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I'm sure some of us old/former hippies had one of these goofy things. I bought a pretty old red and white one while in the army, drove it home on leave and gave it to my wife, who promptly wrecked it and then became my ex...I really miss that old bus.

The Kombi began in the 1950's, served well through several decades, but could not be made to comply with various new safety regulations and production ended everywhere but Brazil...and now even Brazil has pulled the plug.

So long, Mini Bus-you were an icon and a lot of fun, and I'm sorry to see yet more of my youth come to an end.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm looking for one to restore (6+ / 0-)

    I'd like to find an old VW bus with the split windshield to restore but I haven't been able to find one. lots of bugs but no buses. I want to do an old Technicolor hippie bus with flowers on it.
    I had 2 buses over the years, 3 bugs. I once changed the clutch on a bus in the SFO parking lot

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:59:09 AM PST

    •  Rebuilt my bug engine 3 times (4+ / 0-)

      Jack it up, put a couple tires under the engine, undo all the bolts and fittings, roll the car forward.

      "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

      by BOHICA on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:18:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hope you have a lotta money.... (3+ / 0-)

      ..."splits" are worth a LOT of money, especially if they're relatively intact and not a mass of rust or Bondo....

      These daze, even "Bubble Window" vans ('68 and later) are getting dear....

      I dunno if they made them up til the end, but one really cool thing the Brazilians did with the bus is they melded the pre-'64 "23 window" body, which is the really rare and coveted style that has curved corner windows at the rear and little oval sky light windows along the edge of the roof, with the '68 style bubble windshield.  I saw them in Portugal, being used by the Portugese Air Force and the local Policia, anyone who goes to Brazil or Portugal and rounds up a few of these buses in good shape would easily recoup their investment, and their buses would wind up in SoCal being fashioned into project vehicles that end up on the cover of VW Trends....

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:59:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bitchin'-est bus I ever saw.... (6+ / 0-)

    ...was at a VW Bus meet in Escondido in the 90's, these people won the "Best In Show" trophy for their '64 Dormobile Camper.

    These people had an original-owner van bought new by their next-door neighbors in 1964, and the documentation and photography that came with the display was phenomenal. They even had pictures of THEMSELVES as small children playing in the bus!

    VW had a program in those daze which allowed you to pick up your new camper in Chermany, drive around in Europe for a while, then drive it to Rotterdam and stick it aboard a cargo ship.

    The people who bought the van must have been MANIACALLY ANAL, or at least very orderly, because they passed on a file of paperwork to their neighbors along with the bus, and the file was turned into a notebook with protective sheets, which contained every single piece of paper that was ever generated!  They had the original dealer's worksheet, the invoice, the manufacturing work list, the shipping paperwork to send the bus from Hamburg to Liverpool to have the English Dormobile Camper installed (this was REALLY odd, normally VW campers were Westphalias built in Germany, this one hadda British camper normally seen in Land Rover 108's, hence the shipping to and from Merry Olde), they had the cancelled check from the bank, they had every single work order for all the maintenence and repairs over the years!

    The original owners drove it all over Europe, including into Commie-held Yugoslavia, shipped it to New York, then drove it back to California by way of Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, etc, and they had all the pictures they took on the trip!

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 06:31:15 AM PST

    •  Split split winshield? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, koNko, leftykook, flowerfarmer

      I know the original owner of that green bus if the pictures showed a cracked passenger windshield. Yes, they preserved the crack, legal in CA.

      ---------------------- Avaritia facit Bardus (greed makes you stupid)

      by Everbody on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 07:06:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There was a green '64... (3+ / 0-)

        ...that won second place, it was a Westy with a theme of 60's camping, complete with ancient steel icechest in perfect like-new condition with plaid pattern that matched the picnic basket, Coleman stove and lantern from the 60's and perfectly restored, old-fashioned wood and canvas folding chairs, original Westy side tent (green with yellowish stripes) and old-school fishin gear, bamboo fly rods, woven creels....

        It was like slippin into a time warp!

        (As I recall, the Dormobile I refer to above was white)

        Oh, almost fergot, a 60's Coca-Cola hatbox-style ice chest with original small bottles of Coke!

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 07:22:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My Peace Sign flag will be raised to half mast n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    “Society is like a stew. If you don’t keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top,” Edward Abbey

    by Wood Gas on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:34:46 AM PST

  •  They aren't gone, yet. Mine is still going strong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid, flowerfarmer

    and there are at least ten (in a town of 5600 people) running around town, here.  They can be had for reasonable money, if they aren't "completely restored" (which usually includes a lot of cosmetic cover-up, anyway).  Mabel (my bus) hauls straw bales for my partner's organic garden, hauls the canoe for our birding trips to local water holes, and hauls the bands I play with to local music events...gets about 25 mpg after all these years, and is still generally cheap to maintain...provided I do the work myself.  If anyone is really interested in keeping them going, there is a wealth of information, and vw-loving community (though not necessarily including any 'hippy' values) at The Samba.

    "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

    by Bisbonian on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:50:53 AM PST

  •  I had three VWs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    old mark

    A 1960 36hp bug, a 1970 red and white bus, and a 1974 yellow convertible super beetle. The convertible was the only car I have ever owned that I sold for more than I paid for it. Bought it new in 73 for $3,200 and sold it in 1984 for $4,000.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:40:24 AM PST

    •  I have had a few over the decades, too. Sadly, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the last, a Passat, was by far the worst, least reliable car of my life, dealer service was nil, and I won't buy another VW ever again...IMO, they are living off their reputation and there are many better choices today.

      But that bus was cool as all hell.

      Bring me the head of Geraldo Rivera.

      by old mark on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 12:02:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Still drive a 79 Transport... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... all windows VW bus named Mister Picklehead. It's really more like a member of our family. One of the most endearing thing about being a bus pilot is that if I see another bus on the road I can count on the other driver's flash of the "V" or peace sign and a gigantic smile. Happens every time. Happy New Year, Mister Picklehead!!

  •  At different times, I had two buses... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...wish I had one of them still. Good memories.

    Only the weak & defeated are called to account for their crimes.

    by rreabold on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 01:56:33 PM PST

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