Category Archives: VWs + Buses

VW bus, combi, westie, camper, love bus, magic bus, earth ship… whatever – these rolling homes i love shared some interesting specimens and remarks

Momentos: USA University Road Trip (with Spanky and Kaimi), 1989

USA roadtrip, 1989, by 1974 VW Bus “Earthship”

In 1989 (iirc), my beloved VW bus criss-crossed states at a frenetic pace with long drives to Kansas City for Drum Corps, California for punk concerts, over the Rockies to Denver for The Who, a Vancouver trip or two in there, couple of Moab and then was wrangled into the epic trip starting in Utah to the US Northeast and swinging back down through the Midsouth stopping by universities and colleges of all times so a fellow named Kaimi could pitch his idea of selling flag T-shirts to various bookstores. 

The deal was: he would pay the bills, do much of the driving and other logistics and I was just along for the ride and providing the wheels.

USA roadtrip, 1989, Kaimi at wheel, Dave shotgun in 1974 VW Bus “Earthship”

Resulted in many harrowing nights in places like New Haven, Cambridge, New York City (where we weren’t allowed through Lincoln tunnel because of onboard propane and required a complicated turn around in the midst of traffic), a break down in Connecticut – replacing fuel pump with a random mechanic in his driveway. I remember driving on a graceful parkway then seeing a horrific accident unfold in the pouring rain storm. Sneaking into all sorts of university dorms for clandestine hi-jink, being mysterious “aliens” from the west marauding in this renegade van. Seeing a wonderful girl I knew from Utah working as a nanny in Connecticut (rip Janel H.), making friends with the father of the house (he let us sleep in the basement because I was reading Jack Kerouac), buying beer with fake IDs and never a second glance, (racks of it drinking back while crossing midwest and through Penn), stops at Wrigley Field in Chicago (no game :(!), Sun Studios in Memphis (met a fine lady there), watching Kaimi spin spin spin with endless energy. Oh, staying with his family around Washington DC and going like a “show and tell” item to his younger brother’s high school class (to much acclaim :)). The van getting broken into and ransacked while parked in Washington DC to see the Smithsonian. Must’ve been a couple of other significant roadside attractions along the way. 

 
USA roadtrip, 1989, with Spanky in front of Sun Studios, Memphis (obviously)

Pal Jerrod aka Spanky was also on board (as kinda Kaimi’s svengali) and brought his guitar so, along with my bongos, we did some busking here and there ++ saw Fugazi play at All Soul’s Church, DC and REM play at Merriweather Post, Maryland, just missed secret Rolling Stones at a frog-something-named-bar by Yale. Rambled campuses and saw how the system of private patronage in the East works – they ain’t no smarter, just better connected / mostly. Skullz and Bonez.

USA roadtrip, 1989, Spanky and Kaimi (grumpy) out back Sun Studios, Memphis

I had no schedule nor expectations except to just go go go and so we did. And, behold I have evidence.

USA roadtrip, 1989, in front of Wrigley Field (we were told there was a game but nope, White Sox were playing across town)

No Reserve: 1962 Volkswagen Bus 23-Window Samba

Ya missed out, will hafta spend your $122,000 USD on another 1962 23-window VW bus (somehow so appalling yet somehow so worth it)gorgeous /  fully restored like wow.

Tip: buy a Brasilian “remix” bus (cheap and cheerful, delivered) 

Blurb: 

This Volkswagen Type 2 is a nine-passenger, 23-window Deluxe model that was built to US specifications on May 22, 1962. It has been driven less than 300 miles since a restoration that took place before it was purchased by the previous owner in 2016, and the selling dealer acquired it in May 2020. The Bus is finished in Beige Grey over Sealing Wax Red and features a sliding canvas sunroof as well as pop-out Safari windshield and rear window glass. Power comes from a 1.6-liter dual-port flat-four sourced from a later Beetle and paired with a four-speed manual transmission. Additional equipment includes a Bosch 009 distributor, a Bocar carburetor, 15″ steel wheels, and four-wheel drum brakes. This Samba is now offered by the selling dealer with service records from 2016 onward, a refurbished tool kit, and a clean Washington State title.

 

Grateful Dead rambles / “family photos” (with renegade pals & VWs)

Eugene, Oregon, 1990 – the first “gathering of my tribes” meaning Utah pals and BC crew meeting for first time and forging lifelong relationship, in front of my beloved 1974 VW “turtletop” the Earthship (now a sauna)

Back in the days of rambling around to Grateful Dead shows with pals in various (usually Volkswagen) vehicles, cameras weren’t really part of the kit. Usually, ticket(s) if possible, contraband if practical, maybe extra clothes to accommodate climates, hopefully a few bucks.

However, as part of my documentary instincts, i hauled along a tripod and a 35mm Alpa camera for taking “family photos” in which i would cajole (with much whingeing usually) the assembled renegades to pose, i’d hit the timer and run back (as such usually right in front) and take 1 and only 1 shot. Years later these would usually get developed.

Many are lost to the fog, however, some are gathered here for posterity and memorial. 

near St George, Utah on way away form Las Vegas shows, 1992 i think? again the Utah and BC clans combining for some wild times in front of Willis’ VW Thing, Chris’ green VW bus. Great folks here (and at least one who is passed on, rip JJ)

Continue reading Grateful Dead rambles / “family photos” (with renegade pals & VWs)

VW Earthship, from Salt Lake City to Okayama Japan

My senpei & pal (and Japan’s biggest deadhead) Mac Kobayashi came to Salt Lake City on his honeymoon in 1991 and visited me and the noble old earth ship in The Avenues on a blustery day.

Note; Soon after, i bailed on Univ of Utah and headed out on Grateful Dead tour fulltime… including the “hostage incident” with Sooby Ahmed… then everywhere/thing else.

He shared these snaps (obviously snapped from a photo album) in 2019 as a pleasant flashback. 

As it goes, in April 2019, he’ll be hosting a wedding party for Ryoko Fujita and I at his goat farm. 

 

 

 

VW rolling in Manhattan

My pal Tim Tulloch shared this spontaneous snap of a VW microbus rolling in Manhattan saying (obviously enough).

“VW Bus cruising on Manhattan’s East Side today. You don’t see that often!”

Annotations

I replied with:

Right on! I drove my turtle top 74 VW bus into Manhattan but they wouldn’t let me leave via the tunnel coz i had propane tank (it was a camper) – i recall having to stop traffic and wheel my achey bus around in the rain with folks hollering and honking. Then we tooled over George Wa instead.

then Mikael Lewis Why oh why did I ever part with my 1963, 23 window??

and me again:

Indeed, besides the fun it would be to restore it and road trip in it, well restored ones go for six figures now. Unbelievable. My 74 sat in my grandma’s backyard for years until I gave it away to some young heads hoping they would find inspiration and adventure within it’s hallowed walls

1963 VOLKSWAGEN 23 WINDOW Lot 363.2 | Barrett-Jackson Auction Company

1963 VOLKSWAGEN 23 WINDOW Lot 363.2 | Barrett-Jackson Auction Company

California Coasting – New York Times

California Coasting – New York Times