Car Memories: Car 1 '57 VW Beetle Part 1 (Fuel Gauge or Lack Thereof)  Apr 17th, 2017 

This '57 VW was my first used car,

purchased for $100 in the late 60's about six months before I could get my driver's license.  An ill-fated vehicle (but that is a story for another time), it had some interesting features for a budget-priced vehicle.

Instrumentation was very rudimentary:  Speedometer, odometer, Blue warning light: headlight high beam, Red warning light: Generator and cooling, Green warning light: Low oil pressure, and Red "dual arrow" warning light: Directional indicators.

A single generator and cooling warning lights was used because the fan for the air-cooled engine was mounted on the rear of the generator shaft.  This was the only item connected to the the crankshaft pulley, so it was pretty safe to assume that if your fan belt broke or was slipping, you had both generator and cooling problems.

Note:  Alternators replaced generators in cars later on.  This was a 6-volt system with a generator.

As you can see from the instrumentation description, this model had no fuel gauge (in fact, it had no gauges at all).  Instead, there was an "L-shaped" lever about 3 inches long located on the front firewall directly in front of the gearshift.  In its normal position, the leg of  the "L" pointed upwards vertically.  This gave access to the 10.5 gallons of fuel in the gas tank, which was mounted in the front "trunk" and gave the vehicle a range of around 300 miles (yes over 28 MPG in 1957).  When you ran low on gas and the engine began to "stutter", you  would merely hit the lever with your foot and rotate the leg clockwise to a horizontal position.  This would kick in (literally) a 1.3 gallon reserve and gave you an additional 35 miles or so to get to the gas station.

As rudimentary as this sounds, it worked quite well and was pretty easy to engage with your right foot.  The lever also shut off the fuel supply when it was rotated halfway between vertical and horizontal (45°).  This was used as an aid when replacing fuel lines (so you did not have to drain the gas tank).  I assume this also could have been used to "run out of gas" when you were on a date (like in the old movies  i.e. "American Graffiti"), but let's face it, this was basic transportation and not a hot rod, Thunderbird or Corvette....

Back in the day, I always assumed the lever went inside the tank and moved the fuel pickup tube inside the tank from vertical to horizontal as you rotated it.  Now it is pretty obvious to me that it would have been prone to leaks and did not account for the shut off feature.  It was almost certainly a 3-way valve with two inlet connections to the tank at different elevations.  Shut off occurred when you were between the two settings.  Simple and effective.

Most important thing to remember was to rotate the lever counterclockwise back to the vertical position or as the manual stated "there will be danger of running out of fuel on the road."

Have a "Goliath" day, Pops

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Car Memories: Car 1 '57 VW Beetle Part 1 (Fuel Gauge or Lack Thereof) by Goliath Auto Sales,LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Volkswagen puts the “JET” in Jetta  Mar 16th, 2017 
Driving a 4dr family car that seats five does not mean you cannot have a little fun when cruising around Tucson, AZ. The 2.0 litre, turbocharged, 4 cylinder engine in the 2010 Jetta Wolfsburg Edition is rated at 200 hp @ 5100 rpm with 207 ft-lbs of torque @ 1800 rpm. When tied to the front wheel drive, 6-speed automatic transmission the Jetta does not disappoint – especially when that turbo kicks in – while still delivering 27 combined city/highway MPG (24 city MPG/32 Highway MPG).
The nicely appointed interior of the Wolfsburg Edition comes with many bells and whistles that just make driving more enjoyable. Features include: air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power steering, tilt wheel, am/fm cd/mp3, satellite, traction control, keyless entry, alarm, daytime running lights, all wheel abs, and power sun/moon roof.
Whether you are heading up to Mt Lemmon for some skiing or to beat the summer heat, highway driving on I-10, or just going back and forth from work, this may be a great vehicle choice for you if you are looking for a used car in Tucson. Take one for a test drive and see for yourself.  You should be able to find several, low mileage, previously owned 2010 Jettas from a quality auto dealer in Tucson – just make sure you look for the Wolfsburg Edition to get all the extras like the 2.0l turbo and put the jet in your Jetta.