How My Teenage Girlfriend’s Anti-Semitic Mother Made Me Learn Why VW Beetles Sound Like They Do

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I can’t recall exactly how this came up recently, but I was talking to David about my first real high-school girlfriend, the girl I first actually had sex with (I know it had to have happened on a Monday afternoon, because I went to a Boy Scout meeting that night for a really potent shot of incongruity) and I remember telling him how every time I picked her up to take her out for a date, I had to turn off my car and coast. Because her mom was an anti-Semite who didn’t want her daughter dating Jews. I had just kind of accepted this for decades without thinking about how that sentence sounded to people, but David’s reaction reminded me that, oh yeah, that’s all pretty weird. And, I also realized that most of that sentence could use a lot more clarification. I can’t do much to answer the why of the anti-semitism, but I think I can make a decent stab at the turning-off-the-car part, so let’s dig in to this little nugget from my adolescence.

Her name was Jennifer, like I think every girl in the 1980s was named, and she was an adorable blonde girl with big brown eyes, and I was delighted and a bit amazed she was interested in me. This was around, oh, probably 1987 or so? Something like that. We went to high school together and while I can’t recall exactly how we first met, it turned into A Thing fairly quickly, and, to Jennifer’s credit, she mentioned quite early on that her mom had a strict no-Jews rule for her daughter socially. As a reasonably healthy and clinically horny 16 year-old kid, I really didn’t care what restrictive social religious preferences her mother wanted to impose on her daughter, so I was undeterred.

Plus, why the fuck would I want to make an anti-Semite happy? Tough shit, lady. Your daughter has the Shtetl Fever. Deal with it.

[Editor’s note: Two things: First, this is a sad story in many ways, and a real shame to have happened to young Torch. Second: There are certain, uh, personal things in this story that I’d never discuss in public, but Jason is a bit “open” so I guess I’m just going to let him do his weird thing. For those of you offput by any of this, no worry — there’s a technical story on how suspensions work right there on the front page. -DT]

Jennifer didn’t give a shit either, but she had to live with her mom, so we couldn’t be openly defiant. This meant her mom couldn’t know when we went out, which meant some amount of subterfuge was required. Sometimes it got quite elaborate, like when we had school dances; I’d have to get a friend of mine to go to her house to pick her up, and then meet me at another location to do the handoff.

I remember having my tall, good-looking Prussian/Aryan-descended friend Charles dress up in a suit once to get her for some formal dance. His pictures are now in that family’s photo album somewhere, a memorial to all the good works beards (stand-ins/decoys) have done for humanity. She was in a shiny red dress and had her hair pulled back, and Charles teased me by saying she looked like a Russian prostitute, like that was a bad thing.

Anyway, beards were only for occasional use; by far the vast majority of the time the precautions taken were far simpler. Jennifer lived on a corner, at the top of a hill, so as I’d crest the hill to pick her up, I’d turn the car off, coast to the corner, turn, then stop on the hilly side street. Jennifer would come out of the house, round the corner, get in my car, and we’d coast down to the base of the hill, where I could safely turn the car back on. Luckily, this was all downhill.

Now, she told her mom she was going out with friends, who would be picking her up in a car, so why was it necessary for me to coast in if her mom wasn’t looking out the window like a hawk, which she wasn’t? Well, the key is in that picture up there: I drove a Volkswagen Beetle.

Unlike nearly every other car on the road, almost anyone can identify an old, air-cooled Beetle by sound alone. If I was like my friends and drove a K-Car or a Buick Century or a Ford Maverick or a Toyota Tercel or whatever, I wouldn’t have had to do this. But, I wasn’t like my friends. Where they got hand-me-down parent cars, I had a very specific desire for a Beetle, so I saved up and bought one when I was 15, before I could even drive.

That first Beetle was a ’68, but was soon crashed (not my fault; dude didn’t yield, though my dad drove by the accident and yelled JJJJAAAASOOOOONNNN like it was my fault, anyway) and then I pulled the engine from that and bought a ’71 Super Beetle from a friend’s sister who neglected to put oil in the engine. Ever. So, I had a ’71 Super with a ’68 engine, making it a rare case where an engine swap gives you less power: the ’68 was a single-port 1500cc engine making 53 horsepower, and the stock ’71 engine was a 1600cc dual-port making a ravenous 60 hp, so I lost seven horses in that deal. Oh well.

