Another Towing Story


John and I set out in the THING one summer on a trip to Florida for the express purpose of finding a rust-free Beetle to tow home and restore.

In Georgia we stumbled upon an interesting sight. Alongside the road was a tiny sign proclaiming "Mull's Cat Creek VW farm" and a pointer to a rural road. We couldn't pass this up, whatever it was!


Sure enough, there was a huge farm filled with ... VW hulks.

The usual story, the owner had started collecting Bugs and it had got out of hand. There were acres of 'em. Unfortunately we didn't find one suitable and continued on our way, but it was an uplifting experience.

Finally, on a dirt road in backwoods Tenn. we saw IT. Abandoned in some poor hillbilly's front yard was a (mostly) red '72 Beetle. No engine, no windshield and not much interior left, but it did have 4 disreputable tires.  John was for driving past but I insisted we stop.
The owner came out to greet us shyly and I asked if he would part with it. He hemmed and hawed and finally we agreed on $100.

The car towed pleasantly behind the THING and we rarely knew it was even there.

On Sunday we were within 100 miles of home sailing along the Interstate. I remarked to John that the THING seemed to be handling a little funny. We pulled over and saw, to our horror, that one of the Beetle's tires had given up the ghost. No tread to start with, it had now disintegrated into ribbons. What to do? The rims on the THING were 5 bolt, so the spare wouldn't fit.

It was Sunday morning and we were out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but corn fields all around us. Where would we find a VW tire? Peering around thru the corn I thought I saw a small building with cars around it. Maybe there was help. We drove off thru the back roads to find the place I had seen. Whoa, there it was, a little shack with ... VW's all around! The owner was a man who worked on VW's (mostly air-cooled) and had come in on Sunday morning to get something. He searched thru all his junk and damned if he didn't come up with a rim with a serviceable tire still on it!

And that's how the '72 got its start toward restoration.

A few pics of its transformation here: