Friday, July 23, 2010

Auto Biography - 69 VW Bus

Also known as a Type 2, the VW Bus had several incarnations from air cooled on through water cooled Vanagons, ending with the Eurovan. Remarkably, Boise ID, where I live now, has so many VW Buses of all kinds that even on my typically short drives around town, I ALWAYS see at least one. Bugs too. If Doug Lucy comes out here to visit, he'll surely beat me senseless playing punch-buggy.

My current ride with some Boise VW's

Here's the brochure for one like mine:

Mine had the same air cooled four cylinder engine that was going in VW Bugs (and I later repowered a bug with this van's engine), so it wqas pretty underpowered. Top highway speed 60-65 mph, and a stiff headwind could reduce that.

I drove it across the country east to west coast in 1983 and west to east in 1984. In 83 I visited Virginia, Arkansas to see my Navy buddy Randy "Slime Dog" Fondren. He joined me on the leg to Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo TX, and a jaunt to Mexico with other Navy friends. From there I went to Montana to visit Carey Hester. Carey was the only American I knew who spoke Korean so well that I could not understand what he was saying. The man was a language genius/savant.

I drove this van in Northern CA in 1983-84 while attending the Intermediate Korean Language course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey CA, then drove it back to Cape Cod MA. My brother Nat and I drove it to Independence MO in the spring of 1984 for my wedding to my first wife. She and I went to Korea from there, and my brother had the van for the next year. He racked up so many parking tickets in Boston doing sales calls that the glove box was literally full of them when I got it back.

This was avan you could live in if need be. Big double bed in the back, built in storage, hanging lockers, space to prepare and cook food, and the poptop for standing headroom and another rack up there for sleeping.

Modifications: A bungee cord stretched across the poptop, which could bounce a bit in heavy winds.

It was a great ride and I had many other adventures in it.

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