Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Paul and Valley Wagonworks

I haven't been in to see Paul at Valley Wagonworks in San Rafael since I dropped off some beer that features a Split Window VW Bus on the front, but I wanted to get this posted. First things first, Paul is a hippie. He makes no effort to hide the fact. He is laid back, willing to take a break and talk to you and may offer you parts for free if you are into it. His shop is a shrine to VWs and the Grateful Dead. His office is decorated with pictures of his family and travels - all featuring VWs in the pictures.

After calling Paul a few times and working out that I could drop the not-running Big Blue off at his place, I trailered Blue up to his shop on a Sunday when he was closed. I found a spot in front of his shop and was ready to drop it off the trailer when he walked out. It was the first time I had seen him but he was instantly a friend. He got the engine fired up (proclaiming, "It's a good day to die" as he crawled under the bus as it sat on the trailer) and even hopped in to drive it off the trailer for me. He parked it in a red zone, but told me not to worry, that it was "his" red zone - that he had painted it there to be able to park his buses there.

Paul worked on Big Blue for the next 3 weeks, getting it going and getting it safe. I think he would have worked on it for a few months had we not asked for it back. Since then, Blue and I stop by every once in a while. Sometimes when we need things and sometimes just to say hello. The great thing about Paul is he's happy to see you either way.

Paul's shop is always full of some interesting VWs or Porsches. He'll work on water cooled, and some of the guys I know who drive water cooled VWs swear by Paul. I know a bunch of air cooled guys who consider him a friend, not just a mechanic. You can count me in that group.

Here are some pictures from his shop:


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