American Car Culture, VW Bug Update, What’s Next

Filed in Car Culture, Restoring The Bug by on March 12, 2014 15 Comments


I presented the June Bug and my senior project paper, “American Car Culture,” to the Chicago Waldorf School and community last Friday. Senior projects were presented over three days, and I was the last presenter on the final night of presentations (Friday night) it was around 8:30 p.m. and I knew the audience was tired, so I decided to punch the presentation up a bit and have some fun. (Here is the link for the video if you want to click over and watch.) My hands were a bit busy during the first part of the presentation and it took me some time to hit my stride, but I did achieve my goal of interacting with the audience and I think both the audience and I had fun. Thankfully, my audience seemed to agree with me…or at least they snored softly.

The June Bug showed up for the presentation in all her finery—new seats, new dashboard, new carpeting and new hubcaps. Behind the scenes, she has new soundproofing that makes her ride quieter, and under the hood she was completely restored. June loved the attention from all the people who wanted to autograph her. She was even agreeable when it came to taking some of my classmates for a ride. 

Next, I want to take you for virtual ride in the Bug, finish my update on the different models of cars, update the autograph video showing off all of June’s new friends, and continue to collect autographs on the June Bug. My goal is 1,000 autographs, the funds from which will allow me to paint her this summer. Don’t worry—even after she gets a new coat of paint, the autographs will be always be a part of her and remembered visually in the video.

Additionally, I want to continue to use the June Bug to promote the idea of people (especially teens) working with their hands. I hope to share more of the benefits that I have discovered personally—benefits that have come from repairing, restoring and creating. Maybe with my mom’s help we can write an e-book. I have a far-off dream of creating some sort of space with different types of tools and perhaps a garage where people can come together to work on various projects…

Over the next three weeks I will be interning for an import auto shop, where I will have the opportunity to work on all different kinds of cars, including my Audi. Today was my third day and I am enjoying it a lot. It’s very hands-on and the work is varied. When the internship is over, back to school I will go to finish up my senior year, which includes producing our senior play, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I’m not sure what part I’ll play, but I will be lead set designer—very exciting), a class in transcendentalism, a two-week trip to Hawaii (it’s a service trip during which we will be working hard, checking out those beaches for this and that), and then I’ll graduate in June. I’ll drive the June Bug to graduation; I really hope I am not becoming attached to that bratty Bug.

Thank you so much for going along for the first part of the ride. Thanks to your support and encouragement, I’ve accomplished so much. I hope you will stick around for the second part of this journey. It will be so much better with you along for the ride, and now you have a comfortable place to sit and put your beverage! Heat, you say? Well, we won’t need heat for much longer… Chicago has a wonderfully invigorating spring breeze.



A few pictures—This weekend we will go for a ride.

The Old:

Old Chair

 The New:

Car inside

Front Seats  – Carpet


Back Seat

New dashboard


cup holder

Essential Cup Holder



Comments (15)

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  1. Sue says:

    Just viewed Cole’s entire Car Culture Senior Project video..great job Cole..and very interesting..loved it !

  2. Mike says:

    Outstanding job. I watched the presentation and thought it was very interesting and entertaining. You know your stuff.
    The Bug is looking good. I’m looking forward to stage 2 and hearing about that Hawaii trip. I might need a few pictures of your this and that work.

  3. Great job, Cole. Spectacular, in fact. I am saving the video for later today when I can concentrate fully on taking it all in but what I saw this morning looks like you did a smashing presentation!!! Way to go!
    Beth Ann Chiles recently posted…Regrets? I’ve Had Very Few.My Profile

  4. Debbie says:

    Well done, Cole — congrats on getting through such a lengthy presentation. And doing it with STYLE!! You’ve learned a lot with this project, and we’d all like to think no learning is wasted. Whether ownership of a Bug is in your future or not is beside the point. You’re going to have memories that will last a lifetime. Loved the video of you pushing June — that brought back lots of memories, as my poor dad pushed our old Bug more often than he intended, too. Oh, and Happy Birthday!
    Debbie recently posted…Dallas, the Storm Chaser DogMy Profile

  5. Joann says:

    Awesome job Cole! We have been to the Henry Ford museum a few times. Even road in the old cars you mentioned and yet, I learned more watching your presentation. Found it informative and funny. Thanks again for taking us on this amazing ride with you. Side note..your Mom did a great job filming June Bug.

  6. irene says:

    Just finished watching your presentation. It was very informative & enjoyable. Your sense of humor added to the fun! It was apparent you put in a tremendous amount of time & work on both Miss June Bug & your presentation. Congratulations! What are you doing now with more time on your hands?

  7. Cole says:

    Thank you. I enjoyed doing the presentation a lot. I went straight into my internship after the projects so there wasn’t a lot of spare time. I finished my internships hours early, tho, and have next week off and I plan to take a break from auto repair and just enjoy driving.

  8. Cole says:

    The Ford museum is really great. I may go again with a friend in a few weeks. Didn’t you love riding in the Model T? I’m glad you enjoyed the presentation. My Mom was a lot of help.

  9. Cole says:

    Thank you. It was a lengthy presentation. I learned that all those presenters that I liked that had gone before me were a product of hard work and not winging it on stage like I originally believed. It reminded me of when my Mom spends hours on her hair achieving the natural look. Every bug owner has lots of memories of pushing it so your dad is in good company. Thank you for birthday wishes.

  10. Cole says:

    Thank you so much. Regrets I have a few :-D with this project but I was happy with the end result.

  11. Cole says:

    Thank you. I will take a few pictures in Hawaii but probably not just of cars. Unless it’s a really cool Dune Beach Buggy.

  12. Cole says:

    You watched the whole thing? Wow. Thanks so much. I am glad I kept you interested. I’ve really appreciated the encouragement and support. Now we have to work on your truck.

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