Clamps of Berlin

23 05 2020

In the last few years, wheel clamps (German: Autokralle) have really taken off here in Berlin. Modern VW buses have been in the top-ten of cars most stolen in Germany for many years. But recently, also the older VW bus generations have become the objects of car theft, and the owners have geared up accordingly. Now many buses feature wheel clamps, and often additionally steering wheel locks. So here is a little collection of wheel clamps of Berlin!

T3 Joker with pop-up roof and Nemesis clamp

Nemesis clamp from FullStop Security

A high roof T3 Joker, also with a Nemesis clamp

T4 high-roof camper with a different clamp…

… and a serious-looking steering wheel lock (“Disklok”).

Similar yellow clamp on a T5 panel van camper.

T4 window bus with a Nemesis clamp.

T5 California Camper with a smaller clamp.


Anti-Theft Protection, Old School

21 12 2014

Beautiful and probably brand new Volkswagen T5 Multivan, spotted last winter in Berlin, with down-to-earth no-nonsense anti-theft protection: Wheel clamp on the rear left wheel, and the front right wheel chained like a bicycle to a street tree guard. New VW buses make it into the top-ten of most stolen cars in Germany every year, and Berlin has the highest rate of stolen cars (per number of insured vehicles) of any German city. So probably not a bad idea if you have to park your precious van on the street. Nice re-use of the chain a few days later in a different spot, locking up the steering wheel to the A-pillar handhold.





New VW Transporter Commercial

6 06 2014

Link to a new German Volkswagen commercial that popped up on TV this evening: “Most vehicles are being used. But there is one that is being loved, for more than 60 years now.” Oh so true!

Screenshot of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles web site (

Screenshot of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles web site (

Beautiful VW Campervan Ad

28 01 2014

Stumbled over this beautiful new VW ad some days ago. Nicely playing with the glorious past to promote the latest model, the T5 California. I guess it’s from around 2012. For a very informative review on the many pluses and few cons of the California, have a look at this post by Wild About Scotland.

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.

VW Bus T-Shirts No. 11

4 07 2012

As a follow-up on yesterday’s post on the upcoming 5. Berlin VW Bus Festival on July 27-29, 2012, here is last year’s festival T shirt, with the T3/T25 in the center of it all. Nice drawing!

“Bulli” Special Edition

31 03 2012

Here is something for the VW bus nerds. Not very cool, but perhaps interesting: Some time ago I blogged about the various names for Volkswagen buses in German and in English. Perhaps weird to the English native speaker, but the German term for all VW buses is “Bulli”. The general idea is that Bulli was derived from a combination of bus and delivery van (in German “Bus und Lieferwagen“), but Wikipedia states that the term was coined VW-internally even before it was used by the public and that it referred to the work horse qualities of this all-purpose vehicle (“like a bull”). But VW was not allowed to use this name officially as another German company, Kässbohrer, had both “Bully” and “bulli” trademarked for their snow groomers, the Pistenbully. Only in 2007, on the occasion of the 60th birthday of the VW Bus, Kässbohrer agreed to sell the trademarks to Volkswagen. Wikipedia mentions this episode only on the German version of the VW Bus entry. To celebrate this event, Volkswagen released the special edition (German: Sondermodell) “Bulli” of the T5. In my earlier post, I could not find any pictures on the web, but now I bumped into one of these in our street. So here are some pics of this Sondermodell.

Australian Roo Bars

20 01 2012

The likelihood of colliding with large wildlife on Australian roads is probably pretty high, most likely with kangaroos or wombats. That’s why a lot of people protect their cars with bull bars or kangaroo bars, short “roo bars”. You see these on many normal cars and pick-up trucks and also on campervans. It seems that in the seventies, the bay window campervans featured bars made from relatively modest steel tubes, such as these ones:

But even for T2s one occasionally finds more massive versions such as these ones – wonder whether they were added later?

In the eighties and nineties, more sturdy looking constructions seem to have become standard, such as these on two T3 buses. Note that sometimes the roo bar includes a reinforced front bumber which protects or replaces the original front bumper.

Finally, here is a T5 high-roof people carrier which features a more modern and shiny version which nevertheless is quite massive, too. In the end all of them will not help much if the kangaroo decides to jump and hits the car above the bar and in the windscreen. Best to drive slower and more carefully when travelling on country roads in the early morning, at dusk and in the night when kangeroos are active and accidents are most likely. Click here for a link to more information on kangeroo accidents and how to avoid them.

Added March 17, 2012: To complete the Type 2 generations, here is a T4 with a massive roo bar, spotted at the end of Fenruary in Geelong, Australia.