A little about Rob...


Here's a picture of poor bent Bertie. The back of him looks worse, but fortunately the engine wasn't damaged. Here's a little VW poetry to aid his recovery.

I'm not a trained mechanic. I'm an old geezer - nearly as old as Dave :-)

I learned to drive in 1967 in my Dad's '60 beetle. My Dad later owned a '65 VW Camper too (1500ccs of unobtainable power!).

So when the chance came to buy a new car in January 1971, naturally I chose my own Beetle - a 1970 1500cc swing axle model, which cost me $2059 Australian.

I would have liked a blue one, but the choices were limited to black, red and beige - the Superbug was about to be released in Australia and stocks of the '70 model were running down, so I chose a Savannah Beige one instead (soon dubbed "Bertie Beetle"). Click here to read some VW poetry on Bertie

I still have it, and (I used to - see below) drive it every day to work. It now has over 248,000 miles on it's original engine (rebuilt, but still original). I like to do my own maintenance and have done so since the car was new. It is now looking rather unkempt (torn headliner, faded paint, a few rust spots), but it's hard to take it off the road for a restoration when I like to keep driving it!

My car has a character of it's own. It HATES driving in Sydney. On those occasions when I have to travel there, I have to tell it "I know you hate Sydney, but we will only be here a short time, and I'd hate to see you break down in front of all those cars who have to LIVE here" and it then behaves perfectly. If I forget to talk to it first, it ALWAYS starts sputtering and stalling at a particular set of lights on the outskirts of town. No kidding!

My wife (Sharon - like Dave's wife too) doesn't like it much (too small, too noisy), but indulges me in my 'other' passion (the VW). She does like having a manual gearbox though - our other car (a Ford Falcon Wagon) has a 'slush' box and all the character of a wet sponge. My youngest daughter, under the influence of Mum, says "Buggies are ugly aren't they" unless they have a flower holder on the dash (mine doesn't) -- then they are OK.


Bertie Beetle was badly damaged on 1 April 1999 when I was hit from behind by an inattentive driver. He pushed me (with locked brakes) into the car in front of me and so both ends were "shortened". Bertie is therefore undergoing a forced restoration, which will take me some time. At the time of the accident, my sister was selling an old bomb of a Chrysler, so I grabbed that for a set of wheels. Big 6 cylinder engine, automatic and ran on LPGas (which is 1/2 the price of petrol/gasoline in Australia).

But I missed driving a Beetle so much I just had to get another one whilst Bertie is up on blocks; and in early 2001 came across a very nice 1968 Beetle. He's a semi-auto which has been converted back to a manual (not all that hard to do), and has a '71 twin port 1600cc engine. He drives very nicely (once I got the leaking fuel, worn out carburettor, miswired headlights and badly adjusted clutch and brakes sorted out), so I'm a happy chappy again. My teenage daughter named him Bradley, after several attempts at totally inappropriate names - don't you just love teenagers!

The Bertie restoration isn't going anywhere at present. the kids are growing bigger and the bank balance is growing smaller. But he's not abandoned - just delayed.

Design by Erin