Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. As I keep saying, the air-cooled VW Beetle is the most common type of old vehicle I see on the streets of the island. By far the most common. As an former (and probably future) Type I owner, I like the clattery little beasts- unadjusted valves, crazy handling, and all- but it would drive just about everyone crazy if we had the two DOTS Beetles a week that their numbers dictate. Since it's been almost a month since the last one, however, today is Beetle Friday!

What model year is this car, really? I've arbitrarily selected 1964, but here's no way to tell from these photos, and I don't care how much of a VW zealot expert you might be. Oh, sure, the door handles, rear window, taillights, door handles, gas gauge… and you can cite chapter and verse about a hundred other details, et freakin' cetera, but this is no one-owner, all-original car. One glance makes it plain that this thing has been Frankensteined together from a dozen junkyard corpses; it could readily be a 1961 shell on a 1966 pan with totally random body and interior components mixed in, so the number on the pink slip is a likely a bureaucratic technicality and nothing more. I'm pretty sure it's a pre-67 pan/suspension, because who the hell wants to swap over all the old crap onto a newer pan just to have the big-bolt-pattern wheels? Maybe this guy!

Anyway, the lowered suspension and the other VW in the driveway indicates that we've got a hot-rod Beetle hooligan here. No doubt the original 6-horsepower engine has been replaced by some nutso powerplant that blasts all the neighbors from their slumbers with that distinctive "world's biggest chainsaw" blare every time it fires up late at night and provides its owner with exciting oversteering adventures on a daily basis.

First 300 DOTS VehiclesDOTS FAQ