Oh, hey. Didn't see you there. Did I mention I was interviewed extensively for Damon Ristau's (the guy who made The Bus Movie) new documentary about the Beetle, The Bug: Life and Times of the People's Car? No? And I didn't mention that Ewan McGregor's in it, too? Really? I should have. Because it looks like it'll be great.
Incredibly, I don't actually think Damon will edit me out of the film entirely, shaking his head at what a fool he's been. And, despite my presence in it, I get the feeling that The Bug will be a really great documentary. The Beetle's story has been told many times before, but I think this may be the first major documentary to come that includes all of the Josef Ganz-related Beetle origin information that Paul Schilperood wrote about in his important book.
That was why I was contacted, initially, for the movie: I wanted to talk about clearing up the Beetle's murky origin story. Of course, once I got rambling, I talked about the Beetle's role as a kit car platform and my own Beetle's story and all sorts of other stuff, so we'll see how much survives the editing.
Of course, the fact that an actor as well-known as Ewan McGregor is part of the movie is a huge help to getting this project attention. But I did notice something in that clip about Mr.McGregor's first Beetle. Here's the picture they flash on screen, of what is set up to be young Ewan and his first Beetle, probably taken sometime in the mid-80s:
What's notable about that picture? Young teen Ewan, so full of life. But that Beetle — that's not just any Beetle, that's a South African-built Beetle. I can tell by the unusual cuff around those large 1973 and on taillights. Only South African-made Beetles had that, and as far as I know, South African Beetles were never exported to Scotland, where McGregor allegedly grew up.
So what's going on here? Why would someone import a South African Beetle all the way to Scotland when there were plenty of equally good Euro-market Beetles around? Was this picture taken in Scotland, really? What's Ewan McGregor trying to hide? His Wikipedia page says nothing about a stint of living in South Africa.
I hope somebody clears this up, and soon. The Bug Movie is going to be way too good to be sullied by McGregor's first-Beetle-related scandals.
Anyway, I'll keep you updated about the movie — I'm excited!