Do you believe in rock ‘n roll? Can music save your mortal soul?
April 24th, 2010 by Les

An old 1972 commercial with actor Lew Wood says… although the beetle does definitely float, it will not float indefinitely. Fun!  (Unsaid – don’t use it as a boat even though we show it floating – like the disclaimers we see now that say “don’t try this at home”.)

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”
Jimi Hendrix, Guitarist, Singer, Composer

No floating beetles around here….at least none that I’ve seen in the Lake Chapala area.  Boy, have I seen a LOT of old Beetles, including old number 53 – The Love Bug (see picture below).  We actually live on the same street as Herbie.  This little gentleman of yesteryear poses for pictures constantly and you can almost hear him say “cool man”.  Talking about picking the right hamlet to live in…..what better spokesperson for Ajijic then Herbie The Love Bug?!  This Love Bug does not have the “rag top” so my guess is he is an impostor, but a charming one who brings a smile to the faces of all who meet him.

This Love Bug was not bought for anyone’s upstairs maid; he is driven by the owner of the Hacienda and parked out front to give him a chance to cater to his many fans.  (As usual, folks, I’m taking poetic license on this since I’ve not been able to confirm any of it from the source – Herbie – as he seems to speak Mexican with a German accent and we all know I’m only on my second Rosetta Stone lesson.  Too complicated for me.)

I’m including a vintage 1969 ad so that those of you too young to remember the original movie star can take a gander at what stardom really is.  Enjoy.

I’ve been smitten with the bug since high school.  It was my dream car – I aspired to great heights… I know!!  The car dates back to 1939 when the German government began building the autobahns and the Bug became known as “the people’s car”.  I did not fall in love with it then as, yes, it was before my time.  I fell in love with the 1969 version.

I can remember my seventh grade teacher had one and we delighted in “moving” it once a week to a place other then where he parked it.  He never tired of our fun and joined in the humor of the entire homeroom class picking the car up and moving it…by hand.  Ah, the memories.

Of course along with the stuffing of phone booths – a fun sport I believe started in the 60’s, stuffing a Bug came next.

Any who, my point is, I never could afford a Bug back then – although I bought one of the first new bugs in my home state (a lime green one) when they came out in 1998.  I have always wondered where they went.

I know longer wonder.  They are right here in the Lake Chapala area!  You can’t go far without seeing them.  These wonderful little “buggers” are everywhere and, quite often, they are being driven by vintage humanoids.  What absolute fun is that?  Not only have they found a home but some of the hippie’s have as well.  Is that not groovy man?  Shades of the psychedelic 60’s.  Can you dig it?  Let’s get everybody together and stuff a Bug!!

Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Jocotepec….I guarantee you, this place will blow your mind.  Peace out brothers and sisters!  Viva Mexico!

The Love Bug of Ajijic

The Love Bug of Ajijic

Our Car the Movie Star - Ad from 1969

Our Car the Movie Star - Ad from 1969

Vintage Beetle

Vintage Beetle

Another Bug

Another Bug

A Working Bug

A Working Bug

The VW Van that drove many a father crazy!

The VW Van that drove many a father crazy!

7 Responses  
  • david writes:
    April 24th, 20109:43 pmat

    The first car that I bought 100% with my own money was a beetle. I bought it in 1971 for $100 (it was used.) A few weeks after I bought it, I headed out to a rent party at friend’s digs. I bought a gallon bottle of Gallo White Chablis, put it on the floor behind the passenger seat, and started off to the party. The car moved 1 or 2 feet before there was a crash as the wine bottle fell through the back floorboard (or through the floor mat that was covering the hole where I had thought the floorboard was) and broke on the pavement. It was a very groovy car.

  • Les writes:
    April 24th, 20109:32 pmat

    These are such great stories, everyone! Thanks so much for sharing. See what I mean, boomers to Mexico…cool dudes.

    I’ve been thinking about let’s stuff a bug….can you just imagine everyone squeezing in? We might be able to set some type of world record – Boomers rule! Party on….


  • Stephen Millner writes:
    April 24th, 20108:45 pmat

    Hi Guys

    I had my own run-in with the VW Beetle when living in New Hampshire in the 70’s. If I remember correctly, I bought two non-working bugs, rebuilt one engine, cut up the one body and took it to the dump in my pickup truck. Eventually got it running but it never was a peak performer. Uphill (and there were lots of hills where I lived) it had to go in first gear. That’s about 1 mph, maybe 2. Eventually sold it to another clueless hippy. Saw him a week later in the book store buying a repair manual.

  • Laurel Williams writes:
    April 24th, 20108:27 pmat

    Long live the 60’s A few years ago I saw the real guy who did ,”throw the levy o the Chevy…Don Mclean in person. It was at an open air theater on the 4h of July. Boomers ruled the stadium that night and some even brought their grandchildren. We all sang together”Bye,bye American pie”, as fireworks boomed over our salt and pepper graying heads. COOL MAN!!!

    I did not drive a Beetle in he 60’s . I drove a hand-me down Chrysler New Yorker that I inherited from my aunt. We called it the “Barge! I’m sure it was quite intimidating to all the VW drivers. It was turquoise even.

    I was not a hippy,then ,too much involved with saving youths with English Literature. Now, I wish I had been an activist. My favorite bumper sticker was, “What if they gave a war and nobody came.”

    Peace, brothers and sisters

  • david writes:
    April 24th, 20106:54 pmat

    My favorite bug ad came out in the fall of 1969. ‘What does the snow-plow driver drive to get to the snow plow?’ A bug, of course.

  • Sandy writes:
    April 24th, 20106:27 pmat

    Okay, I went for the “and can you teach me how to dance real slow”. That Bug does bring back allot of memories from my youth which was just yestserday, of course. We did the same thing to one of our teachers at school only he didn’t think it was funny or cute. Got in a ton of trouble for that one. Just love this stuff.


  • Joe & Jan Ritchie writes:
    April 24th, 20104:58 pmat

    It appears you guys were in Woodstock, Jalisco, MX. I drove a beetle in Germany in the late 50’s (living with my rich uncle) and they had what they called mox-nix sticks as turn signals. When the Germans drove it didn’t make any differnce which signal was on they just may turn the opposite! Ein mere bier, bitte!


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