... and now a word of thanks to somebody that helped get me here.
John Muir (Engineer) reads the title line of the article about him at Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir_%28engineer%29
). I don't think the title "engineer" really gives him enough credit. Neither do the large number of internet heros in their own minds who negatively review his book titled How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive; A Manual of Step-By-Step Procedures for the Complete Idiot.
Yeah … there are better WORKSHOP manuals out there, the Bently series comes to mind … and so does the Chilton efforts, but that completely misses the point of the Muir book: YOU CAN DO IT!!!
John Muir wrote a book … way back in 1969, LONG before the internet, that inspired THOUSANDS of people with absolutely ZERO skill sets and NO confidence to go ahead and open up the rear deck of their VW and give it a go.
It worked for me. I bought my copy of the book when I got hired by a VW Dealership, and until they had enough confidence in me to send me to the VW school in Orangeburg, NY … the “Idiot Book”, with it's hippy artwork was about the only thing that got me through the day.
I'm not going to tell you that this book led me directly to my first VW (a yellow 1965 Karmine Ghia. I bought the car with no engine and no trans for two 6-packs of Miller Hi-Life), which got me into doing autocross and road rallyes. Eventually, the confidence I had gained just KNOWING that I REALLY CAN DO IT, allowed me to get my degree in Auto Tech, have a nice career with a Porsche Repair Center, two of my own shops AND build and race my own E Production MGB's. Heck … this book might also figure into the building of my bus, and not in a small way. Yeah, maybe Muir's book didn't lead directly to those things … but it sure did help me … and I'll bet it helped THOUSANDS of others.
I'll just bet that this book is the only thing that kept all those Beetles on the roads across this country for all those years.
I don't know if the “For Dummies” book creator, Dan Gookin, ever saw this VW book, but the title, soft cover, the simple, conversational format, and the artwork strongly suggest that at one time, Mr. Gookin owned an old VW aircooled Bug or Bus.
For my money, I think Dan owes Mr. Muir at least a 6 pack or two. And while he's at it … make that a GOOD beer, or at least a decent ale.