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Billy Joel Can’t Pass up Des Moines Beetle

April 18th, 2008 Posted in Celebrity Gossip


Instead of Piano Man, how about Beetle Billy? Billy Joel now is the proud owner of a classic Volkswagen Bug. In town for a concert this week, Joel took a look around American Dream Machines, a downtown Des Moines business that specializes in vintage sports and muscle cars.

Owner Doug Klein said Joel spotted a burgundy 1973 VW Beetle.

“He noticed the Bug in the corner. He said, ‘That’s a neat car, I like the color,’” Klein said. “He said it’d be a great beach vehicle for him.”

Klein thought Joel also may have been attracted by the car’s year.

“He did mention that in 1973 he did the `Piano Man,’” Klein said, referring to one of Joel’s biggest hits.

Klein wouldn’t disclose what Joel paid but said: “It was the least expensive car in the shop.”

The most expensive car: a 1970 Chevelle LS6, a muscle car that could go for $150,000.

There were some side benefits, however. Joel also gave the dealer eight second-row concert tickets and backstage passes.

Mechanic Jeremiah Johnson delivered the car to Wells Fargo Arena before the show, then accompanied Joel on a test drive.

“We kind of circled the city,” Johnson said. “It was very, very cool. Who expects to go to work … and to have Billy Joel come in? It’s not something everybody expects to happen.”

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