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10 things every air cooled VW Bug owner will encounter at some point, and how to deal with them. Part 1.

First we should qualify our title and make sure you understand that the following list is absolute fact!!… with several intentional un-truths and exaggerations thrown in for peaceful purposes only, ok?….OK.

In just a few months I will be 14 years in my 1958 Type 1. It took some doing but she is dialed in pretty good and is a semi-reliable daily driver. (note:  word “reliable” used with extreme trepidation).  Over the course of nearly 5,110 days of driving her I like many of you have had my share of encounters, or situations, or “oh snap!” moments.  I wrote down a few of them off the top of my head and once my list got to 37 items I thought it would be cool to just pull out 10 to talk about, so…here goes.


10: The “I had a (something ridiculous)” statement.

There’s gonna come a day when you’re going to be at a car show for example and some fella is gonna come up to take a look at your car.  He’s gonna ask you what you got “under the hood” (your first indicator) and then he’s gonna proceed to tell you that he had an “all original 1972 oval window bug with a Porsche triple barrel Hemi 336 in it.” He will say it as a matter of fact and then pause so you can reply.

Here’s what you do:

First look at what he’s wearing.  If he has on anything VW, he’s probably pulling your leg and he’s just not good at cynicism or dry wit.  Not his fault, it happens.  If that’s the case, laugh.  You’ll realize you’re talking to a family member and you guys can shoot the poop and have a nice day.

If he appears to be serious about his 336 Hemi, you should nod, and say something like, “Wow man. Sounds awesome.” Then fake a phone call to your barber or cry.  There’s not much else you’re gonna be able to do with this guy….sorry.


9: The infamous “clutch cable decides to break and everyone and their momma knows how to drive a bug home without a cable in it.” talk.

So inevitably you’re gonna be driving down the road listening to the All Good Funk Alliance or some other insanely cool music and you go to drop your road rocket into 4th. You hear a pop and your clutch pedal hits the floor. Broke. Crap. *!$!*. OK, now starts the “I read the Idiot Book and I know I can limp my car to Chirco or wherever to get it fixed fun time.” I’ll skip the details, but it’s horrible.  You suck at no clutching.  You live in a town with no crosstown freeway so you herky jerky buck-jump light to light for 3 miles which takes 7 hours. You get to your destination where every air cooled VW owner you have ever known is just hanging out eating little smokies or whatever, and they ALL gotta tell you how they drove a bug with no clutch cable over the Himalayas once because they had a friend that flunked outta Batman school or whatever.

Yes this situation can be annoying, here’s how to handle it:

You just smile and agree.  You know deep down that it sucks for all of us.  I like to mentally start working on the fish-tale I’m gonna spin when I’m not the broken clutcher.  There’s comfort in that.  It’s part of being a VW person…own it.


8: The kid(s) wants to look at your car moment.

At some point you will be with your car.  Maybe at a gas station, or a plant nursery, or outside your foot massagers house and someone is going to pull up next to your car and say something like “My kid(s) wanted to see your car.”

There’s really only one reply:

No matter what you are doing, or have going on, no matter what emergency (aside from medical or Arizona basketball of course) you let them kids look at your car!  You act nice about it and even when the little girl sticks her pineapple dum-dum sticky saliva covered hands on your decklid, you say “oh…hey hey sweetie…it’s too “insert mild mannered adjective” to touch.”

Now…you do this because one of the kids you come across is you when you were that age, and that little crusty nosed flesh bag of destruction may in fact be a member of the next VW generation.  This moment with your car could be the moment that puts them on the path.  Remember that.  Be polite and tell them you gotta go.  Rev your engine lightly or toot your horn when you leave.  Enjoy your melted heart.  This is a good thing.


7: The MYCAH (My Car Ain’t Herbie!) anger management situation.

This is a little tricky and kind of goes hand in hand with #8 sometimes.

