Kathy and Dino Disler of Wilkes-Barre are the owners of this week’s ride, a 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle Convertible that they describe as “cute.” The Dislers say that they got this car about four years ago and have been working on it together ever since. Any free time, they say, has been spent “working on the VW.”
Volkswagen had produced the Beetle since 1938. The “Super Beetle” was introduced in 1971, and the main differences between this model and regular Beetles were a wider body, wider fenders, and it sat higher off the road, because of use of McPherson struts. The engine also produced more horsepower, a better turning radius, and approximately double the usable space in the front luggage compartment, because of the “stretched nose” of the vehicle and changing the spare tire from a vertical to a horizontal position.
German production of the Beetle ended in 1979, though it continued to be made in Brazil until 1990, and in Mexico until 2003, when the Beetle era ended after more than 65 years. The Dislers say that when they take their Beetle out for a ride, kids and adults alike “point and smile.” They also usually get the “peace sign” or “thumbs up.”
The couple says that the Beetle holds a lot of memories for a lot of people “many times when we’re out for a ride, we’ve been flagged down and have to pull over so people can look at the Bug. Then the people always share some memories of the Bug that they once owned.” Since the bug became part of the family, Kathy and Dino Disler took the car apart piece by piece, cleaned up and shined it and put back together (without any pieces left over).
They installed a new motor — she read the book, he followed the instructions — and they sanded the car, did the body work and a pro did the paint job. The was repainted dark blue, which they think is most likely the original color.
The book “Idiot’s Guide to a Volkswagen” came in handy and it is bookmarked start to finish. The Dislers say that they will continue to restore this classic and look forward to the next step of restoration.