Jon Hilsabeck’s 1962 Volk­swa­gen Deluxe Sedan

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS REVIEW - Ma­te­rial pro­vided by Jon Hilsabeck. Are you proud of your ride? E-mail Lisa Ogle at logle@states­man. com

The search: For some time, I had been look­ing for a vin­tage Volk­swa­gen project car from the 1960s. Last sum­mer, I found a red ’62 bug stored in a barn on a fam­ily ranch near Sattler, 15 miles west of San Mar­cos. It was bought three years ago from a pro­ducer in L.A., where it had been used as a prop in a movie.

Up­grades: This orig­i­nal VW had some lim­ited restora­tion over the years, in­clud­ing mi­nor body work, paint and in­te­rior work. Since many old VWs have been rad­i­cally mod­i­fied, my goal has been to keep this bug in orig­i­nal stock con­di­tion with cor­rect vin­tage parts. One ex­cep­tion was the red horn but­ton made by Steve Scott of Cen­tral Texas Au­tow­erks, an ex­cel­lent re­source for old VW parts. The only other change was the ad­di­tion of an af­ter­mar­ket chrome tab on the glove box door. Ev­ery­thing else on the car is orig­i­nal VW stock.

Past ex­pe­ri­ence: In the 1960s and 1970s, I owned seven dif­fer­ent VWs. At the time, th­ese were very prac­ti­cal, low-cost and eas­ily main­tained ve­hi­cles. Once, I bought a ’64 VW from a Univer­sity of Texas stu­dent for $300. Although it was in fair con­di­tion, the en­gine had been dis­as­sem­bled in pieces and put in a card­board box. I towed it home and re­built the mo­tor in my garage spend­ing $200 for parts. One sum­mer, I bought a ’62 VW van for a Colorado fam­ily va­ca­tion, and upon re­turn­ing to Austin, I sold it for enough to pay for the whole trip.

Uses: At 30 miles per gal­lon, this bug has some prac­ti­cal util­ity for short dis­tance er­rands in town and oc­ca­sion­ally to the cam­puses of St. Ed­ward’s Univer­sity and Con­cor­dia Univer­sity where I teach busi­ness and health care ad­min­is­tra­tion cour­ses.

First car: When I was in high school, I paid $1,225 cash for a new black 1960 VW from CB Smith Volk­swa­gen in Austin. The car had no ac­ces­sories, so I added an out­side mir­ror and an AM ra­dio.

Club: Austin Air Cool­ers VW Gang. In Oc­to­ber, I par­tic­i­pated in the VW Har­vest Show event at the Wil­liamson County Park in Cedar Park where this bug at­tracted a few VW en­thu­si­asts. Re­cently, a man and his wife fol­lowed me around a shop­ping cen­ter park­ing lot. When parked, he asked if he could just take a look at my VW and smell it. He said it smelled just like his old ’63 VW. As a re­mem­brance, he still car­ries his orig­i­nal vin­tage VW key on his key ring. It seems that some peo­ple can never let go.

JON HILSABECK

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