[Editor’s note: JT I feel like you’re getting into the weeds a bit here. Carry on. -DT]

Okay okay David. So all of this is to say that the reason I had to undertake this ridiculous clandestine coast-and-grab maneuver over and over is that I chose to drive one of the loudest, most distinctive-sounding cars on 1980s American roads, and if my date’s mom heard that distinctive VW clatter, she’d know immediately that that’s the car of that little Jew I specifically told to keep away from my daughter (because she knew who I was and what I drove).

This all brings us to the question I really want to investigate today: Why does an old air-cooled VW sound the way it does?

While there are many easy answers–it’s loud because it’s air-cooled, and so on–those don’t quite cover it. Sure, that’s a factor, but the unique sound of the VW Type I engine is really  a mix of several key factors. Four main factors, I think, and if you’re not doing anything better, I’d like to break them down for you now!

Factor One: Air-Cooling

The fact that a VW flat-four is air-cooled is probably a factor. Air-cooled engines lack the cooling water jacket around the cylinders, which are instead separate, bolt-on “jugs” with finned exteriors. The lack of that sound-deadening water jacket means air-cooled motors tend to be louder if you believe the British classic car insurance company Footmanjames. This isn’t all of the equation, of course, but it’s a big factor, especially for explaining the sheer volume of Beetle engines, which are, of course, loud.

Then there’s the way the engine is cooled – by sucking in a lot of air with a big, hamster-wheel-type fan, set into a large, ducted fan shroud. The noise of rushing air into the fan that then resonates through the thin-metal fan shroud makes up a big part of the background layer of a Beetle’s engine sound.

Factor Two: Body And Engine Layout Quirks

Okay, so we have an already loud engine, and of course Volkswagen was aware of this, so the company took some steps to keep things quiet. But not many steps. Really, the Wolfsburg-based company only cared about keeping the noise down on the inside of the car, so all of the sound deadening is on the firewall at the front of the engine compartment, while there’s none at the rear, on the engine lid.

The engine lid is just a stamped steel shield-shaped body panel. Beetles made between 1970 and 1971 had two sets of louvers on the engine lid, increasing to four sets in 1972. These louvers are just simple holes into the engine bay, with no baffles or anything to impede sounds (though convertibles sometimes had a rain shield). So, from the outside of the car, plenty of sound escapes, and if you’re standing next to a running Beetle, you can likely hear if the alternator/fan belt is loose just from the slapping sounds the belt makes.

Then there’s the fact that, because it’s a horizontally-opposed engine set low in the rear, the cylinder heads on either side are actually just exposed to the world. They’re under the fenders, sure, but you can see them if you squat down and look past the rear tire, and that also means all of the valve chatter and noise you can hear really well outside the car, since you’re just a valve cover away from those valves. And, the pushrods to actuate the valves are on the bottom of the engine, in little metal tubes, and I’m pretty sure you can hear them doing their thing, too.

I think these factors give a lot of the clattery texture of the Beetle’s sound.

Factor Three: The Exhaust System

The exhaust system is a huge part of why Beetles sound the way they do, and forms the fundamental aural rhythm of the car. I had a stock exhaust setup on my ’71, so that’s what I’m going to explore here; aftermarket setups can change the sound significantly.

The most interesting thing, I think, has to do with the muffler design. VW’s engineers had the goal of making equal-length exhaust header pipes for each cylinder, so that means the cylinders to the front of the engine (3 and 1, towards the front of the car) get their exhaust gases to the muffler via J-shaped tubes (usually inside the heat exchanger units that provide cabin heat) while the two rearmost cylinders, 2 and 4 are much closer to the perpendicular muffler, so they have header tubes inside the muffler that criss-cross on the inside.

So, that means that on the two-exhaust-pipe muffler, cylinders three and two exit closest to the left tail pipe (if you’re facing the rear of the car) and cylinders four and one exit the right one. The cylinder firing order of the Beetle is 1-4-3-2, so that means there’s a pattern that goes RRLLRRLL with two pulses on each side, as opposed to a maybe more expected and even RLRLRL type of pattern.

This double-pulse per each pipe gives the Beetle its distinctive putt-putt rhythm.