My car is named Mistie because I enjoyed MST3K and fans were known as Misties (sometimes spelled with a Y).  She’s my pride and joy and I love her.  Many of you have named your car(s) and we all know that air cooled VWs more than any other car on the road really ooze personality.  So, it’s common to feel a tinge of GRRRR when someone says “LOOK IT’S HERBIE!!” when your car is Orange with a white stripe and lifted and etc. etc.

Here’s how you handle it:

If it’s a kid or parent with kids and you are in the midst of situation #7, you gotta let it go. (please do not sing that song….I’m serious…don’t.  ???? )  You gotta realize that to many people Herbie is the only name they know for a VW.  It’s a connection strengthener.  It’s a bond builder.  You just nod and smile.

If you actually have a Herbie replica you have many options here.  You can spin on your back, eat a fish sandwich, or you can chuckle and rub your soft underbelly.  It’s cool to see their eyes light up when they see and recognize an actual Herbie.  Soak it in…enjoy the moment.

If it’s your friends that are messing with you, and giving you a hard time about your car again, it’s appropriate to punch them in the nose or rapidly accelerate your extended booted leg, and create a blunt force situation in their nether-regions.  Just sayin.  ????


6: The horrific “I’m 276 and I gotta tell you in surprisingly vivid detail about an intimate tryst or 7 I had in the back of a VW 256 years ago…and ironically last week!!” situation.

Ok, look people.  These cars have been around for a long loooong time.  These cars are a culturally significant part of every ummm…lets call them “revolutions” since the 40’s.  There’s not a lot of room in the back seat, but ummm….passion is a foundation of creativity and well…you get the gist.  All that means is at some point you’re gonna be walking out of the post office, or mowing the rocks in your yard, or heck you might be just standing there wondering why your knees don’t bend the other way and some person is gonna walk up to you and ask you if this is your car.  You’re gonna say yes because you can never…NEVER deny it.  Once you do that the person is going to proceed to tell you a story about something they did in the back of a bug that is unrepeatable.  You’re gonna be tamping down the urge to vomit like there’s no tomorrow, and halfway through their story (the 40 minute mark) you’re gonna be trying to grow new muscles in your inner ear so you can just shut them from the inside without the person seeing.  You’re going to wonder why they aren’t embarrassed, but you know it’s about the car so you can understand.  Finally you hear them say “…and after the paramedics got there and found that by removing the glove box I could move my leg again so we were able to get out, and that’s why we named our triplets “Throw-Out Bearing, Gland Nut, and Mike.”!

How do you reply?

The old “Hey what’s that?!! point in a random direction so they will look and you can un-tamp” won’t work…trust me.  You’ll end up with a messy shirt and some explainin to do.

Your best course is to just say “Wow! I didn’t know that was possible.  Hey I think the earth is about to stop rotating.  I need to get home and feed my cat before I’m hurled into space.  Great story!”  get in your car, do not look in the back seat as that will cause immediate recall and go somewhere….anywhere.  When you get there.  Sob gently.  There is no cure my friend.  It’s part of the car.  ????

That’s a good stopping point for part 1.  We’ll get after part 2 soon.  Hopefully you found something in this article that will help you manage those situations as you come across them.

More soon.


Inattentional Vehicular Blindness (IVB): Do you have it?

So, I was sitting in my bug at a traffic light, listening to some Yacht or some other insanely cool music that I routinely  listen too and I heard a horn honking. I looked around, and didn’t see anybody. When I turned forward I saw a pretty sweet red and white bay window bus go through the  intersection. I thought it was my friend Sean, but I wasn’t quite sure because I heard that stupid horn again. I looked around….nothin.

The light turned green and I took off. I saw a real nice looking slammed GTI, and a really clean Eurovan within like 2 blocks of each other!

I got to Chirco and my phone started buzzing. Cool! It’s my Mom! The call went like this:


That story brings us to the point of this blog post. Is it wrong to not notice other vehicles if they aren’t VWs? Clearly I am of the opinion that though I see these other cars, they’re just kinda look like boxes with wheels, or more like Wonder Woman’s plane which wasn’t really invisible so much as just a vague semi clear shape with a truth rope wielding amazon chick wearing boots in it….right?

