Brian B

A Bic pen puts a VW Beetle on the road again

In the summer of 1992, I was in my early 20's. At the time, I was borrowing my father's 1967 VW Beetle. I had recently wrecked my prized 1970 GTO, and needed transportation. As if wrecking the GTO wasn't bad enough, being seen driving a VW added more insult to injury. As a "muscle car guy" it was uncool to be seen in such a pedestrian vehicle. The July 4th weekend was approaching and I was going to meet some friends at the Uwharrie National Forest for a weekend of boating and camping. Unfortunately, I had to work Thursday. My friends headed down Wednesday evening to set up camp. So there I was in a fairly desolate stretch of highway in the Beetle motoring along. The BeetIe was running OK, but I could feel it hesitate in the higher gears. I could hear my father's voice in my head as he had told me a few days earlier "that Bug could probably use a new fuel filter". The further I went, the worse it got. Until it was bucking and wouldn't run over 30 miles per hour. So I pulled off the shoulder and shut it off. I went back and pulled up the engine cover. There it was, a nasty-looking fuel filter that had seen better days. I was in "full Mcguyer mode". I found a white plastic Bic pen in the glovebox. Using a dime from my pocket, I loosened the hose clamps. I then used my pocketknife to cut the body of the pen to the approximate length of the filter. I then tightened up the clamps, closed the engine cover, and fired the old Beetle up. It ran like a champ! It got me to the camp, and safely home again. As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate all types of old cars. My Dad and the Beetle are gone now, but I always get a big smile on my face whenever I see an old Beetle driving around.I've also learned how valuable a disposable Bic pen can be!

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