Factor Four: Exhaust Tips

So this seems like a tiny detail, but it’s really one of the most important parts of the distinctive Beetle sound. It’s all about those little “pea-shooter” stock exhaust tips, about the size and shape of a 10x enlarged chrome cigarette. Inside these exhaust tips is a perforated metal sleeve, with a slight gap between the perforated inner cylinder and the outer chrome cylindrical shell.

Something about this setup gives the VW’s exhaust pulses an extremely noticeable whistle/chirp note, a sound that’s sharp and cuts through not just the rest of the Type I’s cacophony, but almost everything else on the road, and I think this sonic element is why Beetles can be heard and ID’d from so far away. This video (which features a ’71 Super Beetle, just like my old one!) gives a great example of the sound:

If you want to hear how it sounds without the stock pea-shooter tips, you can hear it in that same video right here, when they run the car without the tips on, which is why this video is so ideal to illustrate this. Without the tips, a lot of the other sound elements are there, but that distinctive whistle is missing, and you can hear just how crucial it is.

All these factors are important, though; while those tips are maybe the most obvious factor, if you popped them on the end of a Honda Civic’s muffler, you still wouldn’t be able to sneak up on anyone expecting a Beetle. However, that said, I wonder if I had changed exhaust tips if that would have been enough to fool Jennifer’s mom? I was too stupid to think of it back then, so I guess I’ll never know.

If I’m honest, part of me kind of liked the cloak-and-dagger quality of it all. And, when it came time, as it almost always does in teenage high school relationships, to break up, I thought if I told Jennifer that I didn’t want to lie to her mom anymore, it would be a cleaner, kinder way to do it.

It was not. At all.

Her mom did tell me that, no, I can’t see her daughter, but that was hardly the easy out I thought it might be, because, of course, I was an idiot. So, it didn’t really end that well, but, you know, I was 16.

Now I can look back on all of this with amusement, and while I have no idea where Jennifer or her mom are today, I can at least take some comfort in knowing that an anti-Semite’s daughter and I did all kinds of depraved things in the back of a loud VW Beetle, which I’m certain her mom would have been livid to know about. So that feels good.

Plus, it forced me to really understand why Beetles are so loud! That plus being defiant to a bigot feels pretty win-win to me.

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90 Responses

  1. Then VW “replaced” the Beetle with the Mk I Golf/Rabbit which does not chirp. Rather it RINGS. At least mine (1.5 l 8-valve) does. Like an old Western Electric telephone at times. What is it with VW?

  2. You know, this is why I come here. I don’t care about racing or the newest car I can’t afford, what I want to read is an odd guys life experience used as a segue into a strangely specific detail about a Volkswagen. This is real journalism.

  3. But can you tell me why the relatively ‘normal’ overhead cam inline 4 L Series engines in Datsun 510s and other Datsuns of the era had a distinctive sound? They aren’t that different in design to many other engines of the day, but I could swear that I was always able to pick the sound of one out of general traffic noise. It may have had something to do with excessive familiarity (I had LOTS of them, and at one stage all my friends did too) but stock or modified, they always made a slightly different sound to everything else.

  4. These are some of the most interesting tags I’ve seen on this story: ANTI-SEMITE, DATING, NOISE, VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE.

    Or you could file under: JT’s Stream of Conciousness; Ramblings of a madman or cryptic message of a genius?

    Unless you are aiming to bring in some interesting search traffic from the Internet? You can find all this weirdness and more, only at “The Autopian!”.

    Also, great story by the way!

  5. Anti-Semite: I won’t let my kid date Jewish folk because “those people” secretly control all the finances and run the world.
    Me: If you really think that’s true why wouldn’t you want your kid to marry into the ruling class?

    And now that I think of it, since Autopian is at least partly controlled by the Jewish cabal when are we going to get a tech breakdown of the space laser setup?
    (for the humor impaired, please don’t take any of the above too seriously… unless Jason actually decides to do some Torchtopian on the space laser in which case I’m all for it)

    Great story and interesting tech writing, plus totally digging the engineering illustrations. I also think I got far too much enjoyment from DT’s editorial notes.

        1. I was really getting tired of the political BS at the old Jalop, can we leave that shite behind and just enjoy the automotive related gold here? Literally could care less about your political leanings.

