The EFTM Garage was recently home to a very tasty Jaguar XE P300 R-Dynamic HSE. This thing is an absolute weapon and just begs to hit the corners harder and harder.
Unfortunately, despite Trev loving every tech heavy feature, it was just too much invasive technology for me. It got in the way of a very special driving experience. Which got me to thinking – how much tech in a car is the perfect amount of tech.
Obviously, this is a very personal thing. Some will want the latest and greatest, while others want tech that seamlessly blends into the drive, working hard behind the scenes to make everything just a little smoother, a little more efficient and a whole lot safer. I’m very much in the camp of the latter. Advancements such as ESP, for example, are absolute life savers, but I find the constant binging, bonging and flashing of so many modern cars infuriating! Don’t even get me started on stop-start systems – without a doubt the stupidest invention ever!
So what is the perfect amount of tech in a car, for me. Well, I’ve found it.
This 1952 Volkswagen Beetle features the perfect amount of electronic tech in a car – er, none! Despite not being the ultra rare and uber desirable ‘Zwitter’ (produced between late ‘52 and early ‘53), this Beetle certainly looks like a neat example of the sought after split oval rear window.
1952 brought some improvements that could make this one a rather special daily driver: hydraulic brakes, rather than a rudimentary cable system, and synchromesh on second, third and fourth gear, meaning you can change gears while on the move without having to match engine speed to road speed before selecting another gear.
I ran a ‘57 Beetle as a daily driver back in the ‘90s and found it perfectly adequate… with the exception of a lack of a fuel gauge. Your ‘52 won’t have a fuel gauge either. VW chose to go with a reserve tap instead of a gauge!
The history of this particular Beetle is unclear, but with right hand drive production still a year or two away you are stuck with the steering wheel on the left. Further, with export to the USA only starting the year before, it is unlikely to be from the States.
Ultimately, while this little Beetle provides just the right amount of tech for me, the price is steep. A quick search on The Samba (the Bible for all that’s Volkswagen and vintage) can find hundreds of similar, albeit newer, Beetles State side for much less.
Vintage Volkswagens – all the technology you will ever need and not a stop-start system in sight!