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1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle [Typ 1]

1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle [Typ 1] in American Splendor, Movie, 2003 IMDB

Class: Cars, Sedan — Model origin: DE — Made for: USA

1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle [Typ 1]

Position 00:37:10 [*] Background vehicle

Owner of this vehicle: betand

Comments about this vehicle



2007-01-25 16:07


Appears in the establishing shot of the comic book store where Joyce Brabner (Hope Davis) works at when she is introduced. Nice paint job.

betand US

2011-03-02 19:08


I was the owner of this Volkswagen at the time American Splendor was made. I bought the car for $300 in South Minneapolis and limped it home to North Minneapolis where I did a quick and dirty engine overhaul. The car was so rusty that I made no plans for a serious restoration. My girlfriend and I painted the car with ordinary exterior latex paint, which actually held up remarkably well through Midwestern weather. In December of 2001, I was hired (at $75 per day!) to work as a Production Assistant on American Splendor, and I drove this car to Cleveland. About midway through the show, I approached one of the producers and offered my VW as a background vehicle, and they used it in this prominent establishing shot of the comic book store.

On the drive home to Minnesota, I was pulled over by a state trooper for drafting a semi-truck and listening to my iPod with headphones. (Because the heater channels were rusted out, I had attached a flexible metal tube directly to the heat exchangers at the engine. Thus, the car produced plenty of heat, but the tube dramatically amplified the rattle of the engine and, of course, the radio was broken!) The officer ticketed me for tailgating, but she dismissed the headphones. Later on that same trip home, the rubber diaphragm in the fuel pump ruptured and gasoline began to leak into the engine compartment. Besides the extreme fire hazard, the cabin heater of a Volkswagen uses air pulled from the engine compartment. The bitter cold of a Midwestern December absolutely necessitated the use of the heater, but the resulting gas fumes were nearly asphyxiating. I barely made it home with my wits intact!

In 2003 I sold the car to a Hispanic man who had hopes of restoration. A snag with the title required a second meeting with this man weeks later, and I then found out that he had stripped the paint and disassembled the vehicle. Thus, the American Splendor Volkswagen is no more.

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