My boss Dennis and I have compared many stories of our Volkswagen Bugs we drove during our college years. There was no better car for poor college kids. They were inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to maintain, and inexpensive to fill up with gas. The key word here is inexpensive! And when other fancier vehicles were stuck in the snow, the Bug could travel on by.
The nostalgia of owning a VW Bug is a strong and wonderful feeling. Imagine giving someone the gift of reliving such a feeling!
We did just that for Dennis. Last year for Christmas, my co-workers and I gave our boss a VW Bug rental car for the weekend. After locating a rental car service that had a VW Bug, we had to be flexible with the timing.
You can rent a car anytime, anyplace but asking for a particular vehicle, you may have to wait for availability. Thankfully, a couple of weeks before Christmas, the rental car service called that a VW Bug had become available. Perfect!
When Dennis arrived to work, I asked him to come with me to pick up his Christmas gift from staff. Anyone who knows him understands the one-eyebrow-raised quizzical look that he does when he’s puzzled. He said he had lots to do – emails, phone calls, meetings, etc. I explained there was no other way to get his present, so he had to go!
He made several good guesses along the way, but he still did not have the slightest clue when we drove up in the rental car lot. Right in front of us was a shiny “Christmas Red” VW Bug.
We got out of my car, and I walked straight over to the Bug. I opened the door and said, “Here’s your ride for the weekend!” I should have had a camera ready for his facial reaction. Again, the one-eyebrow-raised surprise and shock. Priceless!
Dennis jumped in the Bug and took off – like a race car driver. I hurried to follow him in my car, and we arrived at the office with staff waiting to greet us. He told everyone that it felt nothing like his old Bug but it sure was “fun to drive!” He went on and on about how he purchased his Bug for very little money, that it took him everywhere, and he kept it for years as it was difficult to let such a dependable vehicle go.
Dennis and his wife showed up at my house the next morning and took my husband and me for a drive. He was right. It DID feel like a race car. It had more “get up and go” than our Bugs of the 60s and 70s. It had a lot more accessories too.
Even though the new Bug has made it into the league of fancier cars these days, our memories of the old Bug are etched in our baby boomer souls!
There’s a certain nostalgia and romance in a place you left. – David Guterson