I have just returned from a trip to Barcelona in my 1946 Volkswagen, together with three passengers and luggage.
On our return journey, near Narbonne in the South of France, a rear torsion-bar snapped but fortunately left the car driveable. Ten miles after this occurred I found it impossible to select any gear whatever and inspection found the linkage below the gear-lever to be so worn as to be inoperable. So the gear-lever was removed and the selector pushed into third gear, where it remained for the next 40 miles while we drove to the Volkswagen agent at Montpellier, arriving at 7 p.m. There we were told that a new torsion-bar could be put in but that only a temporary repair could be made to the gearlever, and that it would be ready for us at 12 o’clock the next day. The garage proprietor then drove us to an excellent and cheap hotel in his own Volkswagen at a phenomenal rate of knots. At 10 o’clock the next day I went to the garage to put our cases in the car and found it all ready for us. The bill was 9.500 francs, of which 6.500 was for the new torsion-bar. Needless to say the “temporary” repair looks like being permanent.
I would finally say that I have had the Volkswagen for three years — it was very much secondhand when I bought it — I have done 20,000 miles without touching the engine and yet she averaged 35 m.p.g. over 2,000 miles of hard Continental driving and used four pints of oil in that time.
Maybe there is a moral here somewhere.
I am, Yours, etc.,