Restore the Volkswagen Beetle, bus… and dreams


Restore the Volkswagen Beetle, bus… and dreams
The “Dieselgate” scandal may weaken Volkswagen’s sales in the US, but demand for two Volkswagen products remains strong: the classic Beetle and the old-fashioned bus. Collectors are pushing up the price of both. A small store in Williamsport, Maryland, is involved. The repair and manufacture of cookware needs to look like they are going to the waste pile and turning them into exhibits.

Bob Cook, the boss, said that he has been paying attention to cars since he was a child and is undergoing a full repair when he is 19 years old. His daily job is to build a house, but he will go home and work on the old Volkswagen. When the real estate market collapsed in 2009, he bought the store in Williamsport and began to resume Volkswagen full time. The artist’s artistic spread, now he has a two-year list of old-fashioned Volkswagen owners, waiting for him and his small team to work their magic.

This magic was recently exhibited on Cooker’s annual Open Day. In front of the store, satisfied customers and Volkswagen fans mix and appreciate the perfect repaired car. One of the gems was the 1964 midnight blue beetle owned by Georgine Casper of Edison, New Jersey.

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Caspar’s love for Volkswagen dates back to the adolescence of the late 1970s.

no way! Finally, the Volkswagen bus will soon be off the assembly line.
Two way
no way! Finally, the Volkswagen bus will soon be off the assembly line.
“I actually had a car mechanic in high school,” Casper said.

Mike, then a boyfriend, is now her husband, who had a bug in Volkswagen.

“I have always envied Volkswagen,” Casper said. “His brother has one. He has a 65. You know, in the winter, when it didn’t start, I was the one who pushed it. I said, ‘I want a Volkswagen.’ My mother said, ‘ You don’t need Volkswagen.’ I said, ‘I want a Volkswagen.'”

Georgine Casper’s relationship with the Volkswagen Beetles began in high school, showing her fully restored 1964 model.
Les Cook / NPR
So she bought two, midnight blue ’64 and one 1969 beetle for $600. She said that the ’69’ floor is so rotten that you can almost stretch your feet out from the bottom. Her mother is not happy.

“She looked at them both. She was like, ‘God, what have you done? You spend the money on these sailboats. This is not the garbage dump of Sanford and his son,'” Casper said. “She is like yelling and going home every day and saying, ‘Look at this junk.’ I think, ‘This is not rubbish.’ Because for me, this is not the case. It is a rough diamond.”

In the end, Casper, who became an office manager rather than a mechanic, could not repair it himself. So she let Cook and his staff realize their dreams for her car. Now Casper’s ’64 Beetle shines like a diamond with four chrome wheels.

Under the dust and rust, the ‘new’ classic car rose auction
Around the country
Under the dust and rust, the ‘new’ classic car rose auction
To achieve this goal, Cook and his staff separated the cars and restored them piece by piece, either in their original state or in a modified version. Casper’s car is a low-profile hot rod with a high-powered engine and roll cage.

Another feature of Cooker is the restoration of old-fashioned Volkswagen, such as Alvin Ziminsky’s. He brought him from Cherrytown, Pennsylvania, to Cooker’s. “I found it in a barn near Frederick, Maryland in 1995. I paid $100 for it.”

“It’s like $2,600 in 1964,” he said. When asked about his $100 purchase value today, Ziminsky said, “It may be close to $150,000.”

Alvin Ziminsky owns the 1964 21-window luxury bus. He said that his $100 investment in 1995 has now recovered by nearly $150,000.
Les Cook / NPR
In the past few years, the market for old-fashioned Volkswagen has soared. Rusty buses that people used to pay are now sold for $20,000 or more. Why do they have this need? In part, it’s just their great design and simplicity. Ziminsky said that part of the reason is the story that happened with them.

“If you don’t stop talking to it, you can’t go anywhere,” he said. “You are on the road, people almost hit you and try to take pictures. I am scared because people are driving with one hand and taking pictures while taking pictures with them.”

David Abruzzi also has a story. It is attached to his 1960 VW single-person cab, which is part of Volkswagen and part of the pickup.

Meet the new beetle; the same as the old beetle (or close?)
Two way
Meet the new beetle; the same as the old beetle (or close?)
Abruzzi drove it to the open house of Paw Paw, W.Va. This pickup belongs to his grandfather, who used it in farms in North Dakota in the 1960s.

“He died in 1974. It was pulled into a barn and it was sitting there until 1987,” Abruzzi said. “I went up, with the help of a great uncle, let it run all the time and bring it all the way back to New Mexico.”

It sat under the sun in New Mexico for 27 years until Abruzzi took it to West Virginia, where he now lives. “People say near my house, ‘If you want to recover it, you have to bring it to the induction cooker,’” he said.

David Abruzzo is riding a rare single taxi. The sides of the back are folded down so they can be used as pickup trucks or flatbed trucks.
Les Cook / NPR
Abruzzo said he remembers what happened when a truck was used to haul the turf.

“I think it would be fun to throw away the turf on the back of [my grandfather’s] after getting up,” Abruzzo said. “He said, ‘If you do this again, you will get a sob.’ You know, you are a 5 year old child, that is your grandfather, what have you done? You do it again. I don’t do this. I remember spanking, but I remember my grandmother asked him to apologize to me because it was not what Grandpa had done.”

The cookware repairs rust spots on the old pickup and matches the original faded blue paint covering 80% of the vehicle. Its original paint is more valuable. However, for Abruzzi, the monetary value of the truck is not the point. What is priceless to him is that his grandfather’s name and address are still on the door: WE Skalicky, Battleview, ND


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