Monday, August 20, 2007

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Preview

1969 VW Funeral spot

60 Years with VW Van
It is 60 years since Volkswagen produced the first design for a van and it is celebrating the prolific history of its Transporter by hosting an international event at the Hanover exhibition centre in Germany from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 October 2007.

In 1947, a vehicle that staff had built to transport heavy panels around Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory provided the inspiration for the concept sketch for the first Volkswagen T1 van, famous for its split-windscreen.

Since then, Volkswagen vans, from the original T1 to today’s T5, have become legendary and put to a wide spectrum of uses – by commercial customers, as a holiday campervan, people carrier, and most famously as the cool transport of choice for the flower-power generation and the surfing community.

‘Scarcely any other vehicle invokes as many emotions as the Volkswagen van, or “Bulli” as it is known by many of its fans. It is a real cult vehicle and has stood for fun, independence and travel as well as business success. We want this event to celebrate the unrivalled legacy of Volkswagen vans and the future,’ explains Stephan Schaller from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Germany.

Bug lovers test their power
PICKERING-- How fast is your car? That was the question being answered Saturday for Volkswagon enthusiasts at Pickering’s Pacione Automotive Group.

Local VW club, Bugs “R” Us, hosted Bugfest 2007 Air and Watercooled VW Dyno Day to allow VW drivers of all models to see how their car stacked up. Using a dynomometre, members of the club tested their car’s horsepower.

Like all true competitions, friendly or not, there can be only one winner. Reaching 227 horsepower, Greg Strogen and his ‘56 Beetle had the highest horsepower of the day.

Sandeep Syan ran his Beetle on the dynomometre. His car recorded an impressive 195 horsepower.

Mr. Syan has been working on upgrading his Beetle for 12 years. “I’ve never dynoed my car before,” he said. “So, I’m pretty happy.”

Sunday the club travels to Manchester to host another VW show.

Whatever happened to the Microbus?
The first Transporters were commercial vans, but pick-ups and campers followed. Its heyday came in the 1960s, when thousands of the flower-power generation set off to explore the outer edges of consciousness – and some nice beaches.

“Many of you will remember how young folks travelled the world’s highways, freely and easily,” said VW board member Dr Jens Neumann at the concept launch in 2001. “Yes, and stoned out of their minds,” added one journalist.

Oldest VW diesel found in California
Back in January when Volkswagen unveiled its new diesel Jetta TDI in Washington D.C., the German automaker began a campaign to find the oldest running diesel VW in the U.S. The search is over, with the eldest VW oil burner being a 1977 Rabbit owned by Clint Wilson in Tehachapi, California. The 1977 Rabbit was the first diesel passenger car sold in the U.S. by Volkswagen, and it appears that Wilson's is still in great shape, something VW no doubt hopes isn't lost on today's prospective diesel customers. The car's age was verified by Volkswagen of America and Family Volkswagen, a VW dealer in Bakersfield, CA. The search is still on for the VW diesel with the highest mileage, but in the meantime, VW has provided Wilson with a Touareg V10 TDI to drive for six months.


Apparently the new line of Volkswagen cars is so cool that people don’t want to steal them.

In a recent ad for the German carmaker, a suspicious-looking guy walks down the street looking for a car to heist, finds an unlocked convertible Volkswagen -- its key conveniently stashed behind the visor -- and takes off.

Pretty soon, he finds himself stopping for pedestrians and waving at the elderly, and before you know it he’s turned around and decided to return the car to its rightful owner.

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