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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Vehicles: VW Transporter

After the orange Beetle I stuck to VW but went a lot bigger. I had my Beetle for about 2 years when I purchased a brand new VW-Transporter in moss-green, a favorite colour of the late 70s.
VW-Bus  Exactly this colour but mine had rubber on the bumper
It was a 1976-model and except of the 2 front seats the van was empty all the way back to the motor, which by-the-way was the air-cooled 1.6l engine with 50hp. The whole concept of under powering a relatively heavy vehicle like the VW Transporter with only 50hp spells doom and disaster. Driving the van in windy conditions was an adventure in itself, especially if the wind was coming crossways.  I remember I had to slow down if I wanted to keep it between the ditches and even more preferably within my lane. Acceleration was a joke. But boy did I love the van.
1-DSC_0394                  Above: Boondocking in Norway 1976
1-DSC_0392That is me..stuck in a snow drift in Norway in 1976
1-DSC_0393Sweden: More boondocking in a still closed campground in April 1976
Of course I didn’t keep it all empty. In fact, I manufactured full camping equipment with under-ceiling cupboards, with a foldable bench-to-bed and a table to be lowered to actually make room for a queen-size bed. I had a cook stove and a mini kitchen and a storage area above the rear engine. The van got yellow curtains and brown cushions making it into a top fashionable colour combination for those days. My first trip went to Norway and the same year to France.
1-France 1976    Bretagne, France Summer 1976
I was “King of the Road” and it made me into a sworn life-long camper and boondocker enthusiast. I had just done the step up from tenting to RVing!
After 2 years I had done about 60.000km, and that was the time when that little engine started to make some ugly noise. It was still running but something in it’s intestines was signaling a soon-to-come exodus. Meanwhile I had done my move to Norway and was facing an outrageous price for engine replacement. So I decided to limp south to Germany to get it done at the dealership where I had actually purchased the van.
I don’t remember how much I paid for it but I returned to Norway with a new engine. I had the van for another year but in 1979 I sold it and got my 4th car….a Mercedes 240D. I have seen that green van drive around town for a few more years but lost track of it, when I moved to another place.
Of my early vehicles the VW-Bus was the one I had most fun with and I should never have sold it. Today, these rigs are soo darn expensive that you may end up paying $20.000 for it. Like my first 2 cars, the Citroen 2CV and the Beetle, the VW bus from the 70s became a cult vehicle.

2 comments:

  1. I remember that moss-green color on VW vans. Sure know what you mean by underpowered. My VW Camper van which I bought used in the mid 80's was orange with a white roof and it came from the factory set up for camping with stove, bed, etc. I too loved my VW van and still have many fond memories of a trip to Canada's east coast with it. Long live VW's and long live our memories of them:))

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  2. Great memories of those wonderful vehicles. Though I did not have a VW van I 4 beetles, and was able repair them myself , engine replacements we very easy too.

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