The Truth About Cars » Vanagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Vanagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Steal Your Face Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1983-volkswagen-vanagon-steal-your-face-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1983-volkswagen-vanagon-steal-your-face-edition/#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467717 I usually don’t pay much attention to VW Transporters in the junkyard, but I have a friend with a Vanagon (he’s an industrial designer and decided that this VW— which I believe to be one of the worst motor vehicles ever built— says positive things about his sense of style and appreciation of good design) who needed a bunch of parts for his hopeless project van. So, when I found this ’83 at a Denver self-service wrecking yard, I grabbed a few bits and took some photos.
In the decades before too many chili dogs and cigarettes killed Jerry Garcia, Deadheads would follow the band around the country in various hooptiefied motor vehicles. While most of them drove stuff like battered old Detroit pickups and random members of the K-Car family, some followed archetypal hippie tradition and toured in Volkswagen Transporters. This is such a van.
The skull-and-lightning-bolt artwork from the Grateful Dead’s Steal Your Face live album became the centerpiece of 900 billion emulations, variations, and permutations, on stickers sold in Dead show parking lots as well as homemade VW van paint jobs.
This van has two Steal Your Face Skull stickers that I could find, and I’m sure there were more.
The “Free Tibet” sticker might as well have been issued to all Vanagon owners back in the late 1980s.
I pulled the left front marker-light lens for my friend’s van, but couldn’t figure out the other items on his wish list.
He needs some component of the engine cover, or maybe it’s the radiator puke tank. Anyway, I couldn’t decipher his cryptic text messages, so he’ll need to go back and get that part himself.
Because, like, life is all a circle, maaaan, I happened to be crawling around in this van on the same day that I and 1,325,809 other Colorado voters chose to legalize marijuana in our state. While I hadn’t been firing up a bowl of Hickenlooper Haywire in a Chong-sourced four-footer prior to seeing this van, I still managed to be impressed by these homemade quasi-Hawaiian curtains. How many times had these curtains absorbed the strains of the Dead’s disco anthem on a crappy cassette deck during their lives, I wondered.
Well, it was like the ghost of Owsley Stanley himself appeared and told me I needed these genuine Deadhead curtains for my decidedly un-hippie Dodge van, so I bought the complete set for five bucks.

26 - Steal Your Face - Picture courtesy of the Grateful Dead 01 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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What Is It About The Vanagon Syncro? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/what-is-it-about-the-vanagon-syncro/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/what-is-it-about-the-vanagon-syncro/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2011 14:30:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=423446 I’m now experiencing my second winter as an ex-Californian in Denver, and I feel as though I’ve been adjusting pretty well— got an Outback in the garage and everything. However, there’s one big automotive mystery here, and that’s the incomprehensible love many otherwise sensible Coloradans have for the Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro. At the risk of enraging the Vanagon Jihad, I have to say that the only way Volkswagen could have made the fragile-at-best Vanagon even less reliable was to give it four-wheel-drive. And yet I see these things being used as very costly daily drivers all the time.
I understand the allure of a lovable, high-maintenance European vehicle loaded with interesting design features and with ancestry stretching back to the pre-hippie era, but the zealots of the Vanagon Jihad believe that the Syncro actually makes sense as everyday transportation in snowy areas. Please, someone, explain this!

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