By on November 12, 2018

1971 Volkswagen Bus in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe early second-generation Volkswagen Type 2 bus is one of those vehicles that’s supposed to be so suffused with sacred nostalgic vibes that any example, no matter how trashed, will sell for tens of thousands of dollars. As we can see here, the presence of this reasonably complete 1971 Kombi in a wrecking yard near Pikes Peak indicates that real-world values for these vans may differ from the values quoted in online diatribes angrily banged out by Internet Car Experts. (Read More…)

By on November 17, 2016

1959 Volkswagen Samba red front quarter

It seems that I have much to learn about the classic car auction scene. A yearly January couch session with beer and remote in hand is clearly not enough to understand how cars go under the gavel. Depending on how I feel like keeping score, I’ve slipped well below the Mendoza line in my two short weeks handicapping vintage auto sales.

Fortunately, I have another chance for redemption this weekend. Once again, Mecum is doing the selling, this time in sunny Anaheim, California. I’m now seriously regretting not flying west to cover this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

(Read More…)

By on September 22, 2015

VW DoKa

What remarkable times these are. A week ago, a Volkswagen diesel was a sensible choice for a reliable, fuel efficient family vehicle. Now, those same cars make their owners pariahs in the green car community.

The devils’ advocate in me tells me to embrace the newfound hatred for VW — and diesels in general. After all, I live in an area without emissions regulations. Sadly, there are plenty of brodozers around here, rolling coal between suburban roundabouts. Let’s combine the two. Here’s a Braudozer!

(Read More…)

By on July 17, 2015

IMG_0069

It’s funny how it sometimes takes a while to recognize something familiar. In the mid-1980s, when my daily driver was a slightly hi-po’d 1972 VW Type 2, I was driving a work vehicle from the Detroit area to Toledo to pick up a part. As I drove down I-75 and got closer to Ohio, I noticed one Volkswagen Bus traveling north in the opposite direction — and then another. “That’s unusual,” I thought. By then air-cooled Vee Dubs weren’t terribly common, and *Transporters were less common than Beetles. Then a Vanagon passed by, but, as I said, this was the 1980s and Vanagons were still being sold new and didn’t think much about it until I saw a few more Type 2s, including some older split-windows. Was there a VW club convention going on? I once drove to Cincinnati and I passed a large group of MG enthusiasts on their way to a meet. (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2011


German advertisers of the 1950s turned the Volkswagen Transporter into some of the best rolling marketing art ever. (Read More…)

By on April 13, 2010

Welcome to Eugene. Feel free to stay on the bus, either literally or metaphorically. If it’s the former, no hard feelings; Eugene is not for everyone, and we’ll be back in fifteen minutes or so. But if you’re “On The Bus”, then let’s step out here in the center of downtown, also known as Kesey Square. There is the statue of Ken Kesey, Eugene’s hometown cultural and literary hero, reading from his most famous book “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”.  And what’s that across the street? How serendipitous indeed: a vintage VW bus, the official transporter of Eugene. (Read More…)

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