Pink 'bug' is colorful landmark

Staff writer

If Jeanette Schaefer’s wishes come true, the 1965 pink Volkswagen “bug” sitting in the yard at 218 Ash will soon be traveling the streets of Hillsboro.

“The kids and I helped Dan, my husband, sand it and get it ready for painting when we first met in 1990,” she said. “It has always been a very special car and won’t ever be for sale.”

Dan Schaefer said he purchased the car in the summer of 1981 after he wrecked his old one.

“I’ve always been a VW fan,” he said. “I was living in Texas at the time and found this one in Emporia. It was white then. I drove it all the way back to Texas.”

Schaefer said he drove the white bug for about six years before deciding one day to paint it red.

“I used spray cans so I didn’t do a very good job,” he said.

Schaefer said he enjoyed going to Volkswagen car shows in Texas in the late 1980s and early 90s.

“Back then the neon pastel colors were real popular,” he said. “I saw a neon pink one that really caught my eye and decided then that would be the color I painted it next.”

Jeanette joined Dan in the Volkswagen restoration project and together they prepared it for the new paint job.

“I did it right this time,” Schaefer said. “This time we added a hot pink steering wheel and neon pink and gray seats. I wanted it to look sharp and liked a swoopy thing I saw on another car. So we added the green, blue, and yellow swoops too.”

The couple did not drive the newly painted car long before other problems occurred.

“It has a couple 100,000 miles on it,” Schaefer said. “It has been parked about 15 years now. Five years ago I rebuilt the motor but then the brakes went out.”

Even though they could not drive the car, the pink Volkswagen has been an integeral part of the Schaefers’ lives.

“We always use it to give directions to our house,” Dan said. “We just tell visitors to go to the house with the pink bug — can’t miss it.”

Schaefer said it would probably take only a week or two to get the final problems on the car fixed.

“Jeanette wants to drive it,” he said. “It doesn’t have a heater, but we probably won’t need that now.”

Schaefer said he had offers to sell the car just about every other week.

“We won’t ever sell it,” he said. “It has sentimental value to us.”

Schaefer said he picked up the bumper stickers in the window of the car at car shows he used to go to in Texas.

 

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