It seems these days that more and more people would prefer life in the fast lane to anything else. From fast food to fast cars, patience it appears is no where to be found. Not so in the case of Fred Moll, a former real estate broker from Evansville, Ind., who discovered VWs after retiring. He and his wife Shirley relish life at a slower pace, such as behind the wheel of their 1958 Convertible Beetle.
Beautifully restored in every respect, the '58 is one of two VWs Moll currently owns, the other being a '98 New Beetle. The one thing Moll is quick about is letting you know which of the two he prefers. You guessed it, the elder of the two.
"There's something magic about older, vintage VWs," said Moll.
This magic is evident at every angle, featuring 45 years of aircooled nostalgia.
The pan-off restoration features a red exterior with a beige canvas top and matching vintage upholstery. While not a period '58 red, each near-flawless panel shines radiantly.
Red on white two-tone 15-inch solids with stock caps are mated with bold tubeless whitewalls. In addition to a set of beautifully re-chromed bumpers, the exterior features standard running boards, driver's side mirror, chrome trim and stock lighting. While functional, polished aluminum gravel guards also lend a nice visual touch. Needless to say, in all, an eye-catching combination.
Interior wise, the drop top exposes its attractive and expertly upholstered beige cockpit. Upholstered as stock, the front and rear door and quarter panels carry out the vintage theme, as does matching German square weave carpeting. Also built to match is a complimentary top cover.
Intrumention along the dash including the steering wheel is also stock and beautifully restored down to the shift knob and window cranks. New door and window rubber is also used throughout. As an added touch of class, a retro package tray tucks nicely beneath the dash.
Open the hood and you will find the interior scheme flows wonderfully within the truck compartment. In contrast, a glossy, black powder-coated gas tank almost commands attention, as does a color-coordinated spare and a genuine Hazet tool kit.
Motivation for the VW, while slow is all that is required to taxi the Molls with great reliability wherever desired. At the heart of the matter lies a rebuilt bone stock 1200cc case. The 36-horsepower unit still runs on 6-volt power and features a Solex 28 PCI carburetor, as well as standard period hardware. The stock swingaxle is also rebuilt to factory spec.
It may have taken the Moll's a lifetime to experience the enjoyment of owning a vintage VW, however, like their '58 cruising slow in retirement can be a wonderful thing.
Occupation:Real-estate broker (retired)
Year/model of VW:1958 Beetle Convertible
VWT:Do you drive your VW daily?
Fred:No. I would love to, but I want to keep it looking new as long as possible. I do drive it though and there's nothing else quite like it.
VWT:What is your most memorable experience involving your VW?
Fred:Driving it from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Evansville and covering over 1000 miles in the process. I received a lot of thumbs-up along the way. Climbing the mountains on highway 231 was a bit slow, but the drive was problem free from start to finish. It was a wonderful experience I will never forget.
VWT:What is the best aspect of owning a VW?
Fred: Volkswagens are fun to drive. Simple as that. They also attract lots of attention, especially a red vintage convertible.
VWT: Are you a member of any VW clubs?
Fred:Yes, Southern Indiana Volks Force.
VWT:What part or component on your VW is your favorite?
Fred:I would have to say the original tool kit mounted on the spare tire. I love it.
VWT:What part or component is your least favorite?
Fred:That's easy. The battery located under the rear seat. Makes it inconvenient and a chore to get at.
VWT: What is the first VW you owned?
Fred:A classic 1979 Convertible Bug.
VWT:Do you currently own any other VWs?
Fred: Yes. In 1998 we purchased a red New Beetle to commemorate the 40-year anniversary of our '58. As nice as it is, there's no comparing the two.
VWT:What is the ultimate Volkswagen to own, regardless of year or cost?
Fred: Definitely a Split-window Beetle with semaphores. That car is a real piece of art.
VWT: Do you consider yourself a Volkswagen nut/fanatic, a VW purist or just someone who loves Volkswagens?
Fred: No question, someone who loves Volkswagens.
Slow, but reliable, the VW...
Slow, but reliable, the VW is equipped with a rebuilt1200cc, six-volt engine with a Solex 28 PIC carburetor. The engine is mated to a stock rebuilt swingaxle.
The cockpit features expertly...
The cockpit features expertly upholstered beige interior with white piping as contrast. Matching front and rear door and quarter panels were also nicely covered, as was the floor in beige German square weave carpeting.
Under the hood is a fully...
Under the hood is a fully carpeted trunk compartment, featuring a black powder-coated gas tank and a genuine Hazet tool kit.
Red on white two-tone 15-inch...
Red on white two-tone 15-inch solids with stock caps are mated with bold tubeless whitewalls.