I went from good to bad. My next vehicle was a barely-used 1959 MGA convertible. It had been left in storage by a guy who went overseas for several years. My independent euro-trash mechanic/friend thought he was doing me a great favor in scoring this car for $500. In Dallas, an MGA is pretty much a 100-miles-between-major-repairs vehicle. The MGA's postage stamp radiator didn't even get close to dealing with Dallas' 100+ days and the car blew a head gasket about every other day. I sold it a year later and several thousand dollars poorer for $300 and it rolled away smoking like a "clean coal" power plant. I have had nothing by sympathy for sports car owners ever since.
A couple of unreliable but cheap vehicles came next, but the first one that mattered was my 1967 VW convertible. I loved that car, but less than 10,000 miles after I bought it (for $1600 with 15,000 miles on the odometer) the engine tossed a rod. I took it back to the dealership where I'd bought it and the in-house, real German mechanic rebuilt it for $500 (that number just kept coming up). I learned a few things from watching him work on the motor. I learned a lot more from John Muir's handy book, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive.
When I decided my growing family needed more room, I traded my beautiful convertible for a 1971 Westfalia Vanagon. That was my next-to-the-last experience with a car dealer. The VW dealer had spun the mileage back about 60,000 miles and the motor and transmission were held together with banana peels and bailing wire. After a brief moment in court, I walked away with some cash and a bad taste in my mouth regarding VW dealers. The company didn't do much for me, either, and I have never forgotten that. Over the years, I've learned to be wary of dealers. I hear pretty much nothing but horror stories from bikers who trust their rides to the place where the bike came from. Hardly anyone has anything good to say about the people hired to work on vehicles in dealerships.
But I don't usually think about that stuff much. I mostly do my own work and muddle through slowly but eventually. In looking at a how-to PDF on installing a transmission modification to my "new" motorhome, I ran across this statement, "Most VW dealerships have no idea that the ATF needs to be changed every 40,000 miles minimum (as per the shop manual fine print). Most dealerships have never done this job and have no idea how to do it properly. Additionally, most will tell you that the automatic transmission is a "sealed unit" and is never to be opened or changed. This is utter nonsense. Do not listen to them! In fact, my blanket advice is to never go to a VW dealership for any reason, if you can help it!"
Some things are, apparently, universal.
I was sort of thinking that when my two-wheel days are done, I'd graduate to a new front wheel drive Beetle convertible. Maybe not.