Aug 19 2007
12:27 pm

If you're looking for parts for your old VW, or maybe a project, or would just like to visit an old VW graveyard for nostalgia, check out Foothill Imports on 411S in Greenback. It looks like they have one of everything VW related.

We stopped to take a few photos, and Mr. Gerald Miller, the owner, pulled up and stopped to chat. He said they have another location at 5028 Milsaps Dr. in Greenback, with even more VWs. His wife Juanita runs the parts business out of their home at that location.

They acquired the property on 411S about three years ago, and Mr. Miller says they are in the process of getting everything moved over there. He's thinking about a "VW Circus" theme, with old VWs arranged in rings.

He says they spend a lot of time out driving around looking for old VWs in people's yards and at used car lots as far away as Kentucky. He has two running bugs, and the "floor pan's in pretty good shape" on one of them.

More photos after the jump...

He also has another Bradley GT kit that someone never finished. A tree fell on it, though, and it will "need some fiberglass work." He said the hardest part to find is the windshield, which has to be ordered from the UK and costs about $1200.

ATSF616's picture

Never owned a Beetle.....

.....but I sure fondly remember two Sciroccos in my life, a '78 and then an '84 replacement. I kept the '84 10 years and finally sold it with only about 74K miles on the clock. That car was still showroom-new, with not so much as a paint chip, dent or rust bubble on it anywhere, just a tiny thin spot on the seat-bolster fabric where my fat butt nearly wore through to the spring underneath.

Thirteen years later, I'm still kicking myself over selling that car.

bizgrrl's picture

My Dad owned a Beetle around

My Dad owned a Beetle around 1968. The Goldwater neighbors weren't thrilled. He was one of those hippie, liberal profs at the time.

Carole Borges's picture

Yep, we had one of course, a red 1969 one...

Actually we had vans. Eleven of them during our hippy days. My husband was handy and we were poor, so he always bought old ones which we drove back and forth across the country and several times into Mexico.

With our 3 kids tucked into beds in the back, stereo playing "Hey, Jude" over and over at a too slow a speed because of sand particles (we parked the van too close to the beach in San Carlos), the hubby and I were happy as clams, as we drove from sea to shining sea, loving America and each other.

The only problem with those old VWs was that they were always breaking down. Poor cooling systems apparently. Once we lived for three days in a driveway in Berkley CA while he fixed one, then spent a week camped in a junk yard in Rawlings, Wyoming while he exchanged engines in another.

That man loved cars so much. Armed only with an antique wire milk crate for a stool and an old leather suitcase full of tools and parts, he could tear down any VW engine, find the problem, fix it, and be back on the road before you could say, "Far fu*king out!".

Ah, yes! A handy man with a toolbelt full of wrenches and pliers is a beautiful thing, and having a VW in your parking space is a special gift from the automotive gods.

When Joe died young, it was a terrible shock because then I found out how much mechanics in garages charge.

While the kids and I grieved in the hospital waiting roomn, the organ people came flapping into the room to ask the family to donate. The kids and I thought for a minute, and then we all started laughing hysterically. We knew of course he would approve of his parts being recycled because of his junkyard experiences. The picture of all those dead VWs really tugged at my heartstrings.

May they all rust in peace forever.

redmondkr's picture

For a year and a half

For a year and a half beginning in the summer of 1987 a friend and I did a ground-up restoration of this '69 Ghia Cabriolet in my basement. That friend (the owner) used to put all his receipts in a shoe box on the work bench and say that some day he would get drunk and add up the total cost of the venture.

I think he ended up at around thirteen thousand if you excluded the many hours of our labor and the cases of Bud Lite consumed during the work sessions.

It had five coats of Porsche Guards Red paint. Even the undercarriage was sprayed using two engine stands in a rotisserie-like arrangement. It, too, was a red light-to-red light screamer whose handling was really squirrelly above about ninety mph.

He sold it a couple of years after we finished it and I understand it is still shown occasionally in some of the VW meets around the country.

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Pam Strickland's picture


That was the name of the '74 Super Beetle that I drove for 14 years. I got it my senior year of high school, when it had 10,000 miles on it. Paid $3,000, taxes and all. It was a a fantastic car, and it took me wonderful places with loud music always playing. I only got rid of it because it needed engine work and it seemed like I shouldn't put any more money into it.

Well, the guy who bought it did his own mechanical work and drove it another seven years until his child's foot went through the back floorboard. Then he sold it to some young kid, who drove it another few years. I saw it around town all the time, and nearly cried everytime. Plus other people would tell me they'd seen it.

I was never happy with any car I owned after that, until last year when I got a '97 RAV 4, which, like George, wasn't what I set out to buy but it's fun to drive and has a good stereo. What more could we ask for?

OK, electric cars, but in the meantime.....

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

redmondkr's picture

A man who drives an

A man who drives an air-cooled Volkswagen and has clean fingernails is neglecting his automobile. When my chiropractor bills kept going out the roof, I sold both my beetles, a '62 and a '63, for one dollar each.

