What's the name of your bus (and why)?
My bus answers to several names. I think it likes all of them, but I generally refer to it as "OttoBus". There was no deep thought process that led to this name, it just fell into place based on the original automatic transmission the bus has. Otto seemed cooler than Auto, spelling things incorrectly is hip, right? At some point it made an attempt to transition into the name "ReproBUS". When I purchased the bus there was a small St. Christopher charm glued to the "empty gauge block-off plate" to the right of the gauges. St. Christopher also went by Reprobus and was placed in history as the "Patron Saint of Travelers", I'd like to think that little charm has gotten me home more than once. The name didn't stick but the charm is there for good.
Why did you buy a VW bus?
I think a large part of my Volkswagen "addiction" can be traced back to my mother. I remember from a very young age my mother recalling her first 2 vehicles (Both 60's Bugs.) I remember her fond recollection of the "Volkswagen Smell" and her floor pans being so rusted out that she had to layer multiple floormats to keep from seeing the road beneath her feet. She often recalls her first bug that she never got to drive, She was returning from school one day and arrived home to see her bug up in flames in the driveway....I guess she shouldn't have let her boyfriend work on it. I'd hate to think it was the VW Gods spiting her for having redone the interior in furry black fabric.
I actually bought my first bus a few years ago, it was a '75 that had previously been a Church Bus. It's got a deep history from which I've uncovered many "artifacts". I began gathering parts and a motor for this project, but soon realized I was in over my head. I bought a daily driver ($200 Hippie painted 1988 Chevy Celebrity) to drive until the bus was ready. About 1500 miles later, I blew the Chevy engine, I then decided I should find a bus that was near road ready that I could drop my rebuilt 1.8 engine in. This search led me to Otto.
My Church Bus is still anxiously awaiting the day it can be properly restored...
What makes OttoBus unique?
OttoBus has a few quirks, it's a big part of the charm. I would think very few Volkswagen Bus owners have a vehicle that just anyone could hop in and drive without instruction. The paintjob on Otto is a home-done job that my father and I have poured several hours into, the seat covers were constructed and sewn by my mother and I, the motor is a rebuilt 1973 from my friend Lance M. in Springfield, MO, and of course the automatic transmission is a bit odd. I'm also planning on adding Moon Discs sometime within the next month or so. It's really just a work in progress and it will probably always be. In fact, I placed 2nd in the "Under Construction : Clearly Unfinished" class at the 2009 VW Club of Tulsa show. Everything I do, or add to the bus has it's own unique flavor that adds to the overall vibe.
What are the ultimate plans for OttoBus? Camping? Daily Driver? Roadtrip?
It spent several months of 2009 as a daily driver and the only car I owned, actually. I'm currently working on fitting a late Westfalia camper interior into the bus. I am stripping the cabinets of the laminate and staining them a lighter color, restoring every inch of them as I go. I can say with a bit of certainty that it's main focus for quite some time will be camping. You just can't beat camping in the bus! Some day in the far, far future I would like to do a full country trip in a bus, and if funds allow at that point I would like it to be a late bay, high top camper with full fuel injection and a 2.0 motor. Everyone can dream!
If you could have any VW in the world, what model would you want?
That's a tough question! It'd have to be aircooled and old. I would probably throw it back to the last question and say an all Pastel White Hightop camper, fuel injection, 2.0 motor, and with all of the amenities for a several month long roadtrip.