April 18th, 2011

there!, Hello

"Newer New Beetles?" Or "Quick someone hit it again!"

The Volkswagen New Beetle was the first new car I bought. Well, leased. Born and raised in Michigan, this was no small matter. My folks are die hard GM fans. My (at the time) fiancee's parents were die hard GM fans. In southeastern Michigan, these things mattered. The one exception was a bug, however. Both our dads had owned a bug, back in the day.

I was working at Volkswagen of America around the time they were released, and I really dug the style and shape. I picked up Howie, a black 1999 New Beetle, and I loved most everything about that car. I drove it while living in Michigan and then out East, after Trista and I moved to Massachusetts. At least, until the New Beetle's lease ran out.

The car was perfectly shaped for my awkward height. No bumping the head for me. It had a bud vase perfectly positioned for pens, tire pressure gauge, or flowers. The silly car made me smile, and still does when I recall driving it. Unfortunately, it was expensive. The parts were all shipped into the country from elsewhere, the oil changes and such were mighty pricey, and, well, in the end I couldn't afford to stick with it. I wanted to, though. Still do.

Then, I discovered the changes in the New Beetle's style, and I have to say: Bummer. It looks like someone took a swatter to the thing, but either didn't have the arc, arm strength, or balls to actually kill it. Aerodynamic shmarodynamic...

Check it out:
Classic New Beetle, circa 2008 (Exhibit A)


or New New Beetle, 2012 model year (Exhibit B)


To my eye, B lacks much of the character of A. One thing the New Beetle possessed in spades was character! For the longest time, there was nothing quite like it on the road. There still isn't. This new edition blends in a bit more. Meh.

Yes, yes, I'm well aware neither car looks like the classic Beetle (which is still produced in Mexico, last I heard). But I liked the classic New Beetle's curves. Another sign I am a curmudgeon, I suppose. :)