Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Scenes From A Museum

In 1996 VB and family made a genealogical trip to Germany, where The Boss Man's family originates. Home base - Bramsche. Just south in Osnabruck, is a VW Factory that conducts tours. They were closed. After visiting the one remaining human from The WWII Russian Front, numerous cemeteries, sites, and pubs, we drove on to Wolfsburg. Below are Scenes from A Museum, which VB has digitized from SLR film. More to come, later, but for now enjoy. VB had to pump up the color as the photos turned out rather dull and very grainy.

(Below Center) Type 166 Schwimmwagen: See also, Wiki.

*"Perhaps the most technically advanced Volkswagen made during World War II was the Schwimmwagen, or swim car. It was designed by Ferdinanad Porsche and even by today's standards, is amazing. It is probably the only truly amphibious car ever put into scale production...It could be driven straight from the road into a river or lake without stopping and vice-versa." "Steering in the water was not by way of a tiller and rudder as with boats, but simply by changing the direction of the front wheels: the car was steered in the water just as it was on land - by the steering wheel."

(Below L) The Thing:

*"The Volkswagen 181 was sold under various names such as 'Safari,' 'Kurierwagen', 'Trekker', 'Merzweckwagen', 'Mehrzweckfahrzeug', and 'The Thing' (in the USA)."

(Below R) Type 147 Fridolin:

*"...which roughly translates into 'tiny toddler', a sort of pen name given to very little boys...As second-hand ex-government surplus vehicles, Fridolins became popular with young people in Europe because they were like small versions of Type 2 Kombis."

(*All quotes from Volkswagens of the World, by Simon Glen.)

(Below) A Trio of Transporters:

(Below) A Trio Of Transporter Varieties - from Behind:

(Below) More Transporters:


We've spotted one of these here in Maadi. Many photos available at the link, below.

Spirit of the VW Camper van goes Element-al

"The family vacation just hasn't been the same since the ubiquity of the Westfalia Camper and the VW Type2 as a family vehicle, both of which have been toppled by the rise of the minivan. There have been Westys since VW went mostly conventional with the Eurovan, but they're not much of a common sight on US Highways anymore.

Ursa Minor Vehicles understands that all those former kids who took trips to the Grand Canyon in a Westfalia have a soft spot for the poptop. Thus, the Ursa Minor ECamper kit for the Honda Element has been born."

Car Clinic

"Q I want to buy a motorhome with a bit of character. I’m considering a VW camper but wondered if there were any other funky models. All the new ones seem to be grey and functional. I saw what I think was a Mercedes camper van about 15 years ago, which was quite cool, but I’ve no idea what it was. Any suggestions? – RS from London

A The VW camper has achieved cult status, particularly among surfers, and secondhand examples are highly sought after. The earliest model, referred to as the split-screen model (or “splitty”), was built from 1950 to 1967.

Its successor was known as the “bay” or “breadloaf” (because of its shape) and was built from 1968 until the late 1970s. Prices for both range from £4,000 to as much as £15,000 for an exceptional example. The later, flat-screen models, are less sought after and go for £2,500-£6,000. See the VW camper owners’ club ( ) and for used examples go to"

How Jack Johnson went from surfer to superstar

"The genesis of What You Thought You Need was the four months Johnson and his wife, Kim, spent touring Europe in a VW camper van after they graduated from college. Losing Keys, his most overtly political song, was inspired when he noticed two bumper stickers on the car ahead. “One was Support Our Troops, the other was Jesus Loves You. I thought, what would Jesus think if he saw that?”

VW launches Caddy Maxi van

Courtesy of CarDomain Car Blog (More information and photo of the concept car at the link below):

VW Helps Make Minivans Almost Cool

"Though piggybacking its new minivan on Chrysler's Town & Country platform, VW promises a van that'll have a character all its own. The new van, dubbed the Routan—sharing the "-an" suffix with VW's other minivans, Touran and Sharan—will be unveilled next month at the Chicago Auto show."

VW Routan: Missing the minivan crest?

Something Rotten? Businessweek critique about VW's U.S.A. business practices.
VW's Sales Target: Bold or Bull?

I’m not as down on the Routan name for the Volkswagen van as Welch is. Volkswagen has a history of naming problems…God knows…but this isn’t the most egregious example. I nominate the Touareg for that designation. Although, the Bora, which is the European Jetta, comes close.

Key to the Highway - Eric Clapton

(Internet here in Cairo is working better, but still incredibly slow.)

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