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Classic air-cooled Volkswagens make great collector cars: They are mechanically simple and easy to fix.
Parts are easy to find, and so is the knowledge to fix themóthereís almost no problem you can run into that a thousand other owners havenít experienced. Best yet, as far as collectible cars go, they are real bargains. Here are 10 affordably priced classic VWs.
The classic original Beetle
There are about a million reasons why the Volkswagen Beetle is a great collector car. First, there are a lot of themóthese cars were unbelievably popular when new, particularly in California, the land of the rust-free car. Their simple air-cooled engines are easy to work on, parts are plentiful, and while they may not be fast, they are good fun to drive. Youíll find all kinds of Beetles on the market, from clapped out projects to near-perfect restorationsóa Beetle for every purse and purpose, to paraphrase GM boss Alfred Sloan. Watch for rollover damage on pre-1968 Beetles, and be wary of the 3-speed ďautomatic stick shiftĒ semi-auto transmissionóit can be a headache for the uninitiated. Take your time and shop carefully, and youíll have no problem finding your perfect Bug.
If you live where the sun shines, why not opt for an open-top Beetle? Buying a rag-top Volkswagen means youíll be spending more money on both purchase and restoration (though youíll be gaining more in resale value). But the manual tops donít add much in the way of mechanical complexity, and as with the hardtop Beetles, parts and know-how are plentiful. And prices are reasonable: Older, perfectly restored cars can close in on 20 grand, but there are plenty of functional fixer-uppers to be found in the $4,000 to $10,000 range.
If youíre planning to use your Volkswagen as a daily driver, consider one of the 1971-or-newer Super Beetles. These bugs are easy to spot by their curved windshield (as opposed to the flat glass found on regular Beetles) and windshield wipers that point to the right instead of the left. Supers have a MacPherson strut suspension that opens up more room in the trunk. And since they are newer models, they benefit from the largest engines, bigger windows, and the double-wishbone rear suspension, which isnít prone to rollovers like the swing arms found in older Beetles. Supers are available in both hardtop and convertible body styles, and prices generally donít differ from regular Beetles, so thereís really no downside to buying one.
Back in the day, people delighted in modifying Beetles to do all sorts of things for which they were not originally intended, and off-road use was a biggie. With the engine mounted over the drive wheels, Beetles had great traction in sand and mud, and the metal floorpan provided good... [Read More]
Dash cams can cost $200 or more, but you donít need to spend anywhere near that much for a decent-quality unit.
Here are six cheap dash cams that you can buy for less than $100, with features and attributes found in more expensive cameras.
Dash cams donít come much cheaper than the YKS 8000L, which sells for less than $20. Video quality isnít up to what youíll find in a more expensive cam, and some owners complain that the instructions are confusing and the mounting pieces are easy to breakóbut for 20 bucks, how much can you complain? This camera gives you basic functionality and acceptable video for an incredibly low price.
Another super-cheap dashcam, the $35 Bluepupil X08 (seriously, who names these things?) has a small footprint and records decent video. It will automatically start (and stop) with your carís engine when plugged into a power port that is switched with the ignition. Video quality is not as good as more expensive cameras, but thatís to be expected at such a low price.
The G1W (which can be purchased under several brand names) sells for $35-$50. Itís recommended by DashCamTalk.com and Popular Mechanics for its low price and good video quality, particularly under daylight conditions. It has a built-in screen that allows the viewing angle to be easily adjusted, and while it isnít the smallest dashcam you can buy, it will fit behind the rear view mirror of many vehicles.
One problem with budget dash cams is that the least-expensive models donít record well at night. The Mini 0805óagain, sold under a variety of brand namesóhas a higher-resolution sensor that does a better job under low-light conditions. It also has a built-in screen and GPS, features normally found on higher-end dash cams. Street price: Around $80.
Trouble doesnít just come from ahead; it can sneak up on you from behind as well. You can buy two dashcams, or you can buy a BlackSys CF-100, a Korean-made dual-channel unit that comes with two cameras, a 1080p unit for the front windshield and a 720p camera for the rear. Video quality from the rear-mounted camera isnít great, but this system does give you the convenience of two viewing angles... [Read More]
The first major step in resolving the massive VW dieselgate scandal has been taken.
Over seven months since the German automaker first revealed that it has been cheating on EPA diesel emissions tests, VW has agreed in principle on a settlement, taking the first major step in making things right.
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