What a stupid move!

But let me tell you about the time I watched my Mexican clutch and throw-out bearing hit the pavement on I-75 near the King's Island exit after blowing a hole in the bell housing.

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D Mac's picture

College days

While in college in Denver my good friend would pick me up in her VW bug. I could see the pavement through a good size hole in the floorboard that we usually covered with old newspapers. In the winter, it was my job to hold up the crank thingy to keep the heater going. It no longer would stay up on its own.

In Houston, when streets would flood, the VW bugs would float and us kids would push them down the street.

My father who was a commercial artist once strapped a life size welded rebar skeleton of a giraffe to the surf racks atop my sisters VW bug to get it to his studio. That was a site.

The VW is certainly a part of our history and our culture. Carole, I loved your story.

Carole Borges's picture

Hey, I almost forgot the ones you cranked!

Yep, you loaded everyone up, then someone jumped out and actually cranked it with some kind of tool to get it started.

The image of your Dad's giraffe made me laugh. Once, in Chicago, we hauled a 10 ft tall, rust-colored paper mache egg we had made under the tutelage of Lyle Conway (who years later went on to create the plant Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and win an Oscar) with our VW van. The idea was to put the egg under the famous Picasso statue. It was supposed to be an Easter morning "happening"--

Get it? Eaater morning and the Picasso statue miraculously laying a huge rust-colored egg?

We spent weeks carefully planning our drop off and escape because Lyle being a publicity junkie wanted to create a mystery the morning papers would have to cover. Little did we know that the radical and violent Weathermen had come to Chicago to protest the War that weekend. When we tried to make the drop, security guards swarmed around us with guns drawn, and we all almost got shot. After they let us go, we had to moved our masterpiece to a small park called "Bughouse Square". By noon it had been completely vandalized and dismantled.

Lyle was despondent, but quickly came up with another spectacular event. He wanted me to go the police to say I had been raped by spacemen. He was a master latex model maker and figured he could take real human handprints, reduce them way down, and then slap them all over my car. That would be the proof.

After his almost lethal egg idea, I declined, but God he was such a fun guy! At the time, he couldn't even drive but owned a Silver Wraith Rolls Royce as big as a locomotive. A friend of ours with a license would don a chaffeur's cap and drive us around town (usually to McDonald's). The fabulous car blew up one night though when we decided to take a road trip to St. Louis to check out the zoo.

These VW adventure stories everyone has posted are so wonderful. I'm really enjoying this thread.

SammySkull's picture

My family drove a Beetle for

My family drove a Beetle for many years, though I forget exactly what year it was. It did have little turn signals on the sides between the windows that were supposed to swing out, but they never worked that I remember. I think it's sitting in my oldest brother's back yard in Griffin GA needing some attention. I believe we stopped using it as a family car sometime between when my younger two brothers were born. You may not think you can get a two parents and six brothers in a VW Beetle, but you could then. We had a van after that about which my biggest memory involves things melting near the heater vent.

I had my own Beetle, a '74 if I remember correctly. That was my early punk rock days. Some friends and I got at it with some markers one day and wrote the names of all our favorite bands on it. The Exploited was misspelled. It got smashed when I didn't make a turn quick enough. It was so dirty inside because my friends were asses and left their trash everywhere, and since I never road in the back, they were the ones who had to deal with it.

WhitesCreek's picture

There's a book in this thread

I have sort of fuzzy memories of sitting crosslegged on the ground at the ass end of a VW van with a file, manufacturing a part that the junkyard didn't exactly have.

Made it where we were headed and got back. Took longer than we expected and that was just fine by us. That's all I'm going to say. If you don't understand...You missed an era.


Hoseman19's picture

My first wife and I had a

My first wife and I had a Beetle. I hated that car (and her). The heater didn't work, the battery would spark and smoke if you put anything over 20 pounds in the back seat. It always needed repair. And, at over 6 feet tall, I really didn't fit. But it was fun to drive. You had to drive it like you stole it.

bizgrrl's picture

The 2nd picture (1st large

The 2nd picture (1st large picture) reminds me of Mick Jaggar's tongue.

WhitesCreek's picture

Keep that to yourself, girl...

The 2nd picture (1st large picture) reminds me of Mick Jaggar's tongue.

You don't owe anybody any explainations, OK?

We were all young once...or wish we were again.

Paul Witt's picture

My parents owned a bus that

My parents owned a bus that died before I was born and a bug that was totaled in an accident when I was 7. I don't remember the bug all that well except that my dad kept the ball from the shifter after it was hauled off to the junk yard. The sound of an air cooled VW still brings back fond memories.

I had the pleasure of owning a '74 Karmann Ghia convertible for a few years in the '90s. Sold it when my oldest was 1. Not exactly a practical family car with only 2 seats. If I had the time or the money to throw away, I'd love to get my hands on one as a project car though.

