January 27, 1995 – May 31, 2004
Written in 2008
I purchased “Dweezil” in early 1995 from a pool of Baja Bugs being used for weekend offroading. They were all heavily damaged from the abuse and most had been retired as parts cars. We got the car running by pouring gas down the carburetor and placing a hand over the opening to choke. The engine came to life and I was off on a test run. We made the deal, I put new plugs in, and started home. The advantages to buying a car this way are it will be very cheap and one does not have to feel guilty about learning the practices of restoration on a car that has been saved from the crusher. The disadvantages are everything will need attention and will only be financially practical as a hobby.
The car broke down during the 70 mile trip home. I had just filled the fuel tank, and was starting down the road when it sputtered and died. I coasted into the parking lot of a Mexican resuarant and started troubleshooting. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but by using some WD-40 as starter fluid I was able to get it running again. Later I decided to test the vehicle’s limits and picked up speed. At about 70mph the car started shaking violently, so I backed off the accelerator and cruised home.
I was showing the car to a group of friends when someone suggested it needed a name, then someone else said “Dweezil” and it stuck. Over the next 3 years or so I tinkered with Dweezil, including removing the body and fitting new floorpans. I also stripped the paint on the tunnel forward of the rear torsion housings and primered as part of the floorpan project. The pans were never welded in, and will most likely be replaced with a thicker set.
In 1998 I no longer had a place to keep Dweezil, so it was temporarily placed back in the field I bought it from. I hated to do it, but I knew it would be safe there and am forever grateful to the folks who let me use the space. Dweezil sat there for 6 years before I had a place to keep it. Finally, in late May 2004 I made the trip to rescue Dweezil from exile.
There was some excitement during the 500 mile journey home despite the slow speed. While in the middle of nowhere, the right rear tire on my truck exploded, ripping out the fuel filler neck and bending up the right rear quarter panel. After changing the tire and making roadside repairs to the fuel filler, we encountered an alligator crossing the road about 50 yards from the repair site.
Want adventure? Get an old, run down VW. Works for me!