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Steve's First Love

I don't have a VW but was a previous owner years ago, I love VW's of all sorts. I grew up around a lot of American cars but not until I was living in Los Angeles, CA that they caught my eye.

My first experience with VW bugs was when uncle and I built a dune buggy, he bought a 1963 and we began building. I helped because I knew nothing of cars especially building a dune buggy, it was all so new to me. When we finished it it was a blast to ride in especially at his property out in the high desert by uncle had and surrounding roads.

I began thinking of buying a 1967 Chevy Chevelle that another co-worker had given me rides in and I fell in love with it. Soon I found out they were a lot of money $2,900, as time went on my uncle explained to me about the cost of car insurance and getting tickets. One day carpooling to work I saw the "Whittier VW," dealer ship and asked my uncle if we could stop there one day and he agreed. I looked at all those VW beetles what a joy it was.

In September of 1966 my uncle and I walked into the Whittier VW dealership and I talked to the salesman outside and he showed us some cars and asked if we wanted to test drive one. My uncle drove the car, it felt good and the new smell was great. After the test drive I asked for a price quote and we walked into the showroom to get the quote. I walked in and froze I saw a new 1967 VW beetle red in color with cool rims. I walked up to it and I was nervous like just meeting a girl. I looked in side and saw a cool wooden steering wheel with a name "Empi" on the center of the steering wheel. I thought it was so cool, the interior was black vinyl with rear pop out windows. "Go head sit in it," the salesman said. I did and this car felt even better to me. I dreamed of driving it then I got out and looked at the exterior, the rims also had the "Empi" emblems in the center of the five spoke slightly deep dish Crome and black rims. But what was even more attractive to me was the three gold stripes of silver a thin one on the top a thick one in the center and another thin one on the bottom with space between the lines. Just before the end at the stripes near doors the letters "GTB" were added. I asked the salesman why such a cool car and he old me VW was trying something new to appeal to my age group. He also told me there were only two of that kind of beetle (B2 type?) that one and another one in San Diego.

We walked into his office and he gave me a full price for that red bug of $1,350 out the door, I told him to hold it and he accepted $25 down. I was so excited I couldn't think for a while, when we arrived at home I asked my aunt if I could borrow $1,000 to buy my car, my uncle had explained everything to her. She agreed and I payed her $75 a month and an extra $75 for the loan. The family was excited for me and I barely could eat dinner.

The next day after work we drove to the dealer and saw the salesman, we walked into his office and I looked at my car, he had all the paperwork ready for me. He asked if I needed a loan and I told him I didn't need one I was paying cash. He looked so surprised, "We don't get too many cash payments, how are you paying?" "Check," I signed the paper work and paid for the car mind you this was the very first time I had ever driven a car the six miles home by myself and a four speed at that. I drove off the lot and it seemed slower that the car we tested. On the first light when it turned green I killed the engine I immediately stated it and drove off. I was so surprised I drove so well for not driving that long ever. I arrived home and parked it in front of the house, I was about to put the parking brake on when I looked it was on park all the way home and I could smell like burnt rubber, I smiled. That was my First Love and proud of myself with not just a VW beetle but an unlimited addition. Sorry to say two years later it was stolen and never found, that was the saddest day of my life. I dreamed even today of someone calling and telling me they had found my First Love but it never happened.

Since I can't afford any type of beetle or any other kind of car. The last three years I have built 1950's gas stations out of balsa wood different sizes. I build a single garage with two pumps a bathroom, office and locker area in 1/32" scale. I also build one or two bay gas stations with three gas pumps, lifts, work area, a generator, cabinets, bathrooms, store room and office they all have windows, doors and very detailed. if anyone is interested you can contact me Steve (916) 601-6267.

Steve Corrales

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