Commuting in my Beetle may cost more than running a small-engined
diesel car, but I do not think it really costs much more than a normal
family saloon as their milage isn't that great either (typically
25-35 mpg, I probably get 20-25mpg), plus I don't pay road tax which
will even the cost out a bit. Repair costs is another thing entirely, though
because it is mainly welding, and rust stops for no man, I don't think
that using my car makes much difference on that score (it would rust regardless).
What can I say? Cruising through country roads, windows down,
the sun gleaming off my metallic paintwork and sparkling chrome,
this is why I keep the Beetle running... and for the chicks of course!
Must get that sun visor fixed.
Now this is where things differ. Heating is pretty much my own body
heat plus a few minutes' worth of hot air near the end of my trip.
Icing is the major annoyance while driving in the cold winter months.
Icing is when the air preassure drops inside the down pipe just below
the carburetta, causing the air to get really cold and the moisture to
turn to ice; this builds up inside the pipe and makes the hole smaller
so the engine has difficulty mainting revs at slow speeds. This is worse,
I have found, in fog or on very wet & cold days. One bad experience of
this was after sitting in a queue at road works, keeping the engine
running by revving it slightly; as soon as I got past the roadworks
the engine just decided it had had enough and wasn't going to play
anymore, it just conked out completely and would not start - most
embarrassing! Whether this was because the engine had overheated or
iced I was not sure, but it had certainly iced so I let it warm up
for a few minutes, then it took a few more minutes for it to recover as I
was chugging along.
Perhaps too much water got into the fuel system (from the ice melting?)
causing a severe drop in power, anyway it cleared itself and I haven't
had that low-power syndrome since.
I am seriously considering buying a thermostat-controlled heating jacket
for that downpipe, which hopefully would cure the problem entirely.
Sadly this is the last update to this journal, since I sold my Beetle
I haven't heard from the new owners so I cannot bring news of the
restoration or where the Beetle is now, I really hope it is up and running
with a new lease of life. Here's to you Little Nellie!