1978 New South Wales Microbus

1 01 2015

Let’s start the New Year with this beauty! It is a 1978 Volkswagen deluxe microbus with the 2L engine and automatic transmission. Photo sent by Tony from New South Wales, Australia, who bought this bus from the first owner in 1980 and owned it ever since. The color is Marino Yellow/Pastel White. There is more information on the bus and also more pictures here. Thanks to Tony for the picture! We hope to be over in Australia again towards the end of the year. Greetings from a wintery Berlin to all our friends in Australia! Hope you are having a great and not too hot summer!

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Sage Green Family Meeting

31 05 2014

Nice encounter last weekend at the local DIY market: Taiga Lily met a cousin, a 1977 Westfalia camper in identical Taiga Gruen/Sage Green, freshly restored and in fantastic condition. Beautiful new paint job, fold-up roof also freshly re-sprayed. Also met the owner and learnt about another group of kombi fanatics here in Berlin. Greetings to Ruediger – looking forward to catching up with you guys sometime later this summer!

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Time for the Winter Break

1 12 2013

Berlin winter is arriving, with gray skys, miserable rain and temperatures touching 0°C. Time for Taiga Lily to retreat to her warm and dry winter quarter. So a week ago I charged her battery over night and gave her a thorough wash so that she will be all shiny and beautiful next spring. I upped the tyre pressure, checked the oil, drove her into her garage and diconnected the battery. While there I used a 12V electric pump to fully blow up the tyres of the our second kombi, the Old Lady. She is stored away in the same garage, waiting for better times. Seeing both of you again in 2014!

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Of Autobahns and Country Roads

12 08 2013

Three weeks of vacation have come to an end. They started with a power weekend for Taiga Lily as she was booked as a wedding limousine in Stuttgart. Stuttgart is about 800 km from Berlin when driving via Marburg where I dropped of the dog with my parents for the weekend. With some stops along the way to fill up on petrol, coffee and food, to walk the doggy and to have dinner, the trip took me some long twelve hours. But the weather was great, traffic not too bad and Taiga Lily drove smoothly all the way, so I enjoyed the ride. The route took me through “Volkswagen country“, with VW production sites along the way in Hannover, Wolfsburg, Salzgitter and Kassel, and towards the end into the homelands of Mercedes and Porsche, Stuttgart and Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Pretty amazing how much richer Stuttgart looked compared to Berlin.

Taiga Lily all shiny and clean for the biog day in Stuttgart.

Taiga Lily all shiny and clean for the big day in Stuttgart.

Official maximum speed of the van is 127km/h (70 h.p. CJ engine), and given enough time to ramp up the speed she easily goes 120-125km/h – haven’t pushed her beyond that yet. But on those hot days, the top speed quickly went down to 90 or even 80 km/h as the engine temperate otherwise raised beyond 100°C. Air cooling comes to its limits when its 35 to 40°C in the shade. The new sliding window in the sliding door paid out massively – always a nice breeze on the backbench, no more problem with too much heat in the back as during last summer’s ride to the Czech Republic.
To spare the little one of at least part of the long rides, my lovely wife and wonder baby flew from Berlin into Stuttgart. The way back was then still a long five-hour-ride from Stuttgart to Marburg, some days spent in Marburg and then another eight-hour-trip for the last 465 km to Berlin.

VW Bus Fans - The Next Generation.

VW Bus Fan – Next Generation.

After the VW Bus festival and a week at home in Berlin, we spent the last week in a bungalow on a campsite in the Spreewald, 100 km southeast of Berlin. This time we deliberately avoided the Autobahns and went for the small country roads, both to get there and while exploring the environments. Amazing how much more pleasant it was to drive the old bus at 60 to 80km/h through the forests instead of racing her at 100km/h over Autobahns. Probably this is more the speed for which these buses were designed in the late sixties. Now the holidays are over and it is back to work – what a shame.

Our dog enjoying the prime seat on the porta potti box...

Our dog enjoying the prime seat on the porta potti box…

Back streets in the Spreewald region southeast of Berlin.

Country road in the Spreewald region southeast of Berlin.





Things That Can Break. Today, The Brake Booster

2 08 2013

I learnt a bit about the break booster (German: Bremskraftverstaerker, BKV) in the last few days. Mainly that it is not good when it fails. The first impression is that the breaks do not work at all any more, which is pretty frightening when it happens out of the blue. The breaks actually still work, but need a lot more power on the break pedal to show some effect. Turns out the systems runs under a vacuum which is generated at the engine in the back and is transferred via vacuum hoses to the brake booster at the front axle. My Berlin VW garage, Beetle Clinic, checked everything and found two dodgy sections in the vacuum hose which they replaced: One part with a kink in it and one where one of the previous owners had bridged a short stretch with non-vacuum hose. While at it, they also replaced a vacuum valve, just to be on the safe side. I picked the car up today and so far the breaks have worked correctly. So hopefully it were just these weak points in the hose and not the brake booster unit itself. I was told these are not made anymore and it may take some time to get a working unit second hand.

Taiga Lily meeting a close cousin at the Beetle Clinic.

Taiga Lily meeting a close cousin at the Beetle Clinic.





Taiga Lily goes Shooting Star!

8 05 2013

I had just left the garage waking Taiga Lily up from a 6-month-winter sleep when a lady came over from a photo shoot taking place next door. She asked whether they could hire the bus for the shooting. So on a beautiful sunny Berlin May day Taiga Lily gave the very good looking background for a commercial for a male cosmetic product. Hope the final campaign will use some of shots with the bus. Will keep you updated!


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Back to her winter quarter

6 11 2012

Autumn is in full swing in Berlin. Time to get Taiga Lily off the streets and into her warm and dry winter quarter. So last weekend I gave her a wash, filled the tank, upped the tire pressure to about 10% above normal and drove her to her garage where she will spend the next couple of months next to the Old Lady, our second bus. I soaked a cloth with WD40 and stuffed it in the exhaust pipe. That way the hot exhaust is meant to suck in some WD40 fumes when cooling down which should help preventing rust from the inside. I finally disconnected the battery and closed the garage. Back next spring when the salt is off the roads again.

Leaves turning orange and yellow in Berlin autumn.

Taiga Lily and the Old Lady parking side by side in their winter quarter.

… see you again in 2013.