Andy Axel's picture

Trip essentials

I still remember the list of trip essentials as my dad got us ready to go on our long summer trip in his '72 VW microbus: food, clothes, drinks, travelers' checks, points, condenser, distributor cap.

These days I'm driving an Audi A3 2.0T, for which I traded my '00 Passat. (I am feeling quite unromantic about the idea of tooling around in that old beater combi with only the wing vents for air circulation.)


I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Andy Axel's picture

Capitalist Roader #2! Too

Capitalist Roader #2!

Too right, comrade.


I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

bizgrrl's picture

points, condenser,

points, condenser, distributor cap

Too funny!

On Rs and my first real vacation, we went to Daytona. In St. Augustine our Datsun 510 broke down. We pulled into a true service station, they let R use their tools, etc. to fix the car and we were on our way. On our 2nd vacation, again to Daytona, our Datsun Z (260 I believe) was overheating. We had to go about 300 miles with the heater on (in the middle of the summer) to stop the overheating and get home.

Shoot, when we moved to FL in '83, neither car had air conditioning.

Up Goose Creek's picture


We picked up Oikos in Stuttgart in the spring of 1963 and he was our primary residence for most of that summer. I slept in a hammock like bunk that fit into brackets above the front bench seat and my sister slept below.

Our journey included 3 Channel crossings and here is an entry fom my mom's diary:

Got the car aboard. It was quickly and dramatically whisked upward right in front of us and I have never seen such amazed children as ours to see the car rise up, when crane loaded, and fly up in the air on to the ship.

The return crossing was even more notable. Due to my sister's seasickness the van was loaded into the back of a cargo/passenger plane. I'll never forget the sight of that plane with the cargo bay open and Oikos resting there like a giant blue egg.

He was transported across the Atlantic and stayed with my dad until (I think) sometime in the early '80s. I wish he'd kept the plate-like hood ornament

Less is the new More - Karrie Jacobs

Factchecker's picture

By Karmann

OK, here's mine. We got a '64 beetle convertible when it was 2 years old. My primary car as a teenager. A lot of fun in the summers with friends sitting in the back and another row above them sitting on the stowed top. Not safe, but a lot back then wasn't.

I loved the car and continued my VW infatuation until I had a used Rabbit for a few years. My parents sold our bug sometime in the late '70s.

Remember the smell of those cars? There was a factory smell that never went away. It was especially rejuvenated by the heater.

redmondkr's picture

Remember the smell of those

Remember the smell of those cars?

That smell was horse hair. VW cabriolets had a pad of horse hair between the top and the headliner (practically nobody else even had a headliner on a convertible). The seats also had horse hair padding.

One of Volkswagen's most endearing ads stated simply that the top was powered by the most reliable mechanism known to man . . . . man.

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redmondkr's picture

A friend "tried to destroy"

A friend "tried to destroy" his dad's '64 beetle during his high school days. When I got my '62 he gave me this sage advice:

When you can no longer maintain 50 mph going up Beck's Hill on Clinton Highway, it's time to adjust the valves. It's true.

I also have that little home-made timing light that worked so well to find TDC on the no. 1 cylinder.

Visit us at

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melman57's picture

What a long strange trip....

I hear you, WhitesCreek, been there and what a great time it was. Me, my dog, my guitar and who ever wanted to enjoy the ride! The bus was the only way to travel, of course it helped if you were a half way good roadside mechanic. Then on the other hand, waiting for parts or whatever was always a good reason to party. Had several buses and bugs over the years and still drive a '57 Oval sedan. Spent many a foggy time with friends and Vdubs and don't regret a minute of it, best times of my life. Keep it simple, keep it real.

Factchecker's picture

That smell was horse hair.

That smell was horse hair.

Ah, I guess it was. Plus some German adhesives and plastics of the day (inc. hide glue maybe?). I remember the headliner as just a cloth that was water stained even before we got it. It was already on its second top too (vinyl, the first had been cloth). Can't remember the liner having stuffing. I do remember seeing the hair under the seats, though.

Come to think of it, too, I think ours was actually a '66 bought in '68. Off white color. Good car and fun memories.

Jerry Levy's picture

looking for plastic clip to hold sun visor for drivers side 73 b

enjoyed reading clips This is my 3 vw in 50 yrs Bought this one 73 supper beetle 4 yrs ago It is in very good cond. Looking for plastic clip that holds sun visor on drivers side in white If u have any please call me at 931 788 6910 Thanks Jerry

redmondkr's picture

I'd like to help you Jerry

I'd like to help you Jerry but I traded my '73 Super Beetle in the fall of 1974 for a brand new Scirocco.

keith's picture

looking for 1960 -1973 bug

Im looking for a 1960-1973,75 Volkswagen, beetle. Don't want to spend too much on it since im going to take it apart and redo it anyways. Your place that I have found so far maybe the closest I've seen near me. If you may have any suggestions, please feel free to e-mail me. maybe we can make some sort of deal on what you may have..Thanks a bunch.

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