Soundcheck: Taiga Lily goes to the movies!

20 05 2018

Or at least her engine roar will… Some three weeks ago a friend asked me whether I would be willing to help another friend who needed to record the engine sound of an old Volkwagen bus. Turned out he is a professional movie sound specialist and is currently working on a Brazilian road movie that stars an unusual looking campervan. It took them some time to figure out it was a Karmann Safari, a motorhome built on the base of a Volkswagen T2b pick-up truck. And here enters Taiga Lily, not a Karmann Safari, but at least a T2b with the authentic Volkswagen boxer engine sound.


So this is what the original Karmann Safari campers looked like (photo from Wikimedia Commons, Rafael Ruivo., Kombi Safari, CC BY-SA 3.0). I learnt only recently that the German car maker Karmann built such motorhomes based on the T2b. Its successor, the T3/T25-based Karmann Gipsy, is more common on the road in Germany and I portrayed one of them here. According to this Wikipedia page, Karmann started making the T2b-based ones in 1974 and built only 1000 in total.

So a few days ago said friend of a friend, together with a sound assistant, arrived at our home and we spent 4 hours, first gearing Taiga Lily up with microphones, then practicing drive-bys at various speeds, starting and stopping the van, driving fast and slow on the autobahn (fast being 85 km/h, slow being 65 km/h…), then slow and fast stops, and finally banging the drivers doors. All was recorded from the distance by the assitant and additionally with five microphone in an don the bus: One on the back window, another on the tow bar, yet another in the engine bay itself, another directly next to the exhaust, and finally one on a tripod in the middle of the car, pointing to the driver’s cabin, to also record the sound in the front of the car. Gosh, that was a fun evening! Will keep you posted when the movie is finished. Hope it will make it to the movie theaters in Germany!


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Best Motion Picture 2013 Staring: A Kombi Van!

26 02 2013

On Monday the movie Argo by Ben Affleck won the Oscar for best motion picture. Apparently loosely based on a true story, it describes how six US embassy staff were smuggled out of Teheran and rescued by the Canadian secret service and the CIA during the hostage crisis in 1980. Seems like their cover was to shoot a movie and everyone was shuttled back and forth through Teheran in a – Tadah! – Volkswagen kombi. Looks like a sierra yellow and white US spec T2b microbus. Below are some snapshots from a senior member of my kombi scouting team (thanks!).
PS: For the movie aficionados, here is the link to the wikipedia page for the movie: Interesting summary about the historical background, including detailed listings of the historical inaccuracies. Still it seems to be an exciting movie.

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The Kid’s Kombi Collection

30 01 2013

There is a kombi import embargo in action for our flat – no more VW bus models because there are way too many already. But our little daughter is exempted, and she has already piled up a little collection of her own: Thanks to my colleagues for Fillmore, the big green 1960 Volkswagen from the movie Cars which arrived when she was born. The purple Samba is from Cora’s two boys who generously donated it to our little one from their own toy collection – many thanks! The short bus was already portrayed in an earlier blog post – thanks to Uschi! And the little red and white Samba, with a magnet in its base, is from Matti, arrived already some years ago and has then been re-discovered by our daughter. It now has a permanent position on the washing machine, teaches her about magnetism and has been washed already four times and tumble-dried twice.
PS: 10 points for inspiration to ZeroToSixtyEventually for this nice post on his kids’ bus collection.




„The Bus“ Movie Is Out!

26 08 2012

The documentary “The Bus” is finally out and you can buy it! I had ordered the DVD some weeks ago and it arrived a few days ago. Just watched it and really, really liked it. Beautifully catches the spirit of driving a Volkswagen bus. Makes you want to hop on the bus and start the next adventure. Hope we do that more often once our baby-daughter is big enough to make travelling a bit easier. And when she also can enjoy it more herself. Makes me also want to learn more about the mechanics so that I can do more on the car myself. The DVD came with a BUS “country sticker” which went straight to the roof box today, together with the latest trophy, the sticker from the Czech republic. I also like the movie poster & DVD cover: T1, T2 and T3 morphed into one bus. Many wonderful comments from the many people speaking about their lives with VW campervans. “You meet the best people when your car breaks down. The jerks won’t stop…” We actually helped two people with problems on the way to Czech. So bus drivers also seem to be the people to talk to when you look for help on a full Autobahn rest place. In fact we were the only people with a canister of petrol and could help that motorbike driver with a completely empty tank. Anyway, have a look at the movie trailers on their web page (or in my previous post). It is a beautiful movie.

Trailer for “The Bus” – Awesome!

28 03 2012

Just found this movie trailer via a post on the VW Bus Facebook page. Awesome! Seems to be a tribute to the VW campervan – beautifully capturing what it is all about driving VW buses.

Here is the web page for the movie. Apparently it will be out on April 14, 2012. This web page comes with another trailer, which is almost even better – will link to that below as well. Beautiful line from the second trailer: “(The bus has) many human qualities, which include failure.”

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VW Buses in the Movies, Part 3: The Boat That Rocked

17 07 2011

No combi in the trailer of this very cool movie. But a T1 campervan in beautiful condition pops up after 54min 30sec – admittedly just for one or two seconds.

Snapshot with the combi in the background:

VW Buses in the Movies, Part 2: The Beastie Boys

5 07 2011

A new sub genre in this blog: VWs in the movies. Bran Nue Dae made the start. So here comes number 2: Looks like an old T2, hidden in the trailer for the very cool new Beastie Boys video. Enjoy!

Australia in Barcelona

25 02 2011

After a couple of relaxed days in sunny Barcelona we found a cafe which brings a bit of Aussie culture to Barcelona: The Federal Cafe offers a mixture of Australian cakes, biscuits and coffee varieties, in a laid back location in the Raval. Thanks to Jodi for directing us towards this very nice place. Aussie culture brings us seamlessly back to the main topic of this blog, the kombi (‘stralian for VW campervan): Below is a link to the trailer of the movie “Bran Nue Dae” featuring a very cool T1 campervan and lots of Australian landscape and history.

Screenshot from "Bran Nue Dae"