Friday, May 29, 2009

VWs of... that one field that used to be full of old cars...

This was a pretty remarkable find. A few weeks back I drove through the night in my rented Kia from Chicago to northern Michigan to see my parents. As dawn broke, I was getting close to an area I had spent a good deal of time in while growing up in Michigan. I remembered a field of abandoned cars I had shot pictures of back in 1996 (click here for a picture of a bug from that adventure).

So, I decided to pull off and hike back and see what was there. It's private property, and is posted, so I try to make as much noise as possible and make my camera obvious. It's been abandoned for a while, but I could see that they had done some work recently, clearing things out by the main road. As I hiked back, I was disappointed to see that the cleaning work extended to the field that was now void of all the old cars.

I did notice these bug doors off by themselves in the field:

But from there, I could see what looked to me, like a delivery truck on it's side, so I decided to hike toward it. You can imagine my shock when I started to figure out I was looking at these:

I spent about 20 minutes shooting these 2 forgotten buses. I'm sure they had awesome stories to tell, but are too far gone now to keep talking. Really cool buses. Notice that the double cab [EDIT: is that what they are called?] only has 2 doors on the passenger side [EDIT: which I have now been told is not rare]...

I would have loved to take these guys home. But what can you do? It's almost better to see them out in the field, enjoying the first few warm days of spring...

UPDATE SAT 5/30/09 2:28 PM:

Sage, a well know VW nut from Northern Michigan (you can follow his VW adventures at is trying to contact the owners and save these things after I posted this info on The Samba (click for thread). I'll update you if such a move happens. I would love to be there to work on getting these things out of there...



Kind of eerie--I love those pictures!

Was that a gargantuan hornet's nest in the Kombi?

Big Blue's Driver

Yeah - lucky for me it didn't seem to be active.

I'm looking back for my 1996 pictures to see if these buses where there. They must have been.


I have been told of almost every VW within 100 miles of Traverse City, and never heard about these...

I'd love to hunt these down should you be open to sharing the location.

sage AT

Big Blue's Driver

sage AT -

Directions sent. All up to you now...


poor old in peace.


My husband and I are in TC for a few days visiting friends and would love to see the buses. Would you mind sharing the location?

Big Blue's Driver

Send an email to bigblueVW at - I'll try to give directions. But you didn't hear it from me...


Thanks. Sent you an email. Mums the word.

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