Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Funkengroovin Wednesday - The Joker

One of VB's first posts about VWs in Cairo, had a photo of a Van called The Joker. You can find that post here.

VB didn't have much information on the van, at the time. In the meantime she purchased Volkswagens Of The World, by Simon Glen, and caught up on some learnin'. Someone then decided to clean up the van, and drive it out of the garbage pile that was accumulating around it, onto a cleaner street. So VB decided to update photos, and information about the vehicle, for those of you who may be interested. Obviously, these photos were taken before VB left Cairo.

(Below): Taxi drivers always assume VB wants a ride, when she's out walking or trying to take a picture. They're annoying creatures!

(Below): If you blow up the photo, you might be able to see the two holes in the rear window. They resemble bullet holes, but in Cairo, any number of odd things could cause them.

According to Volkswagens Of The World, which lists The Joker under "Third and Fourth Generation Transporters": "Third generation Westfalia Transporter conversions made for the European market were called: 'Joker 1' and 'Joker 2' for the Aufstelldach. 'Joker 3' and 'Joker 4' for the Hochdach.

There were two versions of downstairs fittings '1 and 3' and '2 and 4.' Then, in 1985, Westfalia introduced de luxe and standard versions of each as, for example, 'Club Joker 1' and 'Sport Joker 1'. From 1988 Westfalia deleted the front roof-rack over the cab and changed the name of 'Joker' to 'California.' All standard Type 2 mechanical options were available for third generation Westfalia campers, such as diesel engines, synchro four-wheel drive, 16 inch wheels, locking differentials, LSD (for two-wheeled drive), ABS brakes, fuel-injection or carburetor, automatic transmission, Eberspacher heater, air-conditioning, heated power-operated mirrors, and even a heated driver's seat.

For the US market the third generation Westfalia Type 2 Kombi-based (Type 253) campervans were sold as the 'Vanagon Camper' or 'Vanagon Campmobile', but with fuel-injected, air-cooled petrol engines from 1980 to and including the 1983 model year...."

(Below): Speaking about jokers and jokes, that's pretty much where these buses fall. They are probably the most dangerous vehicle on Cairo roads, with multi-tasking drivers who pay no heed to oncoming traffic. Often the drivers are smoking, counting money, and talking to the passengers while driving. They are a menace!

(Assume that all news stories have photos, since they do.)

The Green RV
"Ecologically aware RV owners are reinventing the motor home, with a goal of transforming the gas guzzler into a model of compact green construction and fuel efficiency."

"The trend received a boost a couple of years ago when Willie Nelson began powering his tour bus with biodiesel, which he called BioWillie, and later convinced other musicians to do the same. But regular RV owners say that their tours serve another purpose besides sustainable travel, namely to reflect a desire for a simpler, if not entirely bygone, era of road tripping and nature appreciation."

"Others have hopes of taking the environmentally friendly RV much further. Alexandre Verdier, a 35-year-old from Montreal, has designed a prototype camper that includes a diesel hybrid engine and solar panels that are controlled by a global positioning system to capture the maximum amount of sunlight. The vehicle is an update of the classic Volkswagen Westfalia camper van, which was synonymous with the counter culture in the 1970s.

“I did a lot of trips in the Westfalia, so I came up with the idea of a new green version,” said Mr. Verdier, citing as particular inspiration a three-month trip he took with friends around the United States when he was 17.

The design for the Westfalia Verdier won a 2006-7 Innovation for New Mobility prize awarded during the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf in Germany, one of Europe’s largest caravanning exhibition and trade shows. Mr. Verdier said that he was negotiating with a manufacturer and that the vehicles, with an estimated price of $129,000, should be available next summer."

Check it out - a VW Bus Needle. Quite nifty. Readers' Favorite Portable Music Player
Soundwagon: Smallest Record Player Ever
Submitted by Martin

Photographer's comment:

"I used to carry this (soundwagon) around with me so I could drop it on a record in weird, dusty old record shops that didn't let you listen to the goods. I'm sure it's the worst ever for a record ... but it works."

EBay Cars under $10,000 that beat the pants off a Nissan Versa
"1963 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon (EBay listing number 180303123548)
Feel like owning a cult object? Consider this turquoise-and-white, split-window Vanagon, an E-Z “Camper of America” edition (apparently, E-Z was once a customizer in Littlerock, Calif.) The listing says it has 80,622 miles on it –- right, shaa, bro! –- but no matter. This is the real surfing safari van. A tiny bit rusty and maybe not totally watertight, and slow as Christmas, this is still a lot of nostalgia for the money. With a little time and TLC this could be a show-winner and a great family escape pod. Try sleeping in your Versa."

From jalopnik:
a photo of a Vanagon blocked by lions: Apparently, The Rock-Paper-Scissors Of Life, Lion Beats Car...
1959 Volkswagen Transporter
1964 Volkswagen Beetle

Ramblin': VW Beetle, speed DO go together
"The need for speed isn't the same for everybody. So, when Tom Bruch of Cedar Rapids says he drove more than 100 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats, where other cars have surpassed 700 mph, you might not be impressed.

But, consider this:

Tom drove a 1966 VW Beetle."

Local bug, bike teams prep for Baja 100 run
"The team also has a “hero” card that shows the team’s 1969 VW Beetle and has the warning signs of diabetes printed in Spanish on the back.

There are four Volkswagen’s competing in the team’s division. To get a step up on the competition, the team solicited advice from a nine-time winner who advised them to raise their suspension 4 or 5 inches."

A watch firm contracts Beetlemania
"German watch firm Bavarian Chrono chose to mine the vehicle's storied history for a line of timepieces based on Bug dials past...About $159 to $202, available at"

Passion drives Burlington mechanic
"When Noah Crowther, 32, of Winooski bought his first Volkswagen as a high school student, he discovered his first love. He took that passion and turned it into a career. He owns and is the sole employee of the Better Bus & Bug, a Volkswagen service and parts shop on South Champlain Street in Burlington."

Man really gets wrapped up in his work
"Smith explained car wraps while he was standing in front of a Volkswagen bus that had been used to advertise a VW weekend in Eureka Springs.

iSign had covered it with a collage of photos of all different types of Volkswagens, yet they were not painted or air brushed, Smith said. They had been printed on vinyl, in full color, using a large format printer, and then applied as seamlessly as possible to the bus."

The Hippie Van Returns

"Ebay" by Weird Al Yankovic

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