Getting the convertible

I finally got the weather and my schedule to cooperate, and I went back to Alabama to pick up the second of my bugs: a 1966 Convertible. In rough condition. There are some parts here and there to be salvaged (like a motor, maybe, and a transaxle) but most of this vehicle is lost, I’m afraid. I’m going to use it as a practice dummy, and test some repair skills on this one before I work on the ’63.

Start the Title Document Process

Off to the Lee County Tag Office, with Bill of Sale in-hand. Fork over $37.19 and I have a tag for the ’63 Sedan.  That gives me ONE Bill of Sale, and ONE Tag Registration. So next year when I renew my tag registration, I’ll have all the pieces necessary to apply for a long-lost Document of Title.

I have a Bill of Sale for the 1966 Convertible, but I’m not sure I need to get a tag until I evaluate whether or not it can be salvaged.

Get Beevis

Off to Alabama. Just a two-hour drive to Florence, Alabama to retrieve Beevis the Bug. Can’t carry two, so I’ll get the sedan and come back for the convertible. After arriving on the scene, and making contact with Wade, the previous owner (a nice guy), I took a little closer look at the convertible:

Looks rough.

Speedo for the 'vert.

May not be much to salvage here. There’s an engine and transaxle — that may be enough to make it worthwhile to come back and get it. It’s a shame, really. Looks like the car has been sitting in a junk yard, and slowly parted-out. Mother nature took her share, too. The ebay auction listing identified the bug as a ’65, but I checked the VIN number on’s Technical Information page and saw that it was really a 1966. No big deal, either way. But after looking at the engine number, I can see the Volkswagen ‘recycle’ symbol, and the engine number ends with an ‘X’. I think that means the engine is part of the Volkswagen Exchange program. Probably had an engine swap fairly early in life. Not the original engine — too bad.

Engine number.

1300cc Engine
It didn't start out so badly...

So I load up Beevis (’cause the other one certainly looks like Butthead) on the trailer, and start to head back to Tupelo. Good sign to see him crank up and drive right up on the trailer.

Beevis looks like he has a tree growing out his head.

Across the dam we go….(I think it was the Wilson Dam?). Not sure. Also not sure if I supposed to pull a trailer on the dam or not.

Wilson Dam. Not a lot of room.
Are you following me?

While heading to Mississippi, I came through some town close to Corinth. I don’t remember the name, but there were signs up all through town that said “Welcome Home, Russell”. (my name) Maybe some soldier serving in Iraq? A contestant on Deal or No Deal? Don’t know, but it was one of those strange coincidences like opening up a fortune cookie and thinking that the fortune was a little *too* accurate or promising.

Welcome Home, Russell.

232.4 Miles. 17.86 gallons @ 2.76 per gallon = Add $49.28 to the Bug spreadsheet.

What’s It Take To Get a Title?

I’m going to pick up a couple of cars from Alabama, and bring them back to Mississippi.  What do I need in order to get title’s on these vehicles? A trip to the Lee County (MS) tag office gets me the skinny:

1) In Alabama, cars sold prior to 1974 don’t have Documents of Title. So there’s nothing to really transfer from Alabama to Mississippi. But there’s no reason to get a Title Document in Alabama because it’s fairly easy to get one in Mississippi:

2) In order to get a Document of Title in Mississippi, the state requires either TWO Bills of Sale and ONE Tag Registration, or ONE Bill of Sale and TWO Tag Registrations. I have one Bill of Sale from the previous owner in Alabama, and when I get a tag in Mississippi, that will count as one Tag Registration. So then I need only wait ’til next year and get another Tag Registration, THEN I can apply for a Document of Title.

I suppose I could have had a friend be the buyer of the Beetle from Alabama, then have him sign a Bill of Sale to me. That would get me TWO Bills of Sale and the when I got the Tag, I could apply for a Document of Title immediately. I don’t know if there’s anything wrong with that, but it doesn’t really matter.

An interesting thing about all this — a Document of Title (the piece of paper that people associate with car ownership) is just a piece of paper that makes it easy to explain who owns the vehicle. It’s not the actual “ownership” of the vehicle. If you own something (like a car), you have ‘title’ to it. The paper is not the ownership, it’s merely documentation of ownership.