Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Vintage VW bug hauling a camper!

I pulled these from https://www.facebook.com/vintagecampertrailers. Apparently the original owner (the guy in the first picture with his wife) gave the photos to the guy who runs http://www.vintagecampertrailers.com/.

These photos are way cool. The bug is either a '56 or '57. Who would have guessed it could pull that trailer?

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 YIR: Big Blue's only long journey

2013 wasn't a great year for the family setting out in either bus or tent to experience the great outdoors for various reasons that will be shared in an upcoming confession blog post. But, we did have a good time taking Big Blue to High Sierra Music Festival for the 3rd year. I even made a very long video you'll most likely find boring, though the last minute is some of my finest work this year. To give you an indication as to where my priorities are of late, I finished editing this video tonight. The concert was in July. You do the math.

So, sit back, get a beer and watch all too much of me on camera with an occasional spotting of our Blue VW bus friend…

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Romney Sticker on a VW?

image taken from The Little French Bullblog

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The current state of Big Blue

Big Blue's last trip was last July. Since then he has been in his spot, behind the fence in our backyard. He's used quite often for Oak's playhouse. But other than that, he sits, open to the elements. I am planning on building a shed on steroids this summer which will have an overhang big enough to provide some cover for Big Blue. The elements aren't kind to him.

A while back last summer, Bryan David Griffith, a friend and full-time road warrior photographer, stayed at our place while working on a photo-essay book about bookstores. He was kind enough to take a photo or Big Blue's rear (his best side?) which he is working on back in the lab for us. It was a wedding gift 5 years later (my fault for not picking anything out, not his fault for lack of trying).

Here's Bryan at work:

In the first photo, you can see what I did all summer (thus, ignoring this blog). Our house went from tan/brown to grey. Most of it anyway! Still a little to do when the weather warms up in the spring!

We'll share Bryan's creation with you when we get it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Saw this at a local antique shop

Any ideas what it could be from?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Napa Valley Air Cooled at the Napa holiday parade

Here's how out of touch I have been with the VW community the last year. We were down at the Napa Valley holiday parade in downtown Napa, and suddenly the streets were filled with members of the Napa Valley Air Cooled club! My jaw dropped! A VW club in my hometown and I didn't even know about it! Time to get the '56 running and out on the streets.

Sorry for the blurry pictures...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Check out this Karmann Ghia on the cover of this novel (which I read and it is awesome!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

VW Bus as... educational tool!

Every once in a while, people take advantage of it being relatively easy to contact me through this site. And, even though I have barely posted this past year, the site still gets a few hundred views a day thanks to having over 1200 posts on here (the most popular post being this one). 

And, sometimes those messages look like spam. Which is what I thought when Buck O'Connor emailed me with the subject line: 

Buck O'Connor calling-owner of 3 Westy's-needing a HHUUGGEE favor

I mean, how did this even get by the spam detectors?

So, I read it. And watched his kickstarted video (well, not all 54 minutes of it! but it gets good at about 7:30). And I kinda like it. So, his note to me is below. But first, check out the Kickstarter campaign: 

Buck's note to me:

Hello Bigbluevw,

I love the camping trips you are putting together.  I wish I could come to one in the near future.  I need a big favor from you, and I was hoping you could post what I am doing to all of your members and Facebook friends.  Meet Tank and Sunny:

I feel your bus friends and Facebook members will definitely get a kick out of what I am trying to do.  Would you support me by letting your members know about me and my children's educational television show for P.B.S.?  Why, you ask?  Because my show has a main character that is a 1978 VW Camper Bus named Tank!  He is anthropomorphic, that is, he has Herbie qualities.  He can drive by himself, open his doors by himself, he can talk, and I created him to communicate and connect with kids and parents in a fun way. Tank can sometimes be thick skulled or a knucklehead, and he constantly needs to be reminded not to park with his tires on the grass and to keep his garage picked up.  I have to use those words and tones that parents use to keep their kid in line.
Also, Tank has a girlfriend!  Her name is Sunny, and she is a 1979 VW Camper bus, and she is super pretty!  Tank is a lucky guy!  Just a quick mention of me and what I am doing to your newsletter, blog or Facebook page would be absolutely fantastic.  I have a kickstarter campaign where you can donate if you would like (even $5 would be AWESOME) but what would help more is that some of your members who are into buses even more than me, can share what they found about me trying to make 2 VW buses the next Herbie!

