Hey all ... yep, 2WD, yep, unibody, yep, a girls car and yep, pigs can fly and nope, can't polish a turd ... etc, etc, etc ... now that's out of the way, on with the show!!
Having owned many trucks and many off road capable vehicles over the years, I decided I wanted something different ... my new "truck" had to get 25 - 30 MPG, be small, manual transmission and I also had to be able to lift it for a little extra ground clearance. 4 wheel drive and 37" mud tires weren't on the list because frankly, when I had them, they were used very little.
I do a camping trip a couple times a year that requires two hours (each direction) of easy dirt road, I surf, which requires occasional dirt road and I wanted a little durability for LA's pot holes. I also wanted something a little different without being quirky and most importantly, my budget was $4k for the initial vehicle purchase.
I explored Subaru, Mazda, Ford, Mini ... lots of small cars, read numerous posts on this forum and others, and finally settled on a "New" Beetle. They're 10+ years old now, have really come down in price (can be found all over for $3-5k) and have a good support structure, i.e., repairs, aftermarket and knowledge base. Yeah, I get crap for it all the time but that's okay, the little car has really grown on me the last few months.
It's a 1999, 5 speed with the 1.8 Turbo ... I purchased it for $3800 cash with 100k miles; silver exterior, black leather interior.
~ roof rack (need to carry surfboard!)
~ rear seat delete
~ front / rear nerf bars
~ trailer hitch
~ lift kit
~ skid plates
Tonight I won't attach pictures because, well, you can drive 5 minutes any direction and see one ... they all look the same.
Oh, I should add, I don't have crazy illusions of off-roading this thing ... just simple fire roads and commute duty.
The next day or two I'll post pics of the roof rack and how it's coming.