A Trip To The Museum!


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Hello fans! Yesterday, my long suffering PA and GF, Wendy K. Gloss, went on a road trip to the small city of Uitenhage, or to be more exact, to the VW museum which is right next door to the VW factory. This is the same factory where all South African VW Beetles (and more recently, the Bug-shaped ‘nice try’ they call ‘the new beetle’) were made.

I’ve been on holiday over December and January, and while I’ve been relaxing some of the time, I’ve also been doing a lot of D.I.Y. ‘stuff’ around the house. Yesterday was just a nice get away from it all, so Kay and I boarded Dolly (our 1962 1200cc VW) and took a casual, uneventful drive out to Uitenhage.

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This gorgeous bug is Dolly, and for those of you who don’t recognize her, she’s the front page model of my ‘how to’ book ‘Bugspray‘, and she took us all the way to Uitenhage and surrounds, and back home again to P.E. without even so much as a funny noise! Being a 1200cc, the trip was a little slow, but we weren’t in any rush – and were set on taking our time and enjoying the experience. Another upside of this was the amount of fuel we used on this trip – considering it’s a small motor – and a small fuel tank, the fuel gauge hardly dropped from the full mark. Anyway, all that techno guff aside, we set about touring the VW museum…

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Right at the entrance you will find this little mark one Golf – which as the placard indicates, was manufactured in South Africa right up to a few years ago! The yellow one in the picture is an experimental once-off from the VW motor sport section, turbo charged and has a motor that produces 200kw! To give you an idea, even the top of the line sporting hot hatch mk1 Citi Golfs rarely went over 80kw! Apparently, according to the really amusing placard, this car couldn’t be tested for maximum speed and 0-60/0-100kph runs because it was ‘a wild beast’ that would tear its steering wheel out of the driver’s hands as soon as the throttle was opened, wouldn’t stick to straight lines. Yes, I imagine a good time was had by all!

Actually, I wonder if they’d let me have a go? I’m sure it would behave for me! Nice Golfy, pretty Golfy, purr, purr, purr! 😛

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Kay posing with the last beetle to roll off the factory line back in 1978. It’s a very sweet looking little car, and it has an awesome interior. They should never have stopped making the beetle in SA – it’s still far better than 99% of the overpriced and over-rated sheer crap people are expected to buy under the label of ‘entry level motoring’.

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Kay was quite impressed with the level of technology in the museum displays. Even though the museum was a little upside down due to being revamped and upgraded after the recent tourist silly season in December, we got to see quite a lot of it. The last time I’d been here was – well, let’s just say that Facebook hadn’t been invented yet! The above pic shows Kay holding a button on the hydrogen fueled car demonstration model, and the caption should be “Keep calm! We know how to science!”

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A demonstration of how a G.P.S. works – oops, looks like the satellite lost its solar wing! Shades of ‘the Truman Show’!

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The VW Museum (called the ‘Pavilion’ by VW) has three driving simulators, not including the funky one that shows a live video feed of you behind the wheel of an open top bug on safari! I had a go at two of them – this one in the picture above was a lot of fun! The cockpit was realistic and for someone of my build, it was a tight squeeze!

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This handsome fella is a 1972 beetle that was found stored in a garage after a relative passed on – brand new, hardly driven, never even registered! With less than 800km on the odo, the motor hasn’t even been run in yet! My first bug was a red 1972 model – but it looked nothing like this when I got it!

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A mint 1978 mk 1 Golf…dsc_0420

The iconic GTi… I grew up wanting one of these.dsc_0404 dsc_0403

The very last mk1 Golf (Citi) built anywhere…

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Kay posing with the 1951 split window bug on the first floor of the museum. I see they finally fixed the number plate – they had it displayed as a 1952 model before, but that model didn’t come with a particular air vent – which this car has!

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Kay also posed with the 1950’s splitty van – a surfer icon of note!

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Guess who made a guest appearance just to pose for a groupie with the world famous Wendy K. Gloss? Why, Herbie of course!

After all that looking around, we stopped by Wild Rapids Spur for lunch, and then hit the main street of Uitenhage to do a little – what I’ve been told is called ‘antiquing’…

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We thought this would look good in the back yard, but they wouldn’t wrap it for us. Oh well, I guess the enamel 1940’s kettle and brass vacuum gauge off an old steam engine will have to do!

Well that’s it, folks – holiday almost over! I’ll be going back to work next week! Thanks for keeping up!

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