Driving from Afghanistan to Ireland with 69VW Beetle


Asked by Mar 25, 2011 at 08:14 AM about the 1969 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Car Customization

I am new to this forum and admittedly not mechanical. I am trying to learn as I am looking to drive from Afghanistan to Ireland (or as far as possible) with an old bug. The car is more or less original and apart from some cheezy photographs, unmolested. It needs some fixing up and it'll need some new parts. Looking for some suggestions on sensible modifications such as different carburetor? electric fuel pump? Ignition? etc. Any ideas?

10 Answers


As someone who has travelled extensively in Africa, Asia and South America I'd advise you to keep the old Beetle stock for this kind of travel. Certainly there are lots of nice aftermarket goodies (electronic ignitions, electric fuel pumps, etc) but unless you carry your own spares for these parts, it will complicate on the road repairs. From '67 on the beetles used 12V electrics, the points-condenser ignitions worked fine, the stock solex carbs were easy to repair and adjust, plus mechanics everywhere know how to service these simple, reliable cars. Before your take off, I'd suggest a full tune-up--valve adjustment, plugs, points, oil change, fuel filter, air filter. Even the heaters on these cars were adequate if the flaps on the heater boxes are greased and the cable tubes are clean and lubed. If you have any doubts, replace the cables and while they are out, blow out the tubes and grease them up to prevent internal rust. Carry spares with you and normal emergency stuff--jumper cables or starter box, etc. Enjoy the trip and when you get to where you'll be for a while you can re-do your beetle with all the bling you can afford. Like the sign in the speed shop says, 'how fast to you want to spend'?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Thanks! very helpful. No intention of blinging it up! As you mentioned that you have traveled extensively, I wonder if you have any advice on cross border procedures or registration that will allow me to travel through several countries. Thanks again.


Wow, you really dialed yourself in a trip here mate! You don't mention your planned route or when you'll be departing but I'd think Iraq, Iran, and Syria would be challenging border crossings under any circumstances but particularly worthy of avoiding for the forseeable future. Turkey isn't as bad a place to travel as reputed other than some of the most dangerous traffic conditions anywhere. If you stay north through the 'stans' you'll have more traditional issues--weather, roads and sketchier vehicle repair services--a factor since you mention you aren't mechanically inclined. I'd think this route would be longer but 'safer' (everything is relative in these parts of the world, eh?) But since you're starting in Afghanistan, I'm probably not telling you anything you don't know about travel in the region. I would suggest you contact your embassy in the region and get their advice on route planning. They can advise on visa requirements for the countries involved and will have info on border schedules--some countries land borders are only open certain days of the week or have restricted hours. I'd also allow some space for a second spare tire and tube plus tire repair kit and at least a hand pump plus a couple gal of gas in a plastic gas can. what's your planned route?


Its not completely planned out yet, but the initial idea was to head north to Uzbekistan through to Kazakhstan, Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Germany and Belgium. From there to the UK and on to Ireland. The plan may still change. Good idea to contact the Embassy; I will do that. I was thinking of a roof rack for tires and gasoline, but will have to get someone to fashion one for me here. Yes, the starting point is a bit of an issue itself, but I am hoping that the road north (I am in Kabul), will be safer by the time I am ready to go. I am also thinking of convincing some more mechanically inclined to join me. I think that may be a wise decision! Thanks for the advice. I may contact you with more questions as I go if that is ok.


Hello again! Still working on this and heading over to Canada this month. I was hoping to pick up some parts while I am there so I can bring them back to Kabul. We have found a local guy who can work on VWs and someone who can help with paperwork. If anyone knows someone trustworthy in the toronto area who I can talk to while I am there, it would be greatly appreciated. Anyone on this forum from that area? Will keep updating..!


Well I'm not sure in Toronto but just 60 mins south of there there is a guy who I personally dealt with for a few years he is from Germany and specializes in Volkswagen/Audi in the town called Cambridge, his business name is "Weide Motors" 519-653-8970 telephone number ask for Klaus his address is 1508 Eagle St N, Cambridge, ON N3H 1C9. I highly recommend him if he doesn't have it he knows where and who to get it or refer you to someone. Enjoy your trip.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Jon, Thanks so much!! I will definitely get in touch with him. I will let him know Jon from CarGurus referred him! Thank you


Your welcome, but if you actually tell him Jon from Nova Scotia used to live in Elmira (green MK3 he sold me) he will know who I am.

So, I am back again with an update - almost two years later. We laeave in two months and this is how the car is looking. It turned out that the motor had pretty much been taken apart and thrown together with mal-fitting parts and adjustments. So, we just came back from a trip out with 4 backpacks full of parts and the marathon begins. We have decided on the route and will try to keep you updated!

Hello, I am contacting you from EhsanMotors.com and http://www.facebook.com/EhsanMotorsAfghanistan a dedicated page about cars in Afghanistan. I would love to hear about you whether you have reached your final destination yet and we would like to write an article about you in our site. Kindly keep in touch with us. Advertisement@EhsanMotors.com . Wish you all the best back home.

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