A couple of months after purchasing my first VW in 1986, I was introduced to Alan, a family friend of my girlfriend. He was a longtime VW guy, both air and water cooled.He gave me a precious gift, my very first copy of what is known in VW circles as the “Idiot Book”. The actual name is “How to keep your Volkswagen alive, a manual of step by step procedures for the complete idiot, by John Muir.”
This book has great content in mechanical knowledge, funny artwork and humorous stories and sayings. My own personal copy has seen many years of use, and it certainly bears the scars.
Back in around 1992, I was rebuilding my first VW engine. I purchased the parts I needed, and studied for weeks as I prepared for this challenging adventure. I spent so much time getting ready that I even dreamed at night about rebuilding my motor. There is a picture in the book that perfectly captures my state of mind at the time.
In the end, I was able to successfully rebuild the engine by myself. It was quite an accomplishment for a relatively inexperienced mechanic and helped build my confidence in my own abilities and further solidify me as a Volkswagen nut. To this day, my Idiot Book still has the grease marks from my dirty hands while rebuilding that Type III motor.