Sunday, August 31, 2008

VW humor from Small World, Spring 1965

Please click on the image to read...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A pretty cool splitty blog

Friday, August 29, 2008

Little Blue is the official name...

The polls closed on voting on Little Blue's name, and there was some confusion. One of the options was to vote for calling the bug something that started with the letter "I". This is because long ago, I started naming my cars in alphabetical order. To catch you up, I have owned:

A (1989 Beretta that didn't have a name)
Bluesmobile (a 1979 Buick)
Caesar (a 1971 Toyota Landcruiser)
Dante (a 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer)
Edgar (a 1986 Jeep CJ7)
Fat Fonda (a 1972 Chevy Blazer)
Grey Ghost (a 2006 MINI Cooper)
H. (Big Blue came named) and:
I. Little Blue

When the option to name the bug with an "I" name won by a huge margin, I was a little surprised, but started a search to find names that started with an "I" that may apply to a 1963 VW sedan. Eventually, a friend fessed up to clicking the "I" option all 20-some times himself. With that cleared up, I am happy to announce the official name of Little Blue is, well, Little Blue.

Ah, the small things that I worry about. Good to have it named...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Moving the new nose home...

My friend, UP, helped me move the front of the other bus home Wednesday night. Everything was super easy and I really, really appreciate both Paul and Robert at Valley Wagonworks for coming through. Robert even loaned me his pickup truck to take it home, and had it all loaded when I went to pick it up. And I appreciate UP stopping in on his way to SF from Vegas to ride up and help me unload. This thing is becoming a community project.

UP and the bus. He looks crazy, but is really quite... well, maybe a little crazy.

Big Blue, eyeing the new nose.

After ripping my jeans on the sharp metal, we respected the cut edges every step of the way. It was pretty easy, weighing about 120 pounds, I'd guess. I really think, if done right, one of these would make an awesome bar...

Another cool article from Small World, Spring 1965

Again, you can click on each image to read the article.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Big Blue's new nose

You are looking at, what I hope will be, Big Blue's new front end. Paul at Valley Wagonworks has come through again for Big Blue. His friend, Robert, had a 1971 that they were cutting up for parts. They cut it last weekend and Monday and below is the final results. I am re-contacting some of the body shops I talked to last spring to see if they are ready to go. Wednesday night, a buddy and I will take the front end and doors home and await next steps, but we are on our way...

Huge thanks to Paul and Robert for coming through for Big Blue.

Nice clean front end.

A huge chunk of bus.

A small amount of rust and decay to work with.

This is what a 1971 bus looks like, chopped up.

Another shot of the remaining sheet metal.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

From a 1965 issue of Small World

Since VW history has largely been defined by VW advertising, and since it's the industry that I work in, I found this article interesting. Remarkably, the process of creating an advertisement has not changed much over the last 40 years...

Remember, to read each image, click on it and a larger image will open...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bus in Title Nine Catalog

I noticed this bus in a catalog called Title Nine...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Big Blue's Oil Stains

View The Visual History of Big Blue in a larger map

Big Blue's VW Calendar

Below is a calendar of VW events that are going on in the Northern California area. I'll try to keep it updated through out the year.

6th - Bugorama, Sacramento, CA -

11th - NorCal Aircooled cruises, Pleasanton, CA - DETAILS HERE
12th - Van-O-Rama #9 - Vanagon gathering in South San Francisco - NO DETAILS
13th - Manx Club Lake Tahoe 09 - Contact Bob Hunter at 775-771-6428
12th - Street Celebration (not specific to VW), Cloverdale, California -

25th - 27th - Fall Finnon Fest, near Placerville, CA - DETAILS HERE
26th - San Benito County Cruise, Hollister, CA - MPAS - DETAILS HERE
27th - California Cruise-in, Vallejo, CA - DETAILS HERE

18th - Wolfsburg's Wickedest Show & Shone, Modesto, CA - DETAILS HERE
16th - 18th - Ocean Cove Campout near Jenner, CA - DETAILS HERE

20th to the 22nd - Bothe Napa Campout-Fall Color in Wine Country - DETAILS HERE

8th - Panamint Springs, Death Valley, CA - DETAILS HERE
16th - 18th - Buses by the Bridge 13 - Lake Havasu City, AZ - DETAILS HERE

