their current VW display. Enjoy, I did.