Beetle invasion in Salem

SALEM – With many classic cars showcased during this weekend’s Salem Super Cruise, one group of friends decided to celebrate their love of a certain model.

Jeff Hall of Lisbon, along with his brother, Kenny Hall, and friend Ed Donaldson of Salineville, are part of a group who call themselves the VW Cruisers of Lisbon, and the group was excited to go cruising again at this year’s event.

“It’s exciting,” Jeff said. “There are only two events that we look forward to, and this is one of them.”

The three showcased their Beetles at the Arby’s lot Thursday in their fifth trip to the Salem cruise. Just like with any other car show, it’s a great feeling for the group.

“Me, my brother and a good friend, Eddie, got together with a group of friends and started the VW Cruisers,” Jeff said. “We just enjoy going to car shows, sitting around, drinking pop and talking.”

The club began with Jeff and Ed getting together with their Beetles, but before his time in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Storm, he had a different car in mind.

“When I was in the Army, my brother had a Baja,” Jeff said. “I told him ‘Keep the Baja, and when I get out of the Army, I’ll buy it’, but then he sold it. So me and Ed, we’ve been driving around in the Beetles, and I told my brother how much fun we’ve had so we got him one.”

Jeff takes pride in his Beetle not only because of the style but also the simplicity to fix.

“They’re a lot like a Harley,” Jeff said. “You’ve got to drive them all summer to work on them all winter. They’re so cheap to fix and so easy to fix. I can pull my engine by myself in 15 minutes.”

Jeff’s Beetle is decorated as a tribute to his time during Operation Desert Storm, and the decoration has earned him awards at the Irondale, Stagecoach and KOA car shows, which he hadn’t expected.

“You just go to car shows and you start relaxing,” Jeff said. “Then they say, ‘Hey, you won a trophy.'”

The VW Cruisers look forward to more cruising this weekend in Salem.

“We’ll cruise everyday non-stop this week until it stops,” Jeff said. “We’re going to have a real good time.”