6th & 7th - Anti-Super Bowl Campout in Rio Vista, CA - DETAILS HERE


27th - VW Bugs and Buses Invade the Village 7 - CANCELLED FOR 2010

16th-17th - New Brighton State Beach Campout - DETAILS HERE
17th - 26th Annual Kelly Park Spring Meet -
23rd-25th - Bikes, Buses and Bunkum - DETAILS TO COME

21st to the 23rd - Bus City 2010 in Duncans Mills, CA- DETAILS HERE

23rd - might be Sacramento Bugorama - DETAILS HERE

11-13th - Trainspotting 2 in Twain, CA - DETAILS HERE
18th to 20th - 5th Annual Deschutes River RendezVW in Maupin OR - DETAILS HERE


11th - Das O.C.T.O. Fest 2010 -

?? -
Sacramento Bugorama - DETAILS HERE

NOTE: The bolded dates are the ones Big Blue will be attending.

If you want me to add anything, email me at bigblueVW (at)

Friday, August 22, 2008

VW magazines from the mid-70s

A few weeks ago, I found some old VW magazines in an antique store in Sebastopol, a town up the road from us. Great reading and interesting art. So over the next few weeks, I'll try to scan them in and share them here. Here are some images from one of the magazines....

December 1975 issue of Volkswagen Greats.

Cool old ad for the "Boss Bug".

IECO - a VW parts supplier.

Jackman wheels.

Auto Haus - I want to find out more info on this place.

I like the "Flatback". I see these for sale on Craigslist every now and then.

As someone who loves his original interior, the thought of riding in this is a little scary. No eating potato chips allowed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

VWs of Burney and Lassen, CA

Some VW pics from up near Lassen Volcanic National Park, in Northeast California.

This guy was camped just a few spots down from us.

Bug in the air, just east of Burney, CA.

This great Type 3 was in the same lot as the floating bug. Really pretty car...

...with a really cool original detail.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

David and Natalie from Belguim bussing around California...

This past weekend up in Lassen Volcanic National Park, we ran into another bus from Vintage Surfari. David and his girlfriend, Natalie, were over from Belguim spending a few weeks driving Nalu Imi, a 1978 Hard-Top Westfalia, around California. David is a bus-head, wanting to purchase one here in the states and bring it back to Belguim. He swung by our campfire later that night and we ended up talking quite late. Great people and future bus owners.

They are headed to San Francisco this week, so if you see them around, say hello.

EP talking shop with David.

From L to R; Natalie, David, me, EP.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Random VW on the 101 near San Rafael, CA...

Sent in from our friend, Peter.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What Little Blue is supposed to look like...

There is a really interesting early 60s bug that parks downtown Sausalito. The guy owns a fastback type 3 as well. The bug's been restored, but with a metallic paint job, which I don't really like. Anyway, I parked next to it a few days back and compared them. You might not be able to tell from the pictures as the differences are subtle. Here's what I see...

1. Obviously, Little Blue's wheels would have been painted the same color as the car, not black.
2. Little Blue is missing the chrome trim on the rear side windows and front windshield.
3. No chrome stone guards or white walls on Little Blue, although I'm not certain Little Blue would have come with those items. Anyone know?

All in all, I think Little Blue looks a little sleeker... The black wheels are really growing on me....

Little Blue is the one in front.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Installing a new Koni steering damper

I fell pray to the Koni steering damper controversy, which started as an April Fool's Day joke, but turned out to really exist (click on the link above for the whole, interesting thread at The Samba). I picked one up from my friend PJAlau, who lives here in SF, a few weeks back. This past weekend, I crawled under Big Blue and swapped the new Koni for the old, existing steering damper. I need to go back and adjust it tighter, so no noticeable difference in driving as of yet. But with it tighter, the hope it that the bus tracks better in high winds. I'll keep you updated on it's effect on Big Blue's high performance abilities...

New Koni damper.

Old one on the bus.

Old vs. new.

New one installed. I am going to get new hardware for it when I go back to adjust it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

EMPI's Sportster

I used to be into old Toyota Landcruisers, having a 1971 and a 1973 (parts car) about 10 years back. I picked up this Motor Trend from 1963 because there was an article about the Landcruiser in it. I was looking it over a few nights back and found this cool article on EMPI'sSportster. EMPI's role with VW is a whole, huge story that I am researching for a future post, but for now, I wanted to show this article. As always, you can click on the pictures to make them big enough to read...

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