Upgrading

Volkswagen 1800 TS Fastback

The VW Fastback was stylish enough and fast enough to suit our new image.

In 1970 I married, and “my life” became “our life”. Several lifestyle upgrades followed, and soon we decided we should move “up-market” from the beat-up FB to something a bit more trendy. We settled on a Volkswagen 1800 TS Fastback, which was fast enough and distinctive enough to suit our new image, and just inside our budget. It had an 1800cc motor which gave it plenty of power, and no radiator, so we felt it was indestructible.

We also bought an old, wooden-framed caravan to live in while we saved for a house. Eventually, we decided to move to Perth in Western Australia, using the VW to pull the caravan with all our belongings caravan2inside it. After several failed attempts to obtain a work-transfer with Telecom, I finally got one and we set off for the 2000 mile trip.

The car behaved very well, although it was a little under-powered for pulling over a ton of load through the Adelaide Hills, and we managed to break a clutch-cable there. This was repaired at a garage the next day and we set off for the long, flat stretch across the Nullarbor Plain.

nullarborWe found that with the accelerator pressed to the floor, we could travel at about 40 mph (65 kph) maximum, so it was going to be a slow trip. We stopped each night at the side of the road and slept in the van.

The car travelled all the rest of the way without missing a beat. But when we arrived in Perth and unhitched the van we found the rear of the car was about six inches lower than the front.

We decided to move on into the “adult stage” of our auto-life

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