I was in first grade when this car paid a visit to my elementary school in Acton, Massachusetts. I remember it clearly because my mom had a 1974 VW Super Beetle in Screaming Yellow Zonker (I’m almost positive that’s the factory’s name for the color), and this was a police Beetle, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. My teacher didn’t like me, and falsely accused me of pushing my way through the crowd to get a better look before sending me back to the classroom to miss the rest of the presentation.
Mustie1 goes into the car’s history a bit in this video, but I can shed some light as well. The car traveled around Massachusetts making presentations to young school kids like myself. During a bit of automotive archeology he finds a cassette tape of a school bus safety presentation — the same presentation my first grade teacher kicked me out of. It plays through the PA system. The front of the car resembles a face, complete with the police hat. The hood has a motor to make it open and close to make it look like the car is talking. That’s why the lower part of the trunk area is painted a very non-police pink color, to look like the inside of a mouth. I spent most of this video wondering if this was really the same car that visited my school 40 years ago. This detail confirmed for me that it is.
Mustie1 actually manages to get this long dead car running again in his second video (it’s over an hour long, so “Buckle up, America,” like the bumper sticker he found inside says). To someone like me who grew up with fuel injected cars, it’s amazing to me just how simple the process of getting it running it. It certainly doesn’t run well, but he manages to not only start it, but also drive it around a dirt lot (with practically no brakes, but who needs those?)
It’s amazing what memories can be tied up with a car, especially when I saw far more of it in these videos than I did back in first grade. Particularly thanks to my mean first grade teacher.