Tuesday, September 24, 2013

And So It Ends

I first read about it online yesterday, September 23.  This morning the news was reported in an Associated Press article by Stan Lehman and Bradley Brooks in the Statesman Journal.  The Volkswagon bus production is coming to its final end on December 31, 2013 in Sao Paulo.

This iconic vehicle has an illustrious history, particularly during the hippie heyday of the 1960’s and 70’s.  It made appearances on album covers for the Beach Boys and Bob Dylan among others.  The Grateful Dead fans followed tours in one.  The bus has been seen in just about every country serving as a workhorse for carting people, supplies and deliveries.  As popular as it was it did not hold the cool mystique in Sao Paulo as in San Francisco.

There is even a movie documenting the van.  You can obtain information about it by Googling “VW Van, Damon Ristau.”  Several photos in this article are from his work.  Production of the van ended in Germany in 1979, in Mexico 1995, and now in Brazil at the end of this year.  Better order one now if you are VW fanatic!

Over the years I have owned five VW cars and vans.  I am sure this is not a record, but it does represent my own fascination with the utility and simplicity of these cars.  My first VW was a 1957 black sedan purchased used in 1962.  From there I worked my way up to a used 1963 VW van in which I drove my family to Anchorage, Alaska. (Now that was an adventure!)   I added a 1964 VW beetle.  After moving to Missouri in 1967 I bought another used beetle and a new 1972 VW van.  Sadly, that was the last one I have owned.


Inspector Clouseau said...

Nice piece Dan. I'm curious as to whether substantially more of them were bought and used and driven along the west coast as opposed to the east coast. Hmmmm

Dan Perin said...

I can't answer the demographics about where the most were sold and/or driven, but they were certainly prevalent on the west coast. I remember we owners would always wave to other owners we met along the way!