  6. Well done my little shtetl friend, kudos
    I so enjoyed watching the boys change out the radio as well.
    It brought back many memories of my 73 super beetle, which also had an engine swap from an older bug, because I was stupid and let a “friend” borrow it and he ignored the idiot light for the generator, oops, cooked that one! I cheated on my radio install and, of course, put a pair of 6x9s in the custom made rear parcel shelf. Which gave me a great place to keep the ubiquitous toolbox, cause you never know what may happen driving a 20+ y.o. bug!
    Thanks Jason, for the bug memories and the H.S. dating shenanigans!

  7. Another great article Torch, cars and the human condition.
    I always loved the totally unique sound of the VW Bug, plus they were fun to drive.
    The engine sounded cool without the exhaust tips on.
    Off the subject, but they were unstoppable in the snow with a set of oversized snow tires.

  8. Those old Beetles make great EV conversions. They’d also be easy to aeromod. Especially the early ones without the widened fender flares(started by the Superbeetle).

    If you still have any old Beetles, consider this as a possibility or a template for one with your own twist.

    A properly designed rear spoiler could help the rear of the car act as a partial kammtail, and given all of the turbulence at the back of the stock car, cut drag by 15% or more by itself and improve high speed stability. Underbody panels covering the underside from front to rear with the bare minimum spaces to clear the wheels/suspension could easily/likely get another 10% reduction over the stock Beetle. Another significant reduction could be had with the cumulative effort of a rounded front air dam, underside rear diffuser, ground clearance lowered to about 4.5″, rear wheel skirts, passenger mirror delete, curved airshield over the windshield wiper area, wheel spats, and shaved rain gutters. I think the potential for a hobbyist without wind tunnel access to cut a stock early VW Beetle’s total air drag by about 40% exists.

    Doing so would cut the drag coefficient from 0.48 to about 0.27, assuming a slightly increased frontal area from the front air dam and wheel spats, from 1.8 m^2 to 1.9 m^2.

    This would mean you could use a single Netgain HyperDrive 9″ motor, which would require a modest sized battery pack to max it’s in-spec output to 130 horsepower peak, 100 horsepower continuous, 168 lb-ft of torque peak, and with optimized gearing, it would be enough power to max out at about 140 mph using peak power and risking exceeding the motor/controller limits if the speed is held too long, or max out at 128 mph and never exceed the continuous load. It would take some gearing changes over the stock VW Beetle transmission. Assuming the completed conversion weighed in at 2,200 lbs, 0-60 mph would be in about 6 seconds, rowing through the gears.

    Using a 25 kWh pack of Tesla Model 3 modules would be around 500 lbs, you’d likely be able to get a real-world non-hypermiling 120 miles range @ 70 mph and 160 miles @ a more efficiency-friendly 55 mph on the highway without exceeding the GVWR of the car with a driver and passenger. And make enough power from the battery to max out the power output of the motor/controller combo. And the Model 3 battery modules are so dense you could balance the weight of the car to however you saw fit.

    Plus it would be rear wheel drive and a crap ton of fun if set up properly.

    1. It should also be mentioned, that the Beetle chassis would make a good platform for a Volkhart V2 Sagitta replica. THAT Beetle-like minicar had a drag coefficient of only 0.17, and could reach 93 mph on a stock 24 horsepower 1.1L early VW Beetle engine. A fiberglass body of such would probably lose about 300 lbs over the stock Beetle if made in fiberglass, with an added CroMo roll cage for safety. A Hyper 9HV system with a 25 kWh pack of Tesla Model 3 batteries, if you got the aero of the Sagitta replicated, would likely yield 180 miles range @ 70 mph and a max continuous speed of 155 mph with optimized gearing, and 0-60 mph would be ~5 seconds shifting through the gears. And it would still be rear-engined, rear drive.

      It’s a shame the Sagitta never became mass-produced. It’s about as ideal of an EV conversion body form as one could get. But the Beetle is about the next best thing, and it’s actually available and lends itself to being modified accordingly.

      A Sagitta kit car for the Beetle wouldn’t even need to look exactly like a Sagitta. It could be sexxed-up with headlights from a Miata Italia kit and round tail lights, with the chrome trim pieces and bumper in the front removed.

  9. Ok guys, THIS is the kind of story that sets Autopian apart from the competition.

    That Torch managed to write a story that was funny, poignant, and informative, all at the same time, is the secret sauce.

    I’ll put up with a lot of arcane tail light trivia in order read an occasional gem like this one.

    Bravo.

