In late 2001, I bought a new ’00 Volkswagen New Beetle TDI diesel to succeed the ’64 Type I (Beetle) I had been driving the past six years.
In 2004, I designed a set of decals and created a Herbie The Love Bug tribute car, which garnered attention pretty much anywhere I went – it was quite common to have folks pull up beside me on the interstate and snap a cellphone picture.
By late 2012, I had racked up about 215,000 miles on Herbie, and had already had to do some expensive long-term maintenance on the car including replacing the whole exhaust system as well as the suspension struts, bushings and other components (much of which I upgraded in the process).
About this time, Volkswagen announced that the 2013 Beetle TDi would be available in a convertible model with a manual transmission… I noodled the numbers, and decided that I was ready to purchase the successor to Herbie.
I cleaned Herbie up and parked him by the roadside with a For Sale sign… it wasn’t more than a couple weeks before I got a call, and after working out the details, a young man came out with his Father to make his first car purchase. Cash was exchanged for the title, and I had a bittersweet moment watching old Herbie pull out of the driveway after nearly twelve years of him being “my” car.