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.





Peppa Pig and the Campervan

24 01 2014

I had never heard of Peppa Pig before our little supergirl introduced me. Very cute british cartoon that explains the world clearly understandable for a two-year-old. And there is even something in it for the kombi nerd – two episodes where Peppa and her family discover the joy of camping in a campervan. Which, only weakly disguised, turned out to be a Volkswagen bus. Girst I was a bit unsure but then the engine in the back clearly gave it away. The side ways-fold up roof would make it a dormobile campervan conversion. Below are some screenshots and the youtube links. Hope you like it as well!

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Até amanhã ?

31 12 2013

unintroducing-thevolkswagen-bus2013

Re-blog of a great blog post. Brilliant summary, with a fantastic VW unlaunch ad, “unintroducing the Volkswagen Bus…”





Early Bays from the Past

11 04 2013

Nice side effect of moving house: You stumble over old fotos which were long forgotten. Here are fotos of two early bays which I took when I lived in Freiburg in South Germany in around 1994. About one year before I bought my first kombi. Apparently I had already caught the fever and started taking fotos of other kombis. Seems that at the time the early bays were still around a lot. You hardly see them anymore nowadays. Both came with the same fold-up roof hinged at the front, so were probably similar Westfalia campervan conversions.

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The Big Bad Wolf Drives a Westfalia Campervan…

18 02 2013

Today VOX aired the first episode of the Grimm series on German television: Looks like a modern take on the Grimm fairy tales and started with two episodes tonight, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. The Big Bad Wolf was a friendly postman who occasionally turned into a werewolf and kidnapped little girls with red hoodies. Nick, the good guy and police man is “a Grimm”, a member of a family of monster hunters. There is also a converted good wolf, Monroe, who probably becomes Grimm’s friend later on. Nicely enough, both wolfs drive air-cooled Volkswagens: The good one a white beetle and the Bad Wolf what looked like a yellow and white Late Bay Westfalia campervan, with fold-up roof and spare tire on the front. I think I like this series already!

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Screenshot “Grimm”, VOX television.





Coming Soon: The Berlin VW Bus Festival 2012!

3 07 2012

The 5. Berlin VW Bus Festival is approaching quickly. It is organised by the Berlin Kombi Club (Berliner Bulli Stammtisch) and attracts more buses each year – last year around 400! It will all happen on July 27-29 in Jueterbog, about 70 km south of Berlin, on the old airfield of a former Russian Army Base. It’s basically a T3/T25 bus meeting, but there is the occasional bay window (like us!) and split-window bus as well. Pretty cool events going on, like the syncro trial where four-wheel-drive T3s are driven through an obstacle course up and down through a sand pit, with points for speed and skill, and racing of (pimped) buses and beetles in a 1/8 mile race on the old air strip. There is also a family area (less loud in the evenings and nights) and a program for the kids. This year the plan is to build the image of the front mask of a T3 bus with 513 buses. And it all ends with a show and shine evening and a big party. So if you are around for the weekend of July 27-29, have a look yourself! Below are some snapshots from the 2009 Berlin Bus Festival which we attended with our old bus, the Old Lady.

Leon Dogwonder and the Old Lady at the 2009 VW Bus festival.

T3s in the evening sun.

Getting ready for the orienteering race.

A T3 Syncro four-wheel-drive digging in a sand pit, at the Syncro competition.

Waiting for the start at the 1/8 mile race.

A 21-window Samba

A freshly restored T2a campervan.

T2b Westfalia Campervan

Syncro DoKa (Double Cabin)

T3s at sunset.





Beautifully Restored Sydney Kombi

28 02 2012

A beautifully restored T2b bus spotted a few days ago in Sydney. The color scheme looks like our Taiga Lily, taiga green and creme white. Unusual variation on the front: White around the head lights and air inlets. Note the minature model of a T2a kombi on the dashboard, with the same unusual paint job at the front. Thanks to Adrian for the photos!





Australian T2b Campervan

24 02 2012

We are back in Australia, after our three week kombi trip through New Zealand. In a week our 3 months of parental leave down here will be over and we will be flying back to Germany. Before returning to the German winter, Australia spoils us with real summer, today 36°C, tomorrow even predicted 38°C.  Here is another Australian kombi, photos kindly taken some days ago in Geelong by DrJ. Not sure what kind of campervan conversion this is. But cool bull bars – does one also call them bull bars when they are on the back? Certainly protects the body from parking incidents.





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.





Surfer Campervan

11 01 2012

A T2b surfer kombi spotted on a beach park site in southern Gippsland, Australia. Classic Volkswagen orange – greetings to Stefan in Switzerland who got me hooked on VW buses 22 years ago with his orange campervan Frau Wehbus.
Interesting detail: Openings below the windscreen for wind screen wipers where they would be with a car with left hand drive. As if this car started its life in a left hand drive country and was later imported and rebuilt to right hand drive in Australia.