Clarion’s ‘LEGO’ Car Draws Colorful Cheers

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – If you ever see a colorful “LEGO” car on the roads in Clarion County, Limestone resident Knox Patton III is behind the wheel.

(Photo by Tammy LaCross)

“I’ve been collecting Volkswagens for quite a few years,” said Patton. “We have about 10 or 12 of them here now. One of my first cars was a Volkswagen. Both of my parents drove them, and my grandparents drove them. It was love for me at a young age and continued through adulthood.”

Picking a LEGO theme for his Volkswagen was easy for Knox and his wife Shawna and two daughters, Isabella and Giavonna. The two girls love to play with LEGOs, and the couple also played with them growing up.

“We had a 1974 beetle that was just a faded red and missing some things in a few places. My wife, my father, and I were going to repaint it, but we started with the engine. The engines have a lot of metal pins on them, so we took them all off, and it looked like LEGO pieces hanging. We decided to do multi-colors.

It turned out that nearly everyone loves LEGOs, except maybe when someone inadvertently steps on one.

Knox Patton III

Knox Patton III

“Everyone smiles, everyone waves to us, and it really gives us a good feeling going on drives. Anytime we take the girls to school, they’re celebrities, and all of the kids wave. We like cruising around whether it’s getting groceries or just driving.”

People who continue to drive Volkswagens develop a sense of community.

“There are a lot of friendships that build up with this love of Volkswagens. Obviously, if you have your thing every year and go on rides and everything, it just seems like it lets friendships continue. There’s a lot of people you can contact to get some help.”

Endless parts and equipment improvement are available on the Internet, just as the famed JC Whitney Auto Parts Catalogs.

Knox also has some advice for people considering following down the VW path.

“My advice would be to join a Facebook group or to find an online forum somewhere and learn as much as you can about these cars, their uniqueness, how to work on them, and some of their values. They produced a car for a long stretch of years, and they’re definitely out there. A lot of them definitely need work to get them back on the road, but they are obtainable. You need a lot of knowledge beforehand before getting one.”

Meanwhile, this will be the sixth year for a Dubs On The Move VW Club ride. Open to any and all VW enthusiasts, the group meets annually in July for a scenic cruise through the Western PA countryside and Cook Forest State Park.

“We also raise donations for Tri-County Animal Rescue in Shippenville. We do a Stuff-a-Bug, and we’ll open the hood and the doors of the LEGO car and just fill it with cat food and dog food and things like that, and we do about a 50-mile cruise together, just Cook Forest (and) make a big loop and come back to our residence for an after-party.”

The top photo on Patton’s Facebook page has the Planter’s Peanut mobile with the LEGO car. The Planters vehicle was in Clarion and took a photo of the two together, but disavows any plans to start collecting Peanut cars.

“…Maybe if I get my hands on one of the Wienermobiles someday.”

Knox’s full-time job is as the site supervisor with Clarion County Training Towards Self Reliance.

Pointing out that VW enthusiasts also need self-reliance, Knox quickly adds: “A popular saying is if you own a Volkswagen, you learn how to be a mechanic.”

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