OH come on,, those gasoline heaters worked GREAT. I put myself through 'school' turning wrenches on air-cooled VW's.. My boss often had old, used and often used-up VW's offered to him for parts, or resale.. some he bought, some he passed on. I bought a few he had passed on..
One of the last ones was a real ratty one.. 1967, noisy muffler, rust busting through everywhere, one or two fenders already pulling free from the body because of the ice and snow packed behind the fenders, and hanging on..
The customer brought it in to find out what the 'banging' was and why the steering had developed a bad shimmy.
The shock tower on the right front had rusted through and broke free of the tubular front suspension. The cost to put in a new tube assembly far exceeded the value of the car, and we didn't have any usable used front suspensions to sell.
So my boss passed, which surprised me, as the car had a good, working gas heater.. It needed it because you could lose a pair of boots through the holes in the floor and inner fenders. The airducts for the 'heat' were long, long gone..
This car was an adventure to drive.. if you hit a bump, tar strip or God-forbid a slush-filled pot-hole with the right front tire, since it didn't have a shock absorber anymore, the tire/wheel would start to 'dribble' like a very fast basketball. This created feedback through the steering, and the whole front of the car would start shimmying so violently the sun visors would fall down the glove box would pop open and the steering wheel would shake side to side several inches.. this was possible because the door posts that the doors were hinged to, had the bottom 3" rusted away.
The only way to recover from this 'death-shimmy' was to slam on the brakes, and yank the steering either left or right, to put a firm 'load' on the front tires and steering, which damped the shimmy..
So visualize this: driving down the road in the snowy, slushy midwest, the roads are snow covered, slush filled pot holes camouflaged by the snow, the windshield fogged over, since the inside of the car was warm from the gas heater and 100% humidity from the 3-5" of slush on the floor that sprays in through the holes in the inner fenders, and flows out the same holes when it gets deep enough.
And then the car hits a pot hole.. the slush sprays through the holes in the inner fenders hitting the driver [ME] in the face, runs down my neck, knocks my glasses askew, and the 'Death-Shimmy' starts. so I do the 'abort procedure' to the left, doesn't work, try the right, doesn't work, a second try with extra violent braking to the left.. the shimmy stops, and the car lights up with red and blue lights.. CRAP!!
I pull over into a business parking lot.. I get out, [you could do that back then without getting a gun pulled on you! ].
I met the officer at the remains of the VW's back bumper..
He takes one look at me, walks past me looks at the inside of the car. he's trying really hard not to bust out laughing.
I say: officer, I know I was darting around a lot, but I know I didn't have anyone on either side of me. He interrupts me and says, no, you didn't run anyone off the road, but you have to take this death trap home.. NOW ! Then he cracks up. And so did I.. I said, yeah, it's had a real problem with a violent front end shimmy lately, and the repair exceeds the value of the car.. and I just wanted to get the last mile out of it.. before I scrapped it for the few usable parts..
Turns out, he has owned VW's, was looking for an engine and drivetrain to put in a tube-frame dunebuggy. We strike a deal, and within a few weeks, he had the engine and transaxle, i sold the gas heater, and the rest became a Chevy or a Ford.
OH one bit of VW trivia: you know that loop/handle over the glovebox door?? that is NOT a grab handle. it is a hanger for you short window scaper/squeege. Everyone in the midwest had a short-handled ice scraper with a rubber squeegee on the back stuck in that 'handle' so you could quickly reach over, grab it, squeegee the water off the inside of the windshield and side windows. When it was below 20* outside, it was a mix of ice and water. so you used both sides of the windshield clearing tool. McGuiver was alive and well back then.. !!