Artimus: "If I'm not mistaken the old Volkswagon Beetles only had something like 37 horsepower? Or maybe it was 50 horsepower? The problem is that the Tata Nano probably won't ever be imported into the United States because it won't meet our "standards". Too bad! I think I really could get by with a car like that since 95%+ of my driving is done in town in less than 45 mile an hour zones."My 57 WV had the 36 HP engine....1100cc......4 cylinder.....it would do zero to sixty in a minute and 10 seconds....with a tail wind...... it had a 4 speed manual transmission, no synchro in first.....The next year, they increased the HP to 40 HP...and it stayed that way for years. I think it went to 1200ccThe VW Transporter (bus) had 50+ HP.....maybe 55? ......but it was even slower......Of course, it didn't have good brakes (small ones)...the '58 got better brakes. It had the small back window. In '58, they came up with a bigger back window. Of course, that made the 11 year old VW, when I bought it, cheap.....$200 with a rebuilt engine.The gas tank was at the front of the car. You hit something, you smashed the gas tank. It had no gas gauge...it had a reserve tank...if you remembered to close the reserve valve after you used it when you filled it up.It was black. (Am I allowed to say that without being accused of being racist?)....I ran OK....but it went through a engine jug when a service station attendant in Latham NY didn't put the oil cap back on...and it ran the engine out of oil because of that..... we rebuilt the engine on the workshop in the basement..... also went through a clutch....driving up and down hills, with 3 others in the car, didn't help......Troy NY is on the side of a big hill.....On the NY Thruway, even the 18 wheelers passed you on the mile upgrades at several locations...... you got down to 35 mph...and it didn't have flashers, a/c, or a working car radio ...had a 6v battery with a monster battery under the rear seat...always started even at 25 below.......Safety features? I don't even think it had seat belts......and sure didn't have air bags...or anti-lock brakes......or even radial tires....or power steering.....or power brakes.....or heat.....or a defroster than did anything....but it was cheap, and you could put 50c in gas in it and go 40-50 miles. I was making about a buck an hour. If the crowed wanted to go to the surplus parts place to get some parts, 2 or 3 would chip in a dime or two and we would head on over after putting a gallon of gas in the car.....Once when I left Albany airport after a job interview trip..it was 25 below officially...... by the time I got back to Troy 15 miles later, it had got up to zero inside the car...... I had to have the 'wing' open to keep the windshield semi-defrosted from my breath......I'd have to be real desperate to own a car like that again.....Oh, but it did have a sunroof..and that was fun in the summer time for 2 months.....to put gas in it, you popped the front hood...and there, where a radiator normally sits, was the gas tank...held 8 gallons I think.....Only got 22-24 mpg, but that was good back then...most cars got in the teens.....t.t.
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