Thursday, December 30, 2010

THE VOLVO 210: File under "Other cars to dig"

There's something about the Volvo 445, or Duett, or 210 that I love. Perhaps it's the fact that you just never see them. One came up on Craigslist a year or so ago and it was completely restored. I think the price tag was around $15,000 but the thing called out to be taken on fishing and camping adventures.

About a week after getting the new '56 bug project home, this 1961 Volvo 210 was rolled out onto a lawn in a town just north of us. The asking price was hard to determine as they were reusing an used for sale sign. I think they were asking $1500. I'm willing to believe someone could have bought it for 1/2 of that. I tried unsuccessfully to get The Floating Harveys to buy it as they had an older Volvo in a previous life. I even offered to store it for them while we brought it back to life. No deal.

Imagine this thing cruising into Yosemite with a roof rack full of camping gear. Wait. Imagine the restored version (like this one) of this thing doing that. Or entering the California Melee with it. It would make an awesome project and a great car in the end. The issues are obvious: rust (on the cowl really bad!), decay and a few missing pieces. The biggest issue is not obvious. Somehow this car lost its engine at along the way. A vast void that would cost you a pretty penny sits where the engine once stood.

Seriously, one more garage bay and I'd have one more project lined up. As if I need another. But how many chances do you get at this car? Not many.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More vintage VW images from the web...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vintage Tuesday! Small car parking.

Small car parking.

Monday, December 27, 2010

8-21-10 - VWs at the car show in napa

These were taken by a co-worker. Napa had a car show a few months back. Not just VWs - but here are pictures of the VWs that were there...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oak's first VW bus...

Oak scored a matchbox VW bus this morning. His interest lasted, um, never. Someday though, there will be a lot of make-believe camping going on in this mint-condition bay window.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The sanctuary...

The rain has taken over Northern California. I'm not complaining. It beats snow for still getting work done. But it's not easy. With the holidays coming up, a massive cleaning is expected. The workshop has become the landing ground for anything and everything. 

The stuff needed for Oak - 2 rockers, 2 strollers, crib, clothes, etc - has taken up space in the normal garage and the spillover has gone into the workshop. 

Did you know you need to save the boxes when you buy kid's stuff so you can sell it at those parent swap meets? Did you know that? Well, we have a collection of original boxes. 

None of this paints the front end of Big Blue or fixes the transmission on a '56 bug. See the wheels in the picture? Those need to be powdercoated and have tires put on. Things to do. Need time to do it. At least I have the space.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

January 1957 Sports Cars Ilustrated: More Push for the Porsche (365)

One of my favorite places to go in San Francisco for cool old books is Kayo Books. While mostly a store that deals in old school pulp fiction, they have very interesting books and magazines related to several subjects. Sometimes I find some cool old hot rod magazines there, and occasionally I find some mags related to VWs. In the case below, the article is about the Porsche 356. I find that this is relevant for 2 reasons: 1. It's a car worth reading about 2. It's my dream car. So someday I will own one.

But for now, I can enjoy old magazine articles about them...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vintage Tuesday! Blue Camper

Blue Camper.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Thursday, December 16, 2010

From Monty, Big Blue's Previous Owner

I am happy to stay in touch with the previous owner of Big Blue. Oddly, we have never met. Back in 2007, we did the buying over the phone and his friend Jack showed us the bus and gave us the keys.

Anyway, he sent an email a week ago with some pics attached, so I thought I would turn this post over to him:

From Monty:

Couple pics of a local bus.  perfect shape - local bartender uses it to take occasional patron home.  Thus one sign says "to protect the served"

sign on door relates to Donut Police.  Nice logo

happy holidays to you and your new family

I keep expecting Monty's next email to tell us he has bought another bus. How could he not miss that sensation of being at the wheel of Big Blue!

Thanks Monty! Hope you have a good holiday as well.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Drive By Shootings #15 - More drive bys

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vintage Tuesday! Bug at the Beach.

Bug at the Beach.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hemmings November 2010

I can't stress enough how much I have fallen back into love with Hemmings. To be honest, it's been a long time since Hemmings and I parted ways. I used to read my dad's copies endlessly as a kid. It was a thick, unforgiving reference of automobiles that only the hardcore could love. There wasn't a single color photo in it back in those days (not even on the cover!).

But those days are gone. The Hemmings of today is part awesome magazine, part monthly reference/price guide. They are not snobs, which is the best part. The articles can cover $250,000 cars down to a $2000 ugly unwanted, but interesting, car.

The writing is great and to the point. They don't bother with test drives, or try to sell you something. They offer little bits of car history presented in small packages. And they cover shows, auctions, and even odd-ball stuff.

Anyway, here is some VW-related stuff from the last issue. Good on you, Hemmings Motor News. Keep it coming!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thank you to Ludwig's Drivers

There's an odd moment that happens to me every once in a while. It's that moment when the online world I know - people who I have met through this blog, old friends on Facebook and prisoners at San Quentin - somehow touch me in the real world.

This has never been more of an interesting song and dance than with Ludwig's Drivers. While we have been in contact for over 3 years, we have never met. We know each other's family, some history of each other and what type of distributors the other has in their bus. We almost camped together in Maupin, Oregon in 2009, but we had to cancel. Once, when Marc of Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost swung by on his west coast vacation to do some repair work on his bus, he actually called Ludwig's Drivers for some advice. I was inches away from hearing the voice behind the blog!

Before the blog break, I received a large box on the stoop. Thinking it more baby supplies, I put it aside a few hours then saw it again. Looking closer, I saw it was from Ludwig's Drivers. This is not the first piece of mail sent between us, but this was a BOX! Odds favored it containing some VW stuff which had me digging for the blade to open the box asap. Inside, I found a trove of VW reading material!

The book that immediately took me in was this one:

While it's based on European spec changes, it is nonetheless, awesome. Filled with production numbers, small details, and excellent pictures, I am experiencing a good deal of, "oh, that's what that should look like." It's really a classy book. And it's inspiring to look at when I am working on the '56 bug!

Another book in the box is the book above. I haven't dove into this one too much. I will. I promise. I especially like that it covers some water cooled (the Rabbit, I don't care about the New Beetle).

And a third book, Veronica Knows Best, was included. While sub-par to Robinson's opus, Veronica the Show-off, this is still a tremendous work by an American legend. At least Veronica, while looking anywhere between 16 and 46, knows what type of car to drive. Side note: Do you think Apple paperbacks has a case against Apple computers now that they provide books?

There was another cool piece included in the box, but that will be highlighted in a separate post coming soon.

So this is a very public follow up thank you to Ludwig's Drivers. The one thing I don't know about you guys is if you drink beer. If so, first one's on me when we finally meet up along the road somewhere.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

VW bus Avon bottle

There's a local antique shop that has a booth that has a couple hundred Avon bottles. The coolest thing about all these old Avon bottles isn't the shapes or the, egad!, cologne. The coolest thing that that someone at some time in the distant past, actually drew artwork for all these boxes!

I had seen the bus bottle there a while back but it was something like $12. Too expensive - even for the shelves in the workshop. Last time I was there, though, they were having a 50% off everything sale! Me and my $6 VW bus ("Sure Winner" still inside) walked out happy together.

Here's that cool art I was talking about. Each box has some cool scene on it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vintage Tuesday! Don't forget the dog.

Don't forget the dog.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The nephews get yet another set of VW toys...

Over the blogging break, the nephews in Denver had a birthday. Of course, they got VWs! I'm not sure they've had a birthday that I haven't sent VWs. They either hate me or love me!

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