Peppa and the Campervan, Part II

10 03 2015

Yay! Our wonder daughter got Peppa Pig and a campervan as a birthday present from Nanna in Australia! These toys have not yet made it to the shops in Germany, but Peppa Pig (German: Peppa Wutz) is already on air on the Kinder Kanal. The little bus beautifully picks up some of the design feats of the T1 split-window and T2 bay window VW buses (spare wheel on front, bi-color color scheme, friendly front with crescent-shaped line similar to the T1 “V”). The episode with Peppa and her family going camping with this campervan was featured in this older blog post (with Youtube link). Many thanks to Rhonda for thinking of us and our little big girl!

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Back into winter sleep

11 12 2014

I used a dry and not too cold weekend in November to get Taiga Lily ready for her winter break. We actually did not drive the bus much for the last couple of weeks. Now I found a beautiful little surprise when I took down the roof rack and bike rack: Someone had planted a little Brekina VW bus model in the roof railing, packed in the original little plastic box and wrapped in sticky tape, hidden behind a foot of the roof rack. Thank you, dear anonymous spender! This one is going straight to the pool room! Not much time on this weekend to bring her to perfect condition, but at least I gave her a thorough overall wash. Then visited two Ikea stores which re-charged the battery hopefully a bit, filled the tank to the top (this year with Ethanol-free petrol, zerotosixty), drove her into her garage and disconnected the battery. See you next year!

All clean and shiny again!

All clean and shiny again!

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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!

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Hawaiian Kombis, Part II

23 12 2013

The Volkswagen kombi seems to have a firm place in the Hawaii tourist folklore, with toy buses with glued-on surfboards lined up in every souvenir shop. But today’s surfers drive pick-up trucks, four-wheel-drives and SUVs, no more kombis on the beaches. Good to see that at least some of them have survived and are still in use. Below is another one: Found this green metallic beauty in the eastern part of Maui. It’s a 1974 Westfalia camper with 1.8L engine, interior rebuilt in bamboo wood, including the floor and the panels for the walls and doors. Cool battery of switches under the dashboard to operate an LED and laser light show all over the inside ceiling of the van. Originally fitted front spare wheel holder has been removed and the holes were carefully closed for a simple and clean look.

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The winding coastal roads with lots of one-way bridges, the surfer beaches and the beautiful warm and sunny weather reminded me a lot of New Zealand’s South Island and Australia’s Great Ocean Road. The small size of the island of Maui and its remote beaches and bays look ideal for a kombi holiday. I searched the web and found two rental companies that offer VW buses: Aloha Campers has a range of T3 Westfalia campervans, and Maui Camper Rentals rents out T5 Westfalias. Drawback seems to be that there is not really a great camp site infrastructure, and wild camping is unusual or even illegal. Interesting discussion thread on The Samba.com if you want to read up more on this topic.

Beach near Kihei on Maui, Hawaii.

Beach near Kihei on Maui, Hawaii.

Hookipa surfer beach northeast of Kahului, Maui, Hawaii.

Hookipa surfer beach northeast of Kahului, Maui, Hawaii.

Sun set on Hookipa  beach .

Sun set on Hookipa beach .





Straight to the Pool Room!

16 04 2013

After the kombi collection of our baby-daughter, here comes daddy’s pride and joy. This is what happens when all your friends know you as a kombi fanatic: 17 years of kombi models, some bought, but most received as presents from friends and family. It started in 1996 with the big blue-and-white “Nivea” panel van and the red-and-white T1 microbus, in the lower shelves of the cabinet below. They were birthday presents from Caro and from the colleagues at work (thanks guys!). The series of early bay-window tin toy buses in the fourth shelf from below is also pretty cool. They are produced by the Czech company Kovap, were apparently already on the market pre-1990 when there was still East and West Germany and one could buy them in East Germany as well. I found the first two models during a visit to Prague with DrJ, Emily and Mike in about 2003 and bought some more when I found them again in a shop in Berlin in about 2008.

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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.

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Chinese Split-Window

20 01 2013

I was in China most of last week. Very interesting, very cold, and with very polluted air. Bus-wise it was a big disappointment. Not a single campervan on the traffic-jammed streets and roads of Beijing. Lots of German cars, mainly Audis and Volkswagens, but all pretty new or brand new. Oldest VW models were the Santanas (Passat sedans) and Jettas from the 1980ies which were built in China much longer than in Europe. I finally got lucky in a toy shop in the Dongcheng district: A tin toy model of a split-window microbus, but with some strange “Coach” badge at the front. Perhaps just to avoid copyright discussions with Volkswagen? Seeing that there were some pretty amazing copies of German cars with Chinese badges on the streets, this may also be a model of a Chinese copy of the T1. Turned out it was not for sale, so perhaps also a collector’s piece of the shop owner.

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