Categories 4 Wheels

One Mexican City Is Keeping The Volkswagen Beetle Alive

In a northern community in Mexico, the Volkswagen Beetle is lovingly called a “Vochos.”  There are some theories about the chosen name. Some believe it is just slang for Volkswagen. Others say it is derived from “Bicho,” the Spanish word for the bug.  

Whichever it is, it is a term of endearment for a car that Mexico City locals love. 

In the hillside neighborhood of Cuautepec, the old-style Volkswagen Beetle is not just a transportation mode—it is a lifestyle. Residents love the car for its ability to navigate the steep hills, which is due to the engine being in the back of the car. 

The cars were a popular taxi option because they were also considered inexpensive.

In a beautiful piece from The New York Times titled “In This Mexican Neighborhood, Locals Say ¡Viva el Beetle!” stories show just how loved the car is. 

Quoted in the story is Álea M. Lozada, a spokeswoman for Volkswagen in Mexico, who says, “Our beloved Vocho has become part of the Mexican folklore thanks to its unique personality, quality, and reliability. It is an honor to be the last plant in which this iconic model was assembled.”

The Beetle has been a fixture in the area. The vintage models were used as taxis and could be found throughout the city streets. Its unique look captivated people, and the car became a favorite. 

“The good ones are the old ones,” said Eduardo Jiménez León, whose son gifted him a Beetle previously used as a taxi.

Sadly, the Beetle population is declining due to the halt in production. In neighborhoods like Cuautepec (nicknamed “Vocholandia”), you can still find the beloved car lining the streets. 

Those who use them as taxis are often called vochera, and many workers take great pride in their cars. Drivers dress up their cars and even name them, giving them their personality.  

Local mechanics are raising warnings, though. One car mechanic noted that driving a Vochs may be on the way out. His shop focused on Beetle parts and repairs, but since production stopped five years ago, parts have been difficult to come by. This will undoubtedly become an increasingly difficult issue. 

But those who truly love their Beetles believe they will find a way to keep their traditions going. It is “a car of the people,” and the community seems to want to do what it can to keep the car alive.

The Datsun 160Z Is a South African Favorite 

1978 160z datsun sport coupe from south africa
Emile Gerber / Wikipedia

The Datsun 160Z car’s 1970s aesthetics are evident with its yellow body, stripe colors, font, and primarily black interior with striped inserts. It is a favorite that comes from South Africa. 

Rust In Pieces: The Car Brands You May Have Forgot About

packard 110 touring sedan
Wikipedia

From audacious startups to once-mighty empires, these defunct car brands represent the dreams and failures of an industry. 

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