Today I had my hair cut. The barber was a VW van enthusiast who had a beautifully restored vehicle parked in front of the shop.
I remarked that the recent popularity of VW vans were remarkable given the low tech of the air-cooled engine.
I wondered if there was some new technology that made such nostalgia easier to bear. Nope. For purists like the barber, he just gave up on having functioning climate control. Good for us Oregon has a temperate climate.
He did say that some people had placed Subaru engines with radiators into VW vans, then wiring up all the normal controls.
All this made me think of my years with a 1971 Super Beetle. Good times and several breakdowns.
The peak of the conversation came when the Barber told me he had goosed a Beetle over 100 mph on a quarter-mile track with improved gearing and carburation, and a few other tweaks – keeping the original engine displacement. Of course, this guy was from southern California.
And the haircut was good, too.