Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Launch of the VW Mini-Bus in 1950

 

 

Today marks the 71st anniversary of the introduction of the VW bus from then West Germany. We certainly want to go and capture the moment. We need to get into James’s Oldsmobile and take our list of things not to do to avoid a tear in the time continuum. So let’s get going.

James’s Oldsmobile from Eternal Road – The final stop

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Launch of the VW Mni-Bus in 1950 by John W. Howell © 2021

10 If you go, do not ask if you can replace the emblem on the hood (bonnet) with a peace symbol. If you do, at best, the engineers will be too busy to answer. At worst, Ferdinand Porsche will escort you to his office. (Ferdinand is the brains behind the original VW, Mate. He is very interested in why the peace symbol. Of course, if you tell him that the bus will represent counter-culture, he may faint.)

9 If you go, do not attempt to avoid a sales pitch given by the head of sales, Tiny, the WWF champ. If you do, at best, Tiny will be giving pitches to others. At worst, Tiny, who just completed an intensive sales training course where he was told not to take “no” for an answer, will view you as a challenge. (The way Tiny handles challenges, Mathieu is to eliminate them. His favorite method is the helicopter spin. Looks like his engine is getting warmed up. Bon voyage.)

8 If you go, do not mention the Westfalia camper to the engineers. If you do, at best, they will laugh you to St. Louis. At worst, the engineers will wonder where you got the idea. (So you’ve blown your cover, Matin. The Westfalia wasn’t introduced to the US until 1956. Those engineers are calling the police. They think you are an alien who is better than a time traveler.)

7 If you go, do not describe Woodstock after a few beers with the VW crowd. If you do, at best, they will think it’s the beer talking. At worst, they will all want to go. (Good luck, Matthieu. You are now on the hook for an event that is 19 years in the future. There is not enough room in the Olds to take you all there. I think you better make up something quick. These guys look a little irritated.)

6 If you go, do not sing the song ‘Convoy’ to describe the VW participation. If you do, at best, most will walk away. At worst, some will find it a bit confusing. (You see, Matvey the song refers to the long-haired sons of Jesus in a micro mini bus. These guys know the VW as the Type 2 or Transporter. Mni-buswas the common term. I think you better explain before any blood vessels are blown. These are german engineers after all.)

5 If you go, do not talk about the VW bus in the TV series ‘Lost.’ If you do, at best no one will be interested. At worst, everyone will want to hear the story. (Sad thing is, Maurizio. You don’t know the whole story, just that a 1968 VW bus was discovered on the survivor’s tropical island. They are all looking at you. I would invent something. Quick.)

4 If you go, do not describe the collectible feature of the Mini-Bus. If you do, at best they will think you are lying. At worst, the engineers will want proof. (You are in a pickle, Marry. Yes the 1967 Samba van used on That 70’s show sold for $121,000. How are you going to prove that. Aren’t you glad you opened your mouth?”

3 If you go, do not call the factory price of a minivan cheap. If you do, at best people will think they misunderstood. At worst, you’ll get into an argument with the biggest guy in the building. (The $2,200 cost is equivalent to about $23,800 today, Mawrth. For comparison, the average car cost about the same $2,200 or about 66.6 percent of the annual household income. So there was little room for price increases.)

2 If you go, do not ask them to take out some seats to make room for your sleeping bag. If you do, at best, they will ignore you. At worst, they’ll call the cops. (Remember this is 1950, Maxfield. People didn’t sleep in their transportation back then. This is not a travel trailer. The badges have arrived. You explain to them what you asked for.)

1 If you go, do not show the engineers a photo of the 1963 Light Bus painted by Bob Grmm. If you do, at best, they will pass out. At worst, they will want you to tell them how to find Bob Grimm. (you have to understand, Maximus. This is their baby and that photo is shocking to see. Looks like they are rounding up a posse. I think I would hit the road.)

 

76 comments

  1. Thanks for the nice posting! Personally, I would prefer the Oldsmobile to a VW bus. The mention of Ferdinand Porsche was a success, as he had already designed a tank that didn’t work. Lol Wish you a nice week! Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Michael. I lied the tank joke. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That should have been “liked” 😁

        Like

      2. For sure, John! Oh, what i am ranting this way, with our German history. Most things are not enlightened.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahaha. We all have unenlightened history, Michael. 😁 At least Ferdanand made a nice Folks car and a lovey sports car. I had a 1988 Carrera caborlet. Loved it.

        Like

  2. Gosh, this post brought back a lot of memories, John. Around 1973 or so, I remember begging my father to buy a VW bus. We had gone car shopping at the dealership and I fell in love. I still remember studying the fancy brochure for hours in my room. In the end, my father purchased a VW beetle. He commuted to the Pentagon for years in that bug. I suppose the gas mileage was better than the bus. He’s always been practical like that. Thanks for the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could see him pulling up to the Pentagon in a VW bus at that time. I think he made a wise choice. 😁 Good story, Jill.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is quite an image!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This reminds me of a Futurama joke:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Thanks, Charles. I’ve been reading about Futerama. (obscure research). 😁

      Like

      1. It’s a great show. Amazing continuity too. They even designed their own math formula for an episode about body switching.

