When a Volkswagen Super Beetle feels just right     

How an Irish import became a member of a Washington family.

If you’re in Snoqualmie, Washington and see a faded blue Volkswagen Super Beetle cruising down the road, give Jerry Moe and honk and a wave.

Moe is the 54-year-old owner of an autobody repair shop taking his 1973 Super Beetle out for a little spin. He isn’t trying to hog the road, but the Beetle’s right-hand drive still gives him a moment of pause.

“I always feel like my body gravitates toward that center line,” he says.

This VW Super Beetle was restored in 1990 and an Irish import: thus the right-hand drive. Moe’s Beetle has been in his family since 2009, when his father bought it for everyday use. The car was fussy from the beginning, however, often refusing to start if it was raining. A machinist by trade, the elder Mr. Moe was never the car restoration enthusiast his son is, so the Beetle didn’t get much attention.

When Moe’s father passed away only a year after purchasing the Super Beetle, Moe did not hesitate grabbing up the classic. It was a simple way to honor his father, and the right-hand drive held a unique appeal.

And so it has sat, behind his shop, for over six years. The Super Beetle is licensed as a collector’s vehicle, and Moe takes it on the road every few weeks to keep it warmed up.

Moe will address the car’s restoration needs as soon as business slows down. His plans aren’t lofty. No major upgrades, and certainly no modifications. Moe’s aspirations go no further than a new motor, a fresh coat of blue paint and some carpet for the interior.

But Jerry Moe doesn’t plan to sell it. He doesn’t even plan to show it. He simply wants it. That quirky VW Beetle temperament amuses him, and the right hand drive gives the car an exotic flair and gets some fun looks from other drivers.

“If someone walked in and offered me a large sum, I would take it,” Moe says. “But that’s not why I want to work on it.”

So he will keep it. Work on it when he can. Maybe pass it down to his son, who also enjoys the right-hand drive. After all, this particular car is part of the family.