It’s not that other cars aren’t cool. They definitely are, I love cars, but for some reason when I’m driving I get Dub-goggles. I don’t play “Slug Bug” (no fun punching your own shoulder I found out.) and I’m not anti any brands really so maybe my Mom’s question was valid. What in the world is wrong with me?

vw parts

My last eye test chart.

chirco vw parts

What traffic looks like to me.

vw parts

How the grocery store lot looks to me.


Naturally I did a little research and I have come to the conclusion that I have a rare form of Inattentional blindness.
According to Wikipedia, Inattentional blindness, also known as perceptual blindness, is a psychological lack of attention and is not associated with any vision defects or deficits. It may be further defined as the event in which an individual fails to recognize an unexpected stimulus that is in plain sight.

Sounds about right to me. I’d change it to:
Inattentional Vehicular Blindness (IVB), also known as non- perceptual of cars not like mine blindness. It is a psychological lack of attention and is not associated with any vision defects or deficits. It may be further defined as the event in which an individual fails to recognize an uninteresting vehicle because on some level it fails to stimulate even if it is in plain sight. Note: Parents of individuals that suffer from this condition may refer to them as “Knucklebutts”. ????

vw parts


Now I understand a bit more about what is going on with me so I feel pretty good right? Well….something happened. I bought a Hyundai Santa Fe. Stop laughing. Anyway…all of a sudden I saw VWs and Santa Fe’s for like 2 weeks!! I was baffled. The “Santa Fe Effect” wore off but it occurred to me that perhaps IVB is more common than folks realize. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. Maybe I’m not alone here. Do people who buy Camry’s have this? I mean I suppose I could ask a Camry owner, but if they have IVB they won’t see me so I’m right back here…cursed with Paralysis of Analysis.If I think about it though, I could have much worse conditions. I could like Taylor Swift for example. I could be addicted to crab apples, or camo print sleeveless hunting vests right??

Now…I don’t know where you stand on this very important and highly controversial issue, but chances are you wouldn’t be reading this article if you didn’t own a VW and didn’t agree with me….knucklebutt.



Air Cooled Gift Giving: The Justification

vw gift certficates

vw gift certficates

I just transferred some money from my Paypal to my bank account so I could get ready to go shopping for my family. It’s nice to have a tiny side gig that adds a little extra cheese to the household platter. I thought “OK…maybe I’ll buy like a big family gift…a TV…maybe a new table and chairs for the deck with one of those big umbrellas that you have to fight to close on the one day it’s windy here. OH! wait! I got it! I’ll buy one of those automatic vacuum cleaner things so we can teach the cats to ride on it and then we can make Obi-wan Kenobi gliding jokes and laugh!” Perfect!!

Then, I glanced out the window…my eyes got all (very manly) weepy looking at my VW Bug. I thought..”Well…what do I get her?”

That brings me to the point of this blog post. Is it ok to buy a gift for your car? Let’s examine this. (Because clearly it’s totally necessary.  ???? )


What is a gift?

Hmm…ok, so now I guess the follow up question would be: Is my car an individual? I mean if I give my car a Chirco Gift Certificate, did I just give a gift to myself? In the eyes of the non-VW owner, maybe I did, but I don’t live in that world so their rules don’t apply!  Sweet!!!!

Anyone who owns one of these cars knows the answer to this question…YES MY CAR IS AN INDIVIDUAL!!! Now that we have established that point with completely sound and irrefutable proof we can move on to the next question.


Does my car “feel” good when I give it a gift?

We really don’t need to consult any third party to answer this question. Every VW owner is aware that their car is an “emotional being” trapped inside an inanimate shell. Why else would we talk to our cars if they didn’t “feel”?  I know for a fact that when I put my new wheels on my car, she felt frekkin fantabulous!  She transferred her happiness and confidence into me psychosematically and it manifested itself as an increased swagger within my gait. So…Duh! You bet my car feels good when I give it a gift!

That makes two undeniably correct answers firmly established in cohesive thought and backed up by clear scientific data. Let’s move on.