    1. It is the kinks of fate which form us, that later give value to our perspectives. “May you live in interesting times!” is indeed a curse. But what no one tells you, is that an unperturbed river of experience leaves no stories about navigating the rapids. And it is THIS that we remember on our death bed.

      I can never get enough of Torch, because the oddities of his genuine experience are so far superior to the results I get from surfing the formulae of the intertubes. This, friends, is righteous.

      And thank you, Mr. Torchinsky. You are the real deal.

    1. Don’t forget controlling the weather! I get the newsletter, “The Further Protocols Of The Elders of Zion”, every month and I had to hear about the space lasers from a Gentile member of Congress. It’s a dark time when evangelicals get the news quicker than us honest soldiers for the Hebrew Hegemony.

  10. I don’t think factors 1 and 2 have any bearing on the noise.

    My first car was a Citroen GS, which was also equipped with a flat-four, air-cooled engine, but was much quieter than a VW Beetle. The engine was just as exposed as the engine on a VW Beetle. However, factors 3 and 4 did not apply to the GS.

    My conclusion is that the exhaust setup is the sole reason for the way the VW sounds.

    1. I may agree that the exhaust setup is the most distinctive part, but the other factors definitely are ingredients in the rich gumbo that is the sound. It wouldn’t be the same without the whooshes and rattles and clatters.

  11. I wish the old hag could read this and connect the dots.
    “So this is why I never heard a car when she was out, and here I was thinking aliens. I should have knew, SPACE JEWS! WITH LASERS!”

  12. With all the beautiful and ugly facets of this story, for some reason my favorite part is that you bought the car you wanted while still too young to drive. In 87 I finally got the car that had been my favorite since I was in second grade. By then I was 23, had my own address, and was was in equal parts in Idaho and in the Navy. I had sex ON my 71 Challenger, but never IN it.

  13. Obviously the daughter didn’t like her mothers rules, like all daughters. So dated a boy her mother disproved of to teach her a lesson. But didn’t want to face punishment so it had to be secret.
    Am I the only one watching cable TV anymore?
    And Torch was a VW fanatic to the point he bought one before he could drive. But not a typical enough car guy he decided to work harder to hide his car rather than making a car guy $2 change that enables him to get laid easier.
    Funny thing I dated a very nice Jewish woman in high school whose mother refused to let her date Catholic guys. Thanks mom.

    1. In some capacity I’d like to think that as an act of continued defiance said daughter is a bit weak in the knees every time she sees a star of David pendant. As she leaves a swath of content Jewish lovers in her wake, she dedicates each new conquest to her mom.

      It would also be just delightful if someone could send a link to her mom.

  14. I love this article so much. I just bought a 1973 Super Beetle with 29K miles, orange, so clean. If you have plans to come to metro detroit soon, I would love to show you my new bug. I love the noise it makes, so many people waving and smiling. Now my Polestar 2 is just getting dust in the garage lol

  15. I know you’ve written that the Beetle wasn’t the Hitlermobile some have made it out to be. But… you’ve gotta admit the fact that the offending sound coming from the Jew’s car was emitted by a VW is at least a *little* ironic, no?

  16. Two things: 1, The headline makes it sound like you have a teenage girlfriend*now*. Two, have you ever noticed how a Subaru with a bad muffler sounds a lot like an air-cooled VW? I think the boxer design must have a lot to do with it, because that’s about the only thing the two have in common.

  17. Thank you Jason. I know well the sound of which you speak. For a while in the late 70’s my mom had a VW 412. I would be up to all sorts of ‘things I should not be doing’ after school and I was always confident I could effect a quick cover-up because I could count on hearing hear coming up the hill two blocks from our house. -And, in the back seat depravity category…. my first automotive purchase was a 1971 Westfalia camper. In the year that it took me to actually get a license the engine gave running up but my girlfriend and I discovered that with the back bench converted into the bed the rear grab handles straps were ideally situated to make almost ideal improvised gynecological exam straps. To this day the smell of old VW interior makes me vaguely horny.

  18. LOL…she might not have been a car person but anti-Semites would have assumed that Jews didn’t drive Volkswagens.

    My own memory of an air cooled VW was when I was a young kid. We had no car but my father had borrowed a 1952 split window (not valuable at the time). It was much slower than my diesel Smart as I recall. We were driving on an Irish country road when an enormous pig strolled out in front of us.

