|Picture from HERE|
We didn't have a sun roof, nor the luggage rack. The first VW was
black, not green. The second one we had was green, and my
brother, Rick, in later years built a huge box for the top to store
scuba diving equipment and first aide supplies.
About 1962, our father decided it was time to replace our 1949 Pontiac. We were all thrilled because Dad bought this swoop-backed Pontiac right after the war, and right before the car companies came out with huge fenders and big grills. It had been an embarrassing stigma upon the children of the family for some time because we lived in a neighborhood where people bought new cars every couple of years. At any rate, Dad looked around and Volkswagen Bugs were just becoming popular. The fact that Dad had a wife and four kids and this would be our only car, was not a deterrent to buying such a small vehicle because he was also cheap and could see the gas savings mounting into a giant savings account.
Dad was thrilled with his (almost new) car. Of course he and Mom sat in the front seats, and Rick (age 13) and I (aged 15) rode in the backseat. One of us had to hold Colleen who was two. Now just because all the seats were filled, or double-filled didn't phase our father. The motor is under the back hood of a VW so there is a small compartment in the back for groceries etc. He put a pillow back there, and that is where eight year old Laurie was to ride Luckily, she was so tiny she fit, or he may have just tied her on the roof!
We quickly began to notice that there was a camaraderie among VW owners because it was such a new thing. When you'd pass another VW Bug, everyone would honk and wave. Dad also began noticing that about this time men started wearing Bermuda shorts. He was making fun of the old guys with hairy legs and knobby knees until he noticed a lot of VW owners were wearing Bermudas. Not to be outdone, Dad had to have Bermuda shorts. Of course at this point, you have to go back to the point that he was cheap. I will also have to add, more than a little, eccentric. He decided he needed German style Bermuda shorts with suspenders to go with his German car. He had Mom cut off a pair of old brown suit pants, and make him suspenders from the cut off legs. That wasn't decorative enough, so he told Mom he needed fancy trim like the German shorts had. By this time, I'm sure Mom had had enough of him. With her get-even, sick-sense of humor, she sewed little felt flowers all around the bottom of the legs, and all over the suspenders. She found him a jaunty cap and attached a feather. He looked like a goof-ball! It didn't bother him a bit. He made us all get in the car and we headed for a family reunion. I remember tenderly thinking back to the old Pontiac and wishing we had it back!
Note from LaurieBee: I remember very well sitting in the "cubby hole." Nana Janes gave me a red plaid blanket to put back there. Please note this was long before seat belt laws and horrendous traffic. I didn't remember the Bermuda shorts -- but this is VERY typical of Dad and Mom.