If I take advantage of a sale or coupon code am I decreasing the value of the gift I give my car?

Look…when I use a Chirco coupon code, or buy from the Smokin Deals category I’m actually showing my car that I value her more. She understands that like most of us VW folk, I’m not made of money…heck I’m not even made of loose change. Understand this, your vehicle can in fact read your mind. (note: This is why I wear a mind-wave blocking protective straw hat.) Your VW wouldn’t have “picked you” if it didn’t understand your financial well being or lack thereof to begin with. That being the case your VW wants you to save money….if only to buy more stuff for it…right?

Ok, last question.


What impact does a gift for my car have on the community?

Man…this is easy.

It’s pretty much like magically changing a bag of black jelly beans into RED ONES!! or it’s like getting tattoos in every box of Cracker Jacks you ever open! It’s like eating yellow snow and finding out it tastes like…oh wait…scratch that last one.

Truth be told, though we are all individuals with individual vehicles, our relationship is symbiotic. We influence each other in more positive ways than we realize and really…what’s more positive than gift giving? Giving a gift to your car isn’t selfish, it’s not even shell fish. It’s just a cool thing you can share with your community.  Now…we haven’t discussed prioitization, so don’t think I’m tellin you to not get the Barbie Dreamhouse for your little one so you can buy a new distributor for your car. What I’m saying is take some time, explore our site. If you have a couple leaves left on your holiday money tree and you know how to use a coupon code or take advantage of a sale.  Get that gift for your VW!  The more all of us do this, the more air cooled VWs there will be on the road, and that brings a TON OF HAPPY to the community.


Happy shopping and Happy Holidays!


Chirco Reviews

Mike Baldwin
Mike Baldwin
19:22 21 Jun 19
Front end rebuild, windshield replacement was a good experience with one of the best shops I’ve been to. Safety issues were found and resolved on my 1954 VW. John, you’re the best!
Mary & Terry Toth
Mary & Terry Toth
17:21 25 May 19
Very good people to work with they really know there stuff I recommend highly Terry & Mary
George Russell
George Russell
17:30 23 May 19
Regardless of whatever else I've had for cars I've always had at least one VW. Reliable and easy to work on. Chirco is without question the best place around Tucson to get quality VW parts and service.
joe gardner
joe gardner
19:38 07 May 19
i live in hawaii and its hard to get parts. the guys at chirco has made my experience much easier.. thank you guys.
Kurt van opstal
Kurt van opstal
02:57 01 May 19
I buy some times parts from. Them. For. My company fun buggy, Punta cana, Dominican Republic. Making tours with beach buggy's. I like there good service and quick shipping
Jeremy Mate
Jeremy Mate
20:13 07 Apr 19
I love chirco Automotive, great people, great shop and awesome showroom!!
23:37 27 Mar 19
Awesome people!!! And they have had everything I've needed so far
Doninik L
Doninik L
05:01 17 Mar 19
Best place in Tucson to get you vw fix. They are knolagable and can help you out with just about anything you need
Britten Rosenberg
Britten Rosenberg
00:32 10 Mar 19
Being a VW onwer and live very close buy I have been there a lot. Staff is very knowledgeable and are very friendly. Joe the owner is a good guy and will help you get what you need.
Robert Barracco
Robert Barracco
04:07 03 Mar 19
Nice people Quick Service had what I needed very good experience
Tim Miller
Tim Miller
20:33 10 Feb 19
Great service, very helpful staff. Great prices.
Randy Best
Randy Best
00:26 16 Jan 19
Old aircooled dub paradise. I restore old VWs and this place always has what I need.
Adam Kowalczyk
Adam Kowalczyk
20:41 08 Jan 19
Plenty of V W dune buggy parts, and lots of knowledge.
Peter Sollenbarger
Peter Sollenbarger
02:35 08 Dec 18
Joe Chirco is a great guy with a great team to help him out. they are very knowledgeable about all VW and more.
Keith Rae
Keith Rae
19:02 18 Oct 18
Awesome place. Great staff. Usually have what you need

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