The Weekly Driver Podcast, Episode 7, 1959 Volkswagen Bug

Michael James

The 1959 Volkswagen owned by Bruce Aldrich.

Every family has a car story. Bruce Aldrich, the co-host of The Weekly Driver Podcast, inherited a 1959 Volkswagen Bug his father who bought it new. Bruce has more than a 50-year history with the car. He’s the guest in this week’s episode, discussing the legacy of the historic Bug and how it influenced his upbringing and his close relationship with his father and family.

Officially, the Volkswagen Beetle and Bug are the Volkswagen Type I. It’s arguably the most recognizable vehicle on the road with its high, severely rounded roofline, protruding fenders, distinct lights and overall bulbousness. It’s now 72 years old.

Bruce Aldrich and his father and the family's 1959 Volkswagen Bug.
Bruce Aldrich (leftt)and his father, Stan, and the family’s 1959 Volkswagen Bug.

The VW’ has a weird legacy. It was commissioned by Adolph Hitler in the 1930s as “The People’s Car.” And it was adopted by the Hippie Movement in the 1960s.

Through many changes, different trims, revised engines, etc., it’s still unmistakable. It’s now the second best-selling car in history behind the Toyota Corolla, with about 22 million old.

The 1959 Volkswagen owned by Bruce Aldrich.
The 1959 Volkswagen Bug owned by Bruce Aldrich.

Bruce discusses his passion for his Bug. He knows the vehicle in extraordinary detail — how the scratch marks originated to the details of the original purchase price and the extras his father added.

Bruce has the original purchase paperwork. And he has detailed memories of the work he’s done on the car since he inherited it more than a decade ago.

As a nearly 60-year-old vehicle, Bruce also shares how passersby react when he drives his Bug around town. Listen to the podcast below:


Article Last Updated: October 9, 2017.

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