More Flea Market Findings!

28 11 2014

Look what I bought myself! Found these three little buses a while ago on a flea market in Berlin. The blue one is an early bay window Dormobile Volkwagen camper from Matchbox (Series 23, © 1970, Made in England) with an English number plate. I guess there may once have been some kind of canvass attached to the fold up roof. The late bay window police bus says it is a Majorette No. 214 (“Fourgon VW, Made in France”, scale 1:60). Fourgon seems to be French for panel van. The other late bay window from the German Red Cross in Nuremberg is from Schuco (Made in Germany, scale 1:66, Model 817010) and proudly announces 60 PS and a top speed of 125 km/h. Love the scratches and how they turn out in these close-up photos. Original patina from decades of hard playing!





Aloha from Berlin!

8 11 2014

Not much time for blogging in the last couple of weeks. Update on recent events: I got a fantastic kombi cake for my birthday (thanks, my love!), and a Hula Dashboard Doll from KC Hawaii (thanks to Jan!). Leilani now resides on Taiga Lily’s dashboard and gently sways through Berlin’s traffic.




Grandfather of the Kombi Rediscovered

8 03 2014

Interesting story going through the media in Germany at the moment: The very first Porsche was rediscovered, after it was assumed lost for about a 110 years. And as Ferdinand Porsche was the father of the Volkswagen beetle, and the beetle is just a smaller and less practical version of the kombi, the resurfaced car is somehow also the godfather of the kombi.
The very first Porsche was built in 1898 by Porsche, working for the Vienna-based electro company “Béla Egger & Co.“ which got the contract to build the drive train for an electro car by coach maker Lohner Werke. So the car was called the Egger-Lohner electro-vehicle. But Ferdinand Porsche apparently had stamped every major part with a “P1” to mark it as his first car creation.
It still looks very much like a horse carriage. The story is that it was put aside and then forgotten in a carriage museum somewhere in Austria. It was rediscovered 110 years after its disappearance, bought back by Wolfgang Porsche, the grandson of Porsche senior, and given as a permanent loan to the Porsche museum in Stuttgart. Where it has now been put on display and will welcome future visitors in the entrance hall. Here is the link to a video on, the internet portal of the German main evening news, from January 28.
True to the image of the Porsche company, this very first Porsche already won a race: The car magazine “Auto, Motor und Sport” reports that with Ferdinand Porsche himself in the driver’s seat it won the “Race for Electric Vehicles” on September 28, 1899, in Berlin, between the suburbs of Steglitz and Zehlendorf.
The latest turn in this story: Their now seem to be doubts as the “P1” stamps may have been not yet in place when the vehicle was evaluated by an expert in 2009 (see this paper in the German newspaper “Die Welt” from Feb 23). This car would then still be an Egger-Lohner, and one with the drive train develloped by Ferdinand Porsche, but not the very first copy of this model.

Screenshot from Tagesschau news feature from Jan 28, 2014.

Screenshot from Tagesschau news feature from Jan 28, 2014.

Taiga Lily embroidered…

1 02 2014

I re-discovered this beautiful piece when we sorted our study in the christmas break. Got it as a present from DrJ who stitched it in about 2011, black thread on paper. It comes in our buses’ original paint job, Taigagruen (sage green) and white. For more stitch art of DrJ check out Stitchalicious and her Etsy shop.




It’s getting cold…

25 01 2014

Winter has finally arrived in Berlin. After an unusually mild winter so far, it started snowing last Wednesday. Now temperatures dropped to -13°C last night and tonight, and will go up to only -9°C tomorrow. No idea what the wind chill factor is, but it feels very cold.

Not much snow, but awfully cold...

Not much snow, but awfully cold… T4 and T5 buses in our neighborhood.

They finally stop making them…

30 12 2013

Sad news for the kombi world: As you may have read already on ZeroToSixty-eventually or in the newspapers, Volkswagen of Brazil will stop the production of the kombi (aka the Bay Window Volkswagen bus or T2) at the end of 2013, so basically today. In Germany, the production of this version of the Volkswagen transporter started in 1967 and ended in 1979 when the wedge-shaped T3/T25 was introduced, which in turn was succeeded by the front-engine T4 in 1990 and the current model, the T5, in 2003. But production went on in Mexico and Brazil, in Mexico until 1994 and in Brazil up until now.
The body of these modern versions showed only minor differences compared to the German kombis of the 1970ies, like a slightly elevated roof, small differences on the lower section of the driver and passenger door and, most prominently, a large radiator grill at the front as these buses were equipped with water-cooled engines since 2005. The German Wikipedia entry on the T2 has a section on the Mexican and Brazilian T2, the “T2c” for which unfortunately no English translation exists yet.
Production now ends because of increased safety and emission standards. From 2014 on all new cars in Brazil need to feature airbag safety systems. Apparently too difficult to introduce such a complex system in a car where the basic design goes back to 1967. Volkswagen Do Brazil commemorates 56 years of production of the Kombi in Brazil with a beautiful final Last Edition – originally limited to 600 buses, then increased to 1200 buses, see the photos below.
Some links if you want to read more: This New York Times article beautifully sums up why the kombi was so successful – because it was, in a modest and unpretentious way, sufficient. There is an informative article from (“The Bus Stops Here”) where also the photos below are taken from. Here is a link to an article in the British newspaper The Indendent. Finally a gallery of photos, some truely beautiful, on the web site of the british newspaper The Guardian.

Photos below from Volkswagen of Brazil.





Como está, kombi fans do Brasil?

28 12 2013

On a normal day this blog gets between 80 and 150 clicks. Yesterday it was 773, and it seems most visitors came from South America – mainly Brasil, but also Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Venezuela. Not sure what had happened, but you certainly made a blogger in far away Berlin very happy. Thank you for viviting! Any hints are welcome as to what went on yesterday?