Monday, 30 January 2012

The Ol' Boy's got life in 'im yet!

   Yes! This should give you an idea of what Arty looked like just after I first bought him. Here, he's getting ready for his respray and having a bit of rust treatment too! In the bottom left photo, you can see where the huge puddle was after accumulating rainwater through a hole in the window seal- scream!- and you may also see some evidence of where the muppet who owned it before the guy I bought it from- who's wife had bought it for him, but he unfortunately didn't have enough spare time for- had put house carpet in there without anything in the way of under-lay (or whatever the right word for the car equivalent is).  The same person also put on a tiny steering wheel- from a recent VW (not sure which but it wasn't a beetle!)- and a Scat quick shift gear stick, which is still there for the moment. Everything done on this car by these people was cosmetic- in what appears to be some kind of 'pimp my ride' attempt- with the opalescent purple paintwork, steering wheel that I can't imagine anyone being able to use, and massive speakers put in the back- which didn't have anything else added in the ways of battery power and balancing etc. to accommodate them- and there seemed to be absolutely nothing practical done to him.
   Anyway, these photos were taken by the guy who ended up screwing me over- but that's a story for another time. Arty's come a long way since then- oh yeah he had seats from some sort of fiat in him- but is still on his way to being how I dream of him to be.

   To give you some recent news, I took Arty on his longest run for at least three years! I drove him into uni (Basingstoke to Egham, so about a 40 mile round trip) and he was brilliant! He got all the way there with no trouble and wasn't too hot afterwards, there's still the flat spot but nothing drastic. I was worried about whether I'd get home or not- seeing as he can be a right grump- but he only grumbled a bit when I started him back up again. The drive was fine, got cut up by an 09 Passat- who had taken his badge off and put a stupid exhaust on- but he didn't get anywhere any quicker (muhahaha) as I had caught up with him at traffic lights five miles afterwards.
   Today also saw my first experience of how much love there is in the VW community. When driving through Camberly, I went past another Bug- in a beautiful pale blue (didn't have enough time to see what year-sorry!)- and I went for the 'I'll wave whether or not they wave back' but the fella in the blue bug waved too with a big grin on his face, and I smiled the rest of the way home. I also got flashed at by a Golf as he passed me on the other side of the road- I have to admit, the first thing I thought was 'is he on fire?!?!'.
   I think it's brilliant how much love there is to share in these old cars (and even modern VWs in the case of the Golf) so I'll leave you with this warm feeling :)...

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Running and ready for the weather...

   I gave Arty a little run today, just to warm him up and despite being out of action for a month or so, he started first time :D- see, he's a good boy really. I let him run for a while before moving him, so as not to cause any damage, and then drove him round the corner and back. He's running as he did before, although he has a flat spot which appears usually when I shift gear, and it kinda sounds like he's taking a breath. He's always had this, but if you have any suggestions of what it might be- whether it's one of his quirks or something more sinister- please share them :)
   In other news: I got those VW owner shakes this morning when, while watching the news, the weather man graced me with the knowledge that the country is on a yellow alert for snow- grumble. So, just as a precaution, I've snuggled Arty up in his cover- because we all know it's sod's law that it would snow if I didn't put the cover on!
   Fingers crossed for the weather warming up...

(sorry for the lack of photo, it was dark when I got in from work)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

It's Aliiiiiive! (rookie mistake)

Conor finding the 'problem'.
   Yes, the Beetle is certainly running again! However, I learned the get-under-the-car-and-take-a-look-before-you-buy lesson the annoying way (I won't say hard because I haven't lost anything) by buying a new starter motor before looking at the old one. Conor was having a good old tinker and with the help of John Muir saw a wire hanging sadly around the starter motor, and said 'Christie, give me that bolt back. I've found the problem.' with a tone of voice that sounded like 'Aah bloody sister!' haha! So he reconnected it, popped the battery back in and- after a few coughs and a generous accelerator push- he stumbled back into life.
    I was so over the moon that the 'you're such a wally' looks coming from my Brother just made me laugh, and I don't really mind confessing this silly mistake because that'll be seventy-five quid back in my pocket! (although I'm probably gonna buy a spare wheel, and spend more on some new window seals).
   You're all probably thinking 'someone take that car away from her, she's dangerous!' but let's face it, we've all done things like this. Always look on the bright side...

Friday, 27 January 2012

Still Stationary :(

   Well, today saw an attempt to get the new stater motor on... to no avail. My dear brother was kind enough to come round and help, he got Arty jacked up and ready to rumble when the heavens opened and poured a waterfall onto us- the rain, of course, stopped as soon as we'd decided it was impossible to work in that weather and had everything packed up. We're positive thinkers though, so we're happy to go back to the job in the morning when the sun will hopefully be shining!
   In other news- and boys please don't sigh- I've sewn some patches to fix the holes in the covers on my front and passenger seats, so while I can't afford to replace them, I'm gonna give Arty the 'Shabby Chic' vibe. You'll probably think it's a bit girly and Arty is always referred to as a 'he' but hey, a little cross-dressing never hurt anyone!
   By the way, Dad, don't worry I'll only sew onto the ones that need replacing :P- I intend to make a patchwork quilt for the back seat, perfect for sunset snuggles in the love bug...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The (not quite) Beginning

Here is a blog for all you Dubbers out there! Throughout the life of this blog, I will share with you my experiences with ARTY, my 1974 VW Beetle 1303. I bought him in 2009 for an absolute bargain (£828.28 worth of bargain thank you) but, admittedly, he was sporting a rather ghastly opalescent purple colour- he is now a lovely shade of pale green, you'll be glad to hear. 
So far, my life with Arty has been a bit tedious- he doesn't always like to cooperate, as you may know from your own experiences with dubs- but nonetheless, I love him as much as he loves to decide something isn't going to work. Two years, a dodgey mechanic, lots of money and one really good guy later, Arty was finally on the road and I could go out for a little drive, he even started first time on a really frosty morning- Bliss!...
Until I went to drive him one day- after the day before when he behaved perfectly and there was absolutely no indication of an impending temper tantrum- turned the key in the ignition, and... absolutely nothing! He didn't have the decency to cough! So tomorrow looks to be a day of tinkering- with the help of my Brother, I confess!- and hopefully I shall be able to potter around happily with him again. Until the next time...