        Like

      2. Fox tried to kill it for years.

        Like

  4. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Oh, the memories… I never had a VW bus, but having grown up in Southern California, I’d walk the beach areas and check them out. Once upon a time, I had a Beetle and loved it. Thanks for the fun Top Ten Things, John, and the memories. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always wanted a beetle since college. I had a house mate who had a 1959. I don’t know why I never got one though. Thanks, Gwen. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I had a used VW bug in high school. The back seat caught fire from the heater. That was exciting.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ll bet that was exciting.

        Like

  5. So now I shouldn’t drink while time traveling? That makes a lot of sense, especially with Tiny around. If I were to sign a contract with Tiny, would he remember me at our next encounter? Yeah, this is why I shouldn’t drink. I had a friend in Washington that had a westfalia conversion. It was pretty cool for camping in and around the Cascades, but not the most powerful beast on the road.

    Good job, John. See you at Woodstock.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Signing a contract with Tiny would be a waste of time. He has such a bad memory that he wouldn’t be able to recognize his own X. A virtual trip to Woodstock might be a fun trip. Stay out of the smoke clouds though. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You sure had me laughing this morning on this one. I especially like singing the song ‘Convoy’!! Can I order one from Tiny with the inside walls, ceiling and floor covered in shag carpet and a lava light?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are on Tiny’s wavelength, GP. He will be happy to make up that order. Of course, he will want to rock, sissor, paper you for it. Hint: go with sissor. Tiny hates to lose. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw jeez, you know I have to give it a shot!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Weird. The interior of the new bus doesn’t smell like it should. Needs some stale beer, nicotine, and a few more exotic smells.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes indeed. Hemp being one of the more exotic. Thanks, Craig.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d forgotten about the bus on Lost – and that’s one of my fav shows. My youngest son from an early age always said he wanted a VW mini-bus – he was born an old soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. maybe sonme day he can get one. Prime condition ones are going North of $100,000. Thanks, Teri

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, these memories of a VW “Bully”. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. LOL! That was really a great price, wasn’t it?! As you probably know, I much prefer James’ automobile. Yahoo. Love it. However, this brought back the memory I didn’t know I had that my mom’s uncle and aunt had a VW bug long before anybody cool had one. I guess they were cool ahead of time, and I’m not surprised.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes indeed. They must have been cool for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a pretty Mini-Bus, dear John! Might you rent it for our Sunday parties? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We should do that. Unfortunately it is a little small for the crowd. Thanks, Maria. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh my gosh. This was like a trip down memory lane, John. I was a VW mini-bus traveler as a teen and so many of these were familiar. Thanks for the laughs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it, Diana.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Fun post, John:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise.

      Like

  14. The good news is they had a stick shift. The bad news you needed that stick shift to squeeze the power out of that 4 cylinder air cooled engine. Ah the way back machine. Thanks John

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was a bit of a slug.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah, what memories. One of my husband’s very poor medical school classmates lived in that van with his wife for three of his four years in med school. They just moved from camp site to campsite in the area!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That must have been painful or they were blinded by the love. Thanks, Noelle.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I will always think of these as the van driven by the ScoobyDoo gang.
    Good one Jiohn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes. I remember those guys.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. For me, the VW bus will always have a hippie connotation. Fun stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it does. Thanks, Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. But does Tiny know that it’s a MAGIC Bus? Oh, what memories. Even setting aside Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters, there was that guy who carried his Martin twelve-string in a wooden case built to resemble a coffin, and the woman who made drip candles out of old Spañada bottles, and the night we redid the apartment with Day-Glo paint, and…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tons of memories, Linda. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  19. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    I hope the VW bus is not in the sequel to Eternal Road. Maybe that’s what Hitler should have shown up in to collect his souls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have given me an idea, Pete. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a fun post, John, but we never had a VW. We were a mustang family. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those were fun too. Thanks, Lauren.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. You put a new spin in the travelling back in time notion, John. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Olga. 😊

      Like

  22. and never show them the photo of the modern bus…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I loved this!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this great post from John Howell’s blog with the TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AT THE LAUNCH OF THE VW MINI-BUS IN 1950

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Don.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. For $2,200 bucks I would buy a fleet of these puppies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Some of those puppies go for North of $100,000,

      Liked by 1 person

  26. This post reminds me of one of my favorites…C.W. McCall…”friends of Jesus in a chartreuse micro bus”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. The song is Convoy.

      Like

  27. I had one of them things … loved it. When the engine blew up while traveling through a college town, I lived in it for six months. (A nice lady let me park it in her yard.) I never had so much fun, and by fun I mean getting laid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can imagine. Thanks for sharing. 😁

      Like

  28. My first husband and I had a blue and white VW van – a 1961 model. It was a great vehicle! Thanks for sharing, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Priceless today, Jan. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 2 people

  29. Very good, John. It is amazing how uses for everything, including cars, changes over time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is amazing. Thanks, Robbie.

      Liked by 2 people

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