Sitting here at the car dealer getting my inspection sticker renewed on my car and my mind drifts back to my first car, a puke green 1966 Volkswagen Beetle with a moon roof.
I know what you’re thinkin’ …. What? This guy is way too cool to have owned such a POS. At the time most of my friends were hippies or hippy wannabes. We all attended the same community college and either hitchhiked, rode bikes, or drove a POS car. So this car fit right in.
At age 18, I did not have a driver’s license. Most (all?) kids today get their license at 16, but not so in my era. I dunno why this is. Maybe all parents have had enough of their kids at that point and are just trying to accelerate the launch cycle out of their house. My parents were not the “let’s teach the kid how to drive so that he can make his way in the world” type. As a result, I had never driven a car. So, there was a need for a driver with prematurely advanced abilities to teach me the ways of the road. Enter James T Wiley (Coyote).
My good buddy James T Wiley (Coyote) was the impetus behind me getting my first car. He drove me around in his POS Chevy to a local used car lot that was just chock full of other POS cars. There in the middle with a golden shaft of light shining down upon it was the car of my dreams; a 1966 V-Dub with the retractable moon roof. Who cares that it was puke green and ran like a coffee can full of marbles? It was the perfect car with the perfect view of the stars at the perfect price – $100. According to the lot owner, this was his son’s car, only driven to college. This was obviously bullshit, but I swallowed it whole like the dumb ass that I was.
James showed me the ropes of driving this car, along with how not to grind the gears or burn out the clutch. Drove it around illegally for a few months until I got my road test passed, and I was on my way. I loved this car but later graduated to some more grandiose POS, whose make and model escapes me right now.
The car was sold years later to a VW aficionado named Ritchie. Knowing the legacy of VW Beetles, I can say with some authority that this car is still being driven around today in one form or another. I prefer to think that perhaps the motor was salvaged and used to power a surveillance aircraft in Nicaragua.