Thursday, April 11, 2013

A 'Beetle' owner's experiences - email sent by JKS Weerasekara.

A true story. 
Clarence Amarasinghe the owner of Car Mart, who imported the Beetle,lived at Gampaha;
In the ‘50s in the Sinhala paper- I think Dinamina, he advertised ‘ Rs 2000/ gift if you can topple a Vokswagen’. I remember well.
And lo one chap had bought one and it toppled.

Clarence gave the money, but also bought the car back and kept it in one of his rooms hidden for some years! That is how the volks survived.

My Volks EL 8484 had superb acceleration, no noise at speeding as the engine was to the rear.
With engine behind, it tended to over steer, which was great going up the winding roads hill country.

Tended to skid with Kelani tyres on wet tarred roads, which I mastered driving  around Kirillapone.

Often the breaks needed adjustment, the timing belt likewise easily done by most.

The 6 volt battery was under the rear seat. Once it caught fire. Lights were poor, so much so, I crashed on to black tar barrels laid across the road about 7pm on a drizzly night at Seethawaka Kigndom- Avissawella.   Once around Kandy Lake at dusk I went over a sleeping dog screaming ‘Eek Eek’ and then  after wife’s tirade I went over another a hundred yards ahead with another  set of screams!  

The sealed beam lights – Hella were most welcome. Hub caps tended to drop off. The body metal guage was 16. Could keep a lot of luggage under the bonnet really!

I was devil incarnate speeding, no vehicle tolerated in front, even the dashboard cubby hole door flinging open as I  screeched to a halt. The cubby door  did bother me no end but I could never find the cause.
Expert Baases drove like hell, breaked to a sudden halt, but nix. Took sudden curves, breaked. Nix. No cubby door flung open.

I thinked and thinked. Scratched hair- had much then.

Then it dawned that Keerthi my beloved was always in the passenger seat at such times.

One day it was revealed; my love was leaning forwards pressing the cubby hole press button very hard with both thumbs as I breaked to a stop, and as she let go, the door flung  open!
Can be used on the blogger!

Further about the same time, Clarence got down the Vespa- looking very odd, and also the Peugeot 203.
He allowed one employee who lived down our area in Maradana to use the Vespa. We all looked askance at that but the Vespa became the no 1 scooter.
The P 203 was a stunner too but stopped as it had infringed the America  ( correction British) Jowett Javelin patents, looking so much similar. I saw a black Javelin at St. Josephs.

A variation of the 'Beetle' used extensively in the Second World War.

Designed in Germany when Adolf Hitler was in power by Auto Designer Porsche, the 'Beetle' had a variation to suit the needs of the Wehrmacht. This was used extensively in the Russian Front and in Libya. The air-cooled engine had no reliance on water and was a definite advantage in the deserts of North Africa.This model came to the Volkswagen Rally in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in April 2013 and was in pristine condition.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A modified 'Beetle', Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The front end.

The driver's seat. Automatic transmission, air-conditioning, stereo player etc. The rear seats have been removed and the canopy shortened.
The twin chromium plated silencers.

The rear engine compartment.
The engine with an alternator.
A view of the rear.

What a lot of care and attention would have gone into this 5 Sri model most probably manufactured in the late 1960s.
Click on link below to see a video:-

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The 'Beetle' in Sri Lanka.

The first shipment of the Volkwagen 'Beetle' landed in Ceylon in 1953. Thia was imported by Clarence Amarasinghe of Car Mart, Colombo. The price was Rs.3900/- I hear when the Morris Minor was around two thousand Rupees. The first series number plates issued to them was EY. A later EL series is still on the roads and took part in the Rally held on 7th April 2013.

Two Volkswagens at a rally on 7th April 2013 at Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The green one parked next to the 'beetle' is with a different body used extensively by the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. It is a beauty. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Volkswagen 'Beetle Rally', Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The youngster came all the way from Australia with his parents to be with his Grandpa to take part in a Volkswagen 'Beetle Rally' at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The last picture shows the Ayres Estate Guest Bungalow at Bope, Padukka where the Rally terminated.This building was put up in the 1930s. There were more than 75 Beetles in the Rally this year.
Click on link below to see video:-