    We hit the pig.

    The pig got up with some superficial scratches. The VW lost most of its front end..both headlights, fender, trunk lid. I never did end up buying a beetle, though I do enjoy bacon.

  19. Those stupid pea shooter exhaust tips! I have owned several VW bugs over the years. One time I was in Mission Beach, San Diego cruising my 1967 Beetle. It had a larger engine, dual 48 IDA Weber Carburetors and a dual quiet pack style exhaust. The carbs were louder than the exhaust. I too was young and dumb once. While cruising, I turn the corner onto Mission Blvd by the famous “Little Dipper Rollercoaster”, mash the throttle and dart up the street and promptly get pulled over by a motorcycle cop. He cites me and also mentions that my car is not stock because it should have the little pea shooter exhausts and my exhaust is too loud. Of course, I didn’t argue with him. Telling him that the combined four barrels of two 48 IDA carbs is what was really the reason it’s loud would not have been a good idea for me. I took the ticket and slinked off as quietly as I could…

  20. My dad, a physician, had a beetle for a DD through most all of my childhood. One of his patients ran a VW shop in a nearby town, and really only worked on the older stuff, so Dad asked him to put one together for him. I believe it was a 74, but not completely sure, as the whole car was really a hodge-podge of parts thrown together from the guys lot full of parts cars. Anyway, it was a fun car to learn to drive in. I had always loved Herbie as a small child, so I was ecstatic when dad told me he was getting a Beetle, only to be completely let down when it arrived because it never had that distinctive Beetle ‘chirp’ sound. I’m 45 this year, and I’m still kind of pissed off about it actually.

  21. So much to unpack here… So Torch and I are about the same age, both drove (and still have) ’71 Super Beetles in high school, and dated girls with bigoted parents (B/W racist instead of anti-Semite, as far as I know…). I too employed the beard-pickup strategy many times. We didn’t wind up together in the end, either, but I learned a lot about myself from the experience. Plus, I feel every technical detail from this post in my soul.

    You are truly a kindred spirit, Torch. Don’t ever change, don’t ever stop!

  22. The muffler and decklid definitely have more to do with the characteristic Beetle sound – especially the whistle / rattle. The Type III which used air intakes through the rear fenders, a fan shroud mounted to the back of the motor with a fan bolted directly to the crank, and a more standard single side-exit muffler had near zero whistle compared to a Type I (if anything they had a bit more of the 914 sound).

  23. My repeated viewings of Mallrats during college have convinced me that the backseat of a Volkswagen is a very uncomfortable place to have sex. Torch can you confirm or refute?

    Not that any of us would have complained at the age of 16.

    1. It CAN be done: I’m here. The only privacy my parents ( in Nebraska during November ) could find was in a ‘64 Beetle, so it had to have happened. I, personally, gave up on illicit activities in the back of a ‘74 Super Beetle some 19 years later. My gf suggested we just remove the back seat and use that on the ground. That worked. I’ll leave it there—except to note that Doritos are NOT an acceptable substitute for actual food when a slender young lady who skipped breakfast has been drinking pink champagne. Quite a memorable 18th birthday it was.

  24. Great read Torch– hilarious, heartbreaking, and informative. My favorite image was of you sitting in a Boy Scouts meeting post-coitus. It must have been murder learning how to tie a clove hitch or whatever that day’s task was after such a momentous event.

  25. That’s funny, I dated a Jewish girl whose mother didn’t like me because I was a gentile… or maybe it was the long hair and the fact that I reeked of pot

    Anyway, my favorite part of the Beetle engine is the exhaust part that sounds like a chirping bird, it makes Beetles sound so happy 🙂

  26. The 2CV’s flat twin is another very distinctive air-cooled engine sound. It’s interesting that the most unique engine noise comes from the most ubiquitous cars. Also, it’s crazy how long accepted anti-semitism was around for. When we moved to Connecticut in 1985, my father had to find the country club that allowed Jewish members. No joke.

  27. In SoCal, we called the OE-style Bug exhausts “peepster pipes”. It’s a sound I will take to the next life.

    And one morning we woke up to find that someone had spelled out JEWS in bleach on our front lawn. Orange County, ca, 1968, because my parents dared to put up a campaign sign for Humphrey. Tie-in: my dad’s ’63 Bug was in the driveway at the time. WITH peepsters.

    I hate most people now.

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