Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Split Window Volkswagen in Tuscany

The first Volkswagen vans were introduced in 1950 and have since been known for being underpowered (the first VW vans came with a whopping 25 horsepower engine . . . I’ve used a riding lawnmower with 25 horsepower . . .), temperamental and shaped like a toaster. Yet millions of us still adore them and wish we still owned one. There is something oddly endearing about the ridiculously-shaped automobiles.

My old ’78 VW’s heater was so close to worthless that I used to use an electric blanket that I plugged into the cigarette lighter, I stored spare gloves and stocking caps in the glove compartment as well as blankets in the closet for any passengers and had to use the ol’ “arm out the window with an ice scraper” to “defrost” my windshield. I had my sliding door fall off onto the ground one day when I went to open it and my embarrassingly wimpy-sounding horn decided to turn on and stay on and I drove home through the suburbs late one night. My rear view mirror flew off on the freeway one day and my side window tried to fall off another (luckily the sink and a few other objects kept it from falling to the floor and shattering long enough for me to save it).

Despite all of the inherent weird problems associated with owning a VW I thoroughly enjoyed it and got way more than my money’s worth out of it. I went camping in it no end and put its couch-like backseat and bed to good use even while in town if I wanted a nap or a cozy place to read during lunch.

So for whatever reason millions of us still love VW vans and no doubt you or someone you know (or several people you know) have owned a VW van at some point and surely have plenty of stories to tell about the crazy old bus.

"A Split Window in Tuscany" Watercolor 18 x 30 inches


Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Aw.... count me in as someone who still loves them ... once in awhile I will see one and wish.. but my husband says in an annoyed voice, NO!

Michael said...

Same here Nancy. I see cool looking VWs drive by and remember how much fun they were. But I think your husband may be wise in saying no. They take a lot of maintenance. =P