Chirping Like a Champ! Beetle Diaries Ep. 5: Improving Our 1971 Volkswagen Beetle’s Sound [Video]

How does the Volkswagen Beetle get its signature chirping sound?

For just over $20, the 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle’s chrome exhaust tips provide the car’s signature chirping sound.

Over its 65-year lifespan, Volkswagen built over 21 million examples of the original Volkswagen Beetle. Apart from its iconic shape, an air-cooled flat-four engine stands as a hallmark of the model. However, there’s a bit more to it than that. Those who know the Type 1 Beetle are also keenly aware of a particular noise that engine makes. Thanks to chrome exhaust tips, the car exhibits a distinctive chirping noise that sets it apart from any other car on the road.

Beetle Diaries Ep. 5 - Improving the Beetle's Sound
This stereo may look like an old unit on the surface, but it does have an LCD display and an auxiliary jack, for a more modern listening experience. [Photo: TFLcar]
In this episode of Beetle Diaries, Tommy and Mike set about replacing the 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle’s old, rusting exhaust tips with brand new chrome pieces. That’s not all, however, as they also improve how the Beetle sounds on the inside with a new stereo.

Making the Beetle sound mean

If that chirping sound isn’t quite to your taste, there is another alternative. Remove the exhaust tips, and suddenly the Beetle sounds like a much different animal. Without the baffling inside the stock tips, the car’s exhaust note sounds deeper and much more aggressive. It’s something that took the TFL crew by surprise. After all, you don’t expect a 60 horsepower engine to sound “mean” by any means.

Beetle Diaries Ep. 5 - Improving the Beetle's Sound
The 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle without its signature exhaust tips. [Photo: TFLcar]
However, that wasn’t the only sound that needed fixing. A previous owner changed out the Beetle’s factory head unit for an aftermarket system that didn’t function at all. To that end, Tommy and Mike changed the old unit out with something a bit more periodically correct. Despite the old-school look, the new head unit actually brings the Beetle into the 21st century, with AM/FM compatibility and an auxiliary port. Sure, it’s something we take for granted in our ordinary cars, but a simple aux port drags the Beetle out of the 1970s into the modern age.

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