Before I started getting my Beetle looked after more locally, I used to go to Harry Harpics, owned by the legendary Paul Miller, whose work is stamped on some of the best and fastest Bug engines across the UK scene.
I used to drop the car off in the morning, then spend the day by the sea before collecting it at 5pm. Happy days.
During the last few years of going there, enthusiasts started to to notice my old bug more than before, “what engine are you running under there mate?” would be a typical question, to which the reply “oh, nothing, just a standard single carb' 1300” would signal a rapid decrease in interest.
It was only when Paul told me that there was a growing sub-scene in the veedub community of cars with scruffy, unloved exteriors running big engines often finished with full chromed wheels and trim that I got why my car had started to get noticed. It then became almost embarrassing because my vehicle wasn't so much a “rat look” as just in dire need of a decent paint-job. More...