Hi -

I am new to From my view, an excellent site with a wealth of information.

My interest and passion in Volkswagen took off back in the early-1980s. My first Volkswagen was a 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle sedan that I purchased in mid-1985 for college commuting for $350 while living in Minnesota. With just over 90,000-miles and some superficial rust, it was in good condition. With the assistance of my neighbor, the exterior was redone in the same finish and looked close to new. It was a great car. Sahara Beige in color. It performed well in those Minnesota winters. Very good heat, too. Regular maintenance was performed by a local mechanic and a nearby Volkswagen dealership - both took great care of the car. In beginning my career in North Carolina, it was my plan to take the Super Beetle with me, but, unfortunately, my dad was none keen about that idea. Its replacement ended up being a 1987 Mercury Lynx and the Super Beetle was sold - clearly a mistake in hindsight. The Lynx ended up being very problematic. If I kept the Super Beetle, I likely would have kept it to this day. As years went by, I still thought about that Super Beetle, wishing I had kept it. Its sale was like losing a good friend.

In the last few months, I began to think, "Why not purchase another stock Super Beetle sedan that is in good condition?". When I began my search, I was a bit surprised by the sale prices, on the low end, almost ten times what I originally paid for my Super Beetle. Clearly, these Beetles and Super Beetles are highly sought after now and, once advertised, are quickly sold. Twice, I have missed a potential purchase, a 1973 and 1974 Super Beetle.

This brings me to my questions. What is the availability today of new, Volkswagen-branded parts? Any dealerships in the United States that do an e-commerce business with Beetle/Super Beetle parts? I checked in with my local dealership regarding their support of the Volkswagen Beetle/Super Beetle and they referred me to a local shop. Do most Volkswagen dealerships prefer not to service the classic Beetle? Is there a number that may no longer service? Granted, the low number of visits to their service department, a dealership may no longer justify the investment in training among technicians? I also asked about parts availability and was told Volkswagen still has in inventory a number of parts for the classic Beetle. Anyone here purchase parts through a Volkswagen dealership? Have your Beetle/Super Beetle serviced at a dealership? What has been your experience?

- Steve

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Welcome to the forum.  Speaking from the point of view of someone living in Southern Ontario, Canada I can only add what I know about our region.  By the early ' 80's the dealers here were notorious for wanting nothing to do with their " history ".  Some gave away the old parts at firesale prices just to be rid of them.  There are stories galore of VW air-heads cleaning out dealerships by paying a lump sum and carrying away everything.  The service departments were not too keen on the old cars and as the mechanics aged and retired, especially the import German mechanics, the dealers ability to do proper service slipped very quickly to the point where service by them became an expensive crap-shoot.  Hobbiests learned to trust fellow air-heads who knew someone who knew someone ( likely a shade tree mechanic ) who understood and loved the old cars and who could apply the old knowledge and skills to keep the Bugs alive.  Today, some of the dealerships are back to sponsoring events and working to maintain good public relations since many of the air-heads are now no longer degenerate hippies but are valued 50 to 60 year old customers who may also want a Jetta.  From my point of view I would still be looking elsewhere for service on my Beetle.  In this case the best helping hands are at the ends of your own arms.

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I have owned and tinkered on bugs for the last 15 years. I can tell you that I have only found ONE dealership that will touch an old Beetle. Most of them wont even work on the Vanagon.

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VW of America has been a staunch non supporter of the very cars that made them what they are today. You're extremely unlikely to find any currently produced parts for any air cooled VW, (from VW) though there are stashes of NOS parts worldwide and many of those suppliers will sell you what you need provided you can meet their price. If you want your car serviced at the dealer you'd better pony up for a water pumper.

Now,  Recently VWoA is starting to remove their heads from their southern exposure a bit, as evidenced by Max showing up in commercials. They're still not supporting the air cooled scene in the form of parts or service. At least acknowledging their roots is a step forward, though they have a long way to go if they really want to win literally millions of loyal owners back to new products.

Individual dealers do have some lattitude to service aircooled cars, and some will. The number doing that you can probably count on your fingers and toes though, as there is a very healthy secondary market of small shops who specialize in that work and can do it better (and usually cheaper) than the dealer. Most dealer support comes in the way of sponsoring shows and community events, or working with individual aircooled clubs to promote goodwill. Those are the kinds of things they can write off in their marketing budget and won't get spanked by the big boys for doing.

There are good places to find aftermarket parts for your car. Topline and Wolfsburg West come immediately to mind for good reman stock replacement super parts. They are not VW factory parts, but they do a pretty good job.

Daily Driven Dubz Phoenix AZ Family

'66 Deluxe
'63 Deluxe ragtop
'61 Deluxe
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