Here is a link to my kickstarter campaign where you can see the video of me, my show, Tank and Sunny, and Tank and Sunny going on a date to get their oil changed and for a Tank Treat.  When you see this, it is going to make you laugh!  You can see Tank and Sunny going on a date to get their oil changed and for a Tank Treat at minute marker 7:30.
Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!
Buck O'Connor

So, should you have a little extra chip this time of year, throw it Buck's way and let's see if we can get this thing off the ground.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A bus couple...

Every once in a while, I get contacted through this site because people find it while searching for VW stuff on google. People are looking for a bus to rent for a function or wedding, etc.

It happened a month ago when Jessica emailed asking to take engagement photos with Big Blue. Having never seen Big Blue before, Jessica had no idea he's a bit of a Monet - the closer you get the more you notice the imperfections. So I sent her to our good pal PJAlau who has the Elementhis Blog, and drives a great 1970 bus that has been shown on this blog several times.

So things worked out. He was able to offer up his bus and photos were taken. And they are great photos. See below! (More photos are at this website: http://www.anitamartinblog.com/2013/jessica-and-zaks-vw-bus-rodeo-beach-engagement-sausalito-san-francisco-engagement-photographer/)

Note: I have no rights to these photos so props to the couple in the photos and Anita Martin Photography for doing such a great job. 

And here's to the happy couple with many miles (hopefully some in a VW) ahead:

Monday, August 26, 2013

After 56 years, no more microbus. Read about it here:

Monday, August 19, 2013

What Ludwig did on his summer vacation.

 Our friend Ludwig recently hit the road after some time off (about 3 years) for a epic summer journey. Catch up with the story over at http://www.ludwigandgertie.com/.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Vantigo - A new VW bus service in SF

Wait a second! You can turn driving a VW bus around into a business idea?!? Damn! Why didn't I think of this. I hope these people rock it and make it and have fun doing it. They are long-time VW people, and they are trying to turn that into a dream. Right on. Check them out at http://vantigosf.com/.

Monday, August 12, 2013

VW Single Cab at Stanly Ranch in Carneros

Monday, August 5, 2013

VW Bug as.... Biker Trailer!

My friend Danica sent me this picture of this VW bug being used as a trailer for some bikers in San Francisco over the weekend. Here's what she had to say:

Saw this yesterday on 19th [Street]. I was trying to get a shot of the front end. It looked like they bondoed the front end and then they had a cooler strapped up there. Kind of a hard core looking group with a guy up front on a Harley in a Sturgis T-shirt and two guys on some heavy bikes bringing up the rear. We were behind them when we went through the tunnel and man they really laid on the throttle!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Vintage Tuesday - Paris

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vintage Tuesday - Another Paris Scene

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Max Hoffman, Frank Lloyd Wright and the birth of VWs in the US

An interesting bit of news came into my Facebook feed this morning. The New York Times just covered the destruction of Max Hoffman's Park Avenue showroom. The demo of the lobby happened in early May, but the word took a while to spread. The reason why it is of interest to some is that the showroom was one of the few remaining Frank Lloyd Wright pieces in NYC still standing.

Why it is of interest to me is that is was the gateway for several foreign auto brands coming into America. VW, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW among them. It had been occupied by Mercedes until late last year (2012) but they moved out, leaving the street level vacant.

There are 2 good articles on the situation:

NEW YORK TIMES: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/automobiles/wrights-new-york-showroom-now-just-a-memory.html?emc=eta1&_r=1&

METROPOLIS MAGAZINE: http://www.metropolismag.com/Point-of-View/May-2013/Remembering-Frank-Lloyd-Wrights-Bijou/

Here are a few more pictures:

This is what it looked like most recently, before Mercedes left:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vintage Tuesday: Vintage scene in France.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hawaiian Big Blue

A co-worker sent this to me this week after her trip to Hawaii. Apparently, this is what the blue ones look like when they are shiny!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A thing in Michigan

On a recent trip to Michigan (for my 20-year high school reunion!) I happened upon this thing near Traverse City. It was in fantastic shape, and part of me wanted to ditch my rental car and head to